MIAMI — Doc Rivers knows better than probably any other coach about the dilemma of defending Ray Allen. After five years of coaching Allen with the Celtics, Rivers is preparing his team to face Allen as a member of the Miami Heat in the season opener Tuesday.
“I think Ray Allen is going to get shots, just like he got them with us, because he’s playing with great players,” Rivers said before practice Monday. “He’ll just stand somewhere, all by himself, and either you help or you don’t. If you don’t, LeBron [James] gets a dunk or [Dwyane] Wade gets a layup. If you do, Ray gets a jump shot. No different than when he was with us — [Rajon] Rondo drove, Paul [Pierce] got to the paint, they had to double-team Kevin [Garnett]. Ray benefited from that and he’ll do the same thing here, maybe even moreso here.”
Rivers said he expects to be quizzed about Allen, who signed with the Heat as a free agent.
“Ray’s pretty good, he deserves that,” Rivers said of the attention. “He’s on the team that beat us, so that’s natural. But I’m still tired of answering. I don’t know what you want me to say — he went to the other team.
“Adding Ray and Rashard [Lewis] makes them better, and winning a title makes them better, because now they know they have it in them. That’s the biggest advantage they have.”