Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen

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Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

LOS ANGELES The news that Reggie Miller will not be part of this year's Naismith class of Hall of Famers caught many by surprise - including Boston's Ray Allen.

Miller, widely considered a lock to at least make it as a finalist, was not among the 10 players chosen by the North American Committee.

Aside from an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics, there are a lot of similarities between what Allen has done in his career and what Miller did prior to retiring.

Because of that, it gives Allen reason to pause and wonder about his legacy that, like Miller, is widely considered to be one that will end with his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I didn't see the overall report of (who) the finalists were, but I am surprised," Allen said. "I don't know what else he has to do. I don't understand how the Hall of Fame works, the balloting and obviously, the different people around the country voting. His career is not going to change the next time it comes around. It would see that they got it wrong on this one."

Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors, said the process by which players are chosen for the Hall of Fame has to become more transparent.

However, Colangelo has no plans to reveal who the voters are.

"The only thing I'm not saying is who the people are that are voting," Colangelo said. "I want to protect the integrity of our process by not identifying the individuals."

Colangelo didn't get into too many specifics, but there were a number of factors that might have weighed against Miller getting in this year, his first on the ballot which, Colangelo said, may have been one of the factors considered by the North American Committee.

"There isn't one individual who is there for the first time," Colangelo said. "He (Miller) would have been a first-time selectee. There are a number of people who ended up here, who were not first-time selectees. Sometimes you wait your turn. Within a group, you need to get traction. When you discuss any individual, you talk about accomplishments. We'll talk about where he kind of falls. Sometimes an individual is looked at more as a specialist than maybe an all-around player. And maybe it's just not his time. Timing, that's another issue with the selection into the Hall of Fame."

Colangelo added, "Reggie just didn't get enough traction this time. He's a first time candidate. That speaks nothing about his future. He could very well, next year could be a whole different story for Reggie Miller, he's certainly a candidate going forward for the Hall of Fame."

The same could be said for Allen, who recently surpassed Miller as the NBA's all-time leader in made 3s.

Still, Allen now understands even that might not be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt.

"He's been in his era, he's been the best shooter playing the game and I'm trying to figure out I need to get to the bottom of it. What are they looking for?" Allen said. "What's going on? When I saw that this morning, I was surprised. It seemed like an injustice."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Blakely: Despite their spot in East, consistency remains a problem for Celtics

Blakely: Despite their spot in East, consistency remains a problem for Celtics

BOSTON –  Devin Booker went on a scoring binge for the ages against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, the likes of which won’t be seen anytime soon at the TD Garden.

The performance was so great, even the most die-hard Green Teamers had to give the 20-year-old props for dropping 70 points – 70 points! – on the Celtics who still wound up winning, 130-120.

And as Booker continued to pour on the points and the Celtics’ double-digit lead remained just that, a double-digit lead, the narrative of what we witnessed was a lot deeper than just some young kid getting hot.

The Suns are trying lose as many games as they can, while throwing youngsters out there like Booker to play major minutes and predictably make their share of mistakes with the goal being to learn from those miscues and get better.

But the true lesson in what went down Friday night had little to do with Booker’s big night or some Celtics being a little salty about it afterwards.

Lost in all of the hoopla surrounding Booker’s big night was the repeated revelation by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens after the game about his team’s play and their record not being on one accord.

“That’s why, like I’ve said before, I’m surprised at where we are record-wise because we’ve got to play at a higher level for 48 minutes,” Stevens said. “We just don’t do it.”

And Booker’s historic night is the latest example to illustrate Stevens’ point.

Not having Avery Bradley (sickness) was a factor, obviously.

But that’s no excuse for the way they allowed Booker to do anything and everything he wanted to on the floor, allowing a really good shooter to gain confidence to the point where there was literally nothing the Celtics could do to cool him off.

The Celtics looked casual for three-plus quarters defensively against the Suns and still managed to win which says more about Phoenix and its desire to lose as much as possible, than Boston’s ability to find success and overcome a player with a hot hand.

It was another case of Boston getting away from what works while settling into what felt good and easy.

Most of the guys Phoenix played on Friday weren’t players you would consider big-time scoring threats, so the Celtics defensively didn’t play with a defensive edge other than the first six minutes of the game.

In that span, Phoenix didn’t make a single shot from the field while Boston bolted out to a 16-3 lead.

From there, the Celtics didn’t play with the same sense of urgency.

Fortunately for them, they were playing a team that didn’t want to win.

That’s not going to be the case in these remaining games, a mixture of playoff-bound clubs, wannabe playoff-bound crews and a few others with rosters full of players fighting to stay in the league who will use these remaining games essentially as an audition for next season.

If Boston plays like this in any of their remaining games, they’ll most likely lose.

And that’s why Brad Stevens continues to harp on this team not being as good as their record.

Because when you’re in the same class record-wise with teams like Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland and Houston, there’s a certain expectation of consistency you should play with most nights.

The Warriors and Rockets have explosive scorers; the Spurs play elite-level defense most nights and the Cavs have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Those factors form the basis of their consistency in terms of winning and overall play.

But the Celtics are very much a wild and unpredictable bunch, able to knock off Cleveland and Golden State, but get blasted by Denver and lose to Philadelphia.

If inconsistent play is a hallmark of this team, their potential for having a great season will be remembered as just that, potential.

Because games like the one they played on Friday against Phoenix on more nights than not, will result in a loss which could put the Celtics very much in the crosshairs for an early playoff exit.

Five takeaways: Booker's 70 puts focus on C's lack of D

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Five takeaways: Booker's 70 puts focus on C's lack of D

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