Lost in the magnitude of Ray Allen’s missed free throws at the end of tonight’s game was the magnitude of his shooting performance as a whole. Allen made 13 of 16 shots from the floor on his way to 31 points. He made 2 of 4 three-pointers.
“Ray needs to work on his shooting a bit,” Spurs coach Greg Popovich said after the game. “He only hit 13 out of 16. If it was practice and you did pindowns and you came off of that – I don’t know if anyone in the league would hit 13 out of 16. He does it in a game.”
The Celtics got Allen going from the start. Less than 90 seconds in he’d already canned two long jump shots. Allen worked masterfully off double-screens all night. The Spurs knew he was getting the ball but were powerless to stop it.
“I think he’s pretty good,” said Popovich.
— Doc Rivers revealed before the game that he pushed harder for the Celtics to draft Glen Davis than any other player in his Celtics tenure. After the game, Davis said he and Rivers have a father-step son relationship.
“He has worked with me, given me the opportunity to show what I got,” said Davis. “He is still hard on me. He’s still hard. It’s like a love-hate thing.”
Davis had a career-high 23 points against the Spurs, using his much-improved jump shot to help set that mark.
“They were playing off me,” said Davis. “I was shocked. I was like, ‘Oh my god they are just going to let me shoot.’ So I just kept shooting and got into a rhythm.”
Davis is starting now in the absence of Kevin Garnett, but Paul Pierce had some high praise for the Celtics’ key bench man.
“He’s probably the best sixth man in basketball right now if you ask me,” said Pierce.
— Pierce had a hand in the final defensive play, preventing Manu Ginobili from getting a shot on target. But Pierce was sheepish when asked if he made a block, talking only about his team’s strategy on the play.
“We didn’t want to give up a three,” said Pierce. “That was kind of the only thing that could beat us. We sort of overplayed on the 3-point line.”
Ginobili had his man (Marquis Daniels) in the air, but Pierce was in position to help make the stop.