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NBA finals Lakers Celtics: Putting Ray Allen's dismal night in context

Jun 9, 2010, 10:25 AM EDT

Rallen_sad.jpg0-13 from the field, 0-8 from the three point line.

Whew. There’s really no way of getting around that. That’s a pretty terrible performance. It’s so bad, it deserves some cliches. Here are a few for you to use around the office today! “Ray Allen couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat!” “Ray Allen couldn’t hit a barn door with a twelve gauge!” “Ray Allen couldn’t make a bucket welding torch, fifty tons of sheet metal and a class A welding instructor!”

Okay, the last one’s not really a cliche, but if you use it they’ll never know. The point is, Allen’s 0-fer last night was the kind of shooting night that gives pure shooters like Allen nightmares. The rim just not cooperating. The Lakers’ defense also stepped up big times, interrupting passing lanes and forcing Allen further and further into the corner like he was that kid at the end of “The Blair Witch Project.”

But how bad was Allen’s night in comparison to the other NBA Finals players to knock down seven or more threes in a game? Not really all that terrible. Want to know how non-terrible it was?

There were three players to have hit seven threes in a Finals game going into Sunday night. Scottie Pippen with the Bulls against Utah in Game 3 of the ’97 series, Kenny Smith in Game 1 of the ’95 series, and Ray Allen in the deciding Game 6 of the 2008 series. Obviously Allen now leads the pack with 8 in Game 2 which was then followed by last night’s disaster. So I decided to take a look at how those shooters did in the games following those impressive performances. Obviously, Allen closed out the series with 7 3′s in 08, so he didn’t hit any threes in the next game as there was no game. But the other two?

Smith played just 19 minutes in Game 2, going 0-2 from the field and 0-1 from the arc on his way to 2 points. And Pippen? Though he went 7 for 16 from the field, he only went 1 for 4 from the arc in Game 4.

So in four players to hit 7 or more threes in a Finals game, they have a combined 1 three pointer after doing so… between them.

But wait! There’s more! Smith went on to shoot a combined 1 for 9 through the final three games of the Rockets’ sweep. Pippen went on to shoot 2 of 11 in the remainder of the Bulls’ six game win to close out the Jordan era.

So right now, factoring every game for a player after he hit seven or more three pointers from the field in a Finals game, those players are a combined 3 for 28 from the three point line.

3/33. .11% from three point range through seven games. Obviously, Allen’s closing performance in 08 puts a skew on things. But that’s still a stunning number. And while it’s simply a statistical anomaly in the grand scheme of things (don’t get us started on the hot hand debate), it’s something at the very least trivia worthy to track as the series goes on. It’s also worth mentioning that Allen’s 0-8 from downtown was by far the worst performance of any of those players. In the world of downtown, he was the hobo slinging his ’40 all over the sidewalk making people uncomfortable. But at least he’s got company to a certain degree, historically.

Oh, and one more thing. With all that terrible shooting in those subsequent games? The player who hit 7 or more in a game won all three series.

  1. Brandon - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    La will Win game 4 Lose Game 5 and Finish them off Game 6… UNDASTAN!!!

  2. Omnius - Jun 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Hey Ray Ray where’s the basket? Couldn’t find the basket like some old blind man. Hey Paul Pierce, the series is over and you’re going to need a crying towel afterwards. So funny that Garnett came alive while Pierce and Allen faded into obscurity. Fisher looked like Rondo last night and Rondo looked like the much maligned Fisher. Once again the Laker’s Big Men outplayed the Boston Little Big Men and grabbed the majority of rebounds. Phil Jackson made the right adjustments and outcoached young Doc. Kobe shot too much last night and the Lakers need to return to pounding the ball into the paint to overwhelm the Old Green Geezers. Lakers in 6 games, heck maybe 5!

  3. jblakers42 - Jun 9, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    as I’ve been saying and I’ll keep on saying it……..
    every major road game that the LAKERS have played this postseason when the officials have let both teams play for major stretches w/out calling all those bogus calls: GAME 6 against OKC, GAME 4 against UTAH (even though we won in a sweep, and GAME 6 against PHOENIX….the LAKERS have won every time…every time……..
    LAKERS know they have the better team, and we’ll play our best game of the series on thursday, everything is setting itself up for the team to play at it’s very best…..
    KOBE is my boy and he’s the best in the league, but I was teed off on that cat for shooting all those illadvised shots in that 3rd quarter than allowed BOSTON to creep back into the game, I was flabbergasted….I don’t think he fully trusted his teammates and it almost backfired…..I think he learned his lesson and will play his best game by far, his teammates are ready to come through for you…….
    2 more victories and we are BACK TO BACK champions…….GO LAKERS…

  4. Patrick - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Lakers will make Paul Pierce a blooming psychic. The Green team is NOT returning to LA. Lakers in 5. Game 4 by 15+ and game 5 a buzzer beater.

  5. Josh - Jun 9, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    “Oh, and one more thing. With all that terrible shooting in those subsequent games? The player who hit 7 or more in a game won all three series.”
    But Pippen had Jordan, Smith had The Dream, and Ray in ’08 had a still fairly prime KG and Pierce to fall back on. Don’t think its going to turn around for the C’s in this one. Lakers in 6.

  6. avomonster - Jun 9, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Paul “clairvoyant” Pierce. You nailed it dude, it’s fantastic, but you did. The Celtics are not going back to LA because the TD Garden Sweep is coming to your town this week. Lakers in 5!!!!!
    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Thanks “Clairvoyant” you are the man!

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