By Jessica Camerato
BOSTON - If the solution was obvious, Ray Allen would have changed things by now.
He knows his shot attempts have dropped late in the season, but as for why, he still trying to figure it out.
There is a checklist of possibilities to consider. Theres the fact that the Celtics are still trying to gel with their new players; other teammates are taking more shots; Allen is dribbling more than he has in the past (Doc Rivers' theory); Allen feels the ball movement among the team has changed.
Whether its all of the above or none at all, Allen and the Celtics have six games left in the regular season to adapt.
The main objective is to win, Allen said. If I have a couple of games where I dont touch the ball or score, I just try to find other ways to be effective. Being efficient for me is the ultimate key, but I know I have to be out there and I have to have an impact. So I just try to figure it out from one game to the next, how you can get the shots you need.
Allens shot attempts decreased from 14.4 per game in February to 11.5 in March. As a result, his scoring dropped from 18.4 points to 15.1 points from month to month.
Coming into Sundays game against the Pistons, he was averaging 9.4 attempts over his last five contests. He wound up with 13 in the Celts' 101-90 win over Detroit.
The Celtics want Allen to be involved in their offense. As they near the postseason, they know how much of a contributor he can be on the floor. Despite his recent struggles, he's still the teams second-highest scorer with 16.8 points per game.
Kevin Garnett made a conscious effort on Sunday night to Allen touches against the Detroit Pistons.
Allen attempted just three field goals through the first three quarters of the Celtics' win. He hit a stride in the fourth, when he shot a perfect three-for-three from the field.
Hes going to be huge for us, Garnett said of Allen in the playoffs. I think I took it upon myself to get him some looks, just knowing the past couple of games, him not having a rhythm, trying to establish him a rhythm going into these last couple games we have and then on to the playoffs. Hes going to be huge for us as to whether we win or whether we dont win.
Doc Rivers wants his team to keep things simple. Hes not delving for deeper answers, just looking at the Xs and Os of basketball.
Rays just struggling because hes struggling. Its not the ball movement, Rivers told CSNNE.com. I just want Ray to make shots, thats it. We dont have to make it complicated.
Allens goal is to find his rhythm without disrupting the Celtics. He isnt going to address the issue with his teammates or complain about his shots. After 15 years in the league, he looks to himself to improve his own game, even if it is without having the ball in his hands.
Said Allen, Youve got to think about it from the context of the team and how what Im doing affects the team. If I need to score more to help the team win, if I need to do something else to help the team win . . . thats how I look at it.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba