CHICAGO Here's the thing about Ray Allen. Whether he's shooting well or woefully, you can be sure he'll keep on shooting.
Allen seemed to have broken free of a mini-shooting slump in the second half of Boston's 89-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls Thursday night.
He had 12 points, with all but one point coming in the second half.
Allen's hot hand was instrumental in the Celtics, seemingly on the verge of getting blown out, rallying to make it a relatively close game that wasn't decided until the final minute or two.
For years, the Celtics have talked about how the most telling sign of the team having great ball movement is when Allen gets great looks at the basket.
Allen had a few on Thursday, but not nearly as many as the C's are accustomed to giving him.
Part of that has to go to Chicago's defense. The other part of the problem has to do with the Celtics' big men not setting good enough picks to free up Allen more consistently.
"We have to find a way to get him and Paul Pierce open, get him easy shots," said Boston's Jermaine O'Neal. "Ray is the key. He's the key for us. Get him hot and it changes how teams play, how they defend us."
And while Allen began Thursday by missing his first five shots, there was no panic or concern.
"I just didn't have a great rhythm," Allen said.
But Allen is a shooter, arguably the greatest long-range shooter in his era.
So the idea that a few rough games shooting the ball would deter or make him trigger-shy with his shooting?
"One thing," Allen said. "I'm not going to stop shooting."