Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 3:42 pm  |  49 responses

Top 50: Ray Allen, no. 48

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Johnny Nguyen

On February 10, 2011, Ray Allen shattered the all-time three-point record with 2,561 and counting

“What does the greatest shooter aim at when he is shooting the basketball?” was a question asked to Allen, to which he answered, “When you start aiming, that’s when you start missing.”

He further described his physical shooting form. “The zone is all about the position that your body is in. You know, if you got great legs, if you got great timing on your release, if you shoot the ball in the air, it’s going to find the net.” Ray Allen has found the net enough times to undoubtedly cement himself as one of the best shooters of all time. As Allen reaches an age where most players begin to become less effective, many have questioned if he still can be considered a legitimate threat.

Normally this wouldn’t be an argument to a player who just recently surpassed Reggie Miller for the most three-pointers made in NBA history, but the way the Celtics‘ season ended left many jumping to conclusions. The Boston Celtics made it as far as the Eastern Conference Semis; however, the Miami Heat won the series in an effortless fashion. No one was under as much scrutiny as Allen, who seemed to deviate from his previous clutch Playoff performances.

With Allen’s poor shooting, the Big three’s declining longevity, and the franchise’s subtle recognition of a longer investment with Rajon Rondo, it is reasonable to ask if Ray Allen is still a legitimate threat? The only way to really answer this question is to look at Allen’s statistical resume with a concentration on his last four years as a Boston Celtic.

First, Ray Allen has only shown improvement in his older age not through direct effectiveness but through consistent refinement. His effectiveness as an overall player, being able to average a career high 26.4 ppg as a Seattle SuperSonic, may have taken a dip since his submission into the Celtic’s Big Three, but the refinement in his game has experienced consistent growth and results. In the last four years, Allen has earned an NBA Championship ring and made two NBA Final appearances. On three-point accounts alone, there is not a title he doesn’t hold; this includes most three-pointers made in an NBA Finals half, in an NBA Finals single game, in an NBA Finals entire series.

When we look at this milestone in Ray Allen’s career; the most important part to focus on is not that he broke the all-time three-point record but that he’s still going. In Ray Allen’s case, that can only equate to further refinement. Ray Allen personally responded to his hindering performance, “At my age, a lot of people say you are slowing down and certain things won’t work. I still think I have a lot of basketball in me, I want to continue to play and be effective out there on the floor.”

Expect for his body to be more precise in its positioning, his legs to be stronger through a more mindful conservation of energy, and the timing of his release to be damn near perfect; lastly, don’t expect him to aim anytime soon.

SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2011
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Luol Deng Bulls SF 8
49 Andrew Bogut Bucks C 7
48 Ray Allen Celtics SG 9

• Rankings are based solely on projected ’11-12 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Maurice Bobb, Shannon Booher, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Jon Jaques, Eldon Khorshidi, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Quinn Peterson, Dave Schnur, Abe Schwadron, Dan Shapiro, Irv Soonachan, Todd Spehr, Tzvi Twersky, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Ben York.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Man, I know he’s getting old in basketball time but…still seems too early to see his name.

  • Allenp

    Sorry but not better than Bogut.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Bogut > Ray…

  • arjae

    I’ll have to see how the rankings continue but 48 seems a tad bit low considering his numbers last season, regular season numbers anyway. His (somewhat) ineffective showing against Miami can be attributed to Rondo being hurt. Ray Alley doesn’t create for himself much these days. It should be expected for his offensive numbers to take a hit if there’s no one to get him the ball when & where he likes it. I’d have to consider him the third best shooting guard last year behind wade and Kobe. Ellis has great numbers but he’s no where near as efficient as Walter Ray. I’d say Allen is at least top 20. Just my opinion.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Ray Allen deserves to be better than 48. Yes he is better than bogut.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    “A Ray of Hope” I have a Sonics poster with him on it that says that lol. Love this cat. Real class act. He didn’t even try to sleep with my female friend when he invited her to come over and check out the crib. Now thats classy. Totally figured that ish was going down.. I think he has another 3 years of effective basketball.

  • arjae

    Projecting strictly based on last seasons numbers, there’s no way Bogut should be ahead of Ray Allen. Bogut never really recovered from his injury but still…He was hardly as effective as he’s been in the past.

  • Sean B

    Who the hell writes these articles???

    The Miami Heat didn’t play the Boston Celtics in the ECF, they met in round 2. And it was not a sweep, the Heat won in 5 games. C’mon Slam… y’all supposed to be the #1 source for hoop knowledge and y’all got these authors spouting off all these inaccuracies.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’ll take a good young center over a declining 2 gaurd any day…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    “Allen is at least top 20″ What? This is a good spot for Ray being the 4th best celtic.
    I’ll continue to say this; I better not see Booooooooozer above any of these guys (Bogut, Ray, Deng).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    cosign JT…If Boozer is on here I’m gonna be very upset.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    If Boozer plays more than say, 70 games next season (if we have a season…or 82 games), averages about 20 and 12, and plays SOME kind of defense, then he deserves to be top 50.
    THAT being said… co-sign JTaylor. lol

  • chingy

    Really? There are 47 better players in the L than Ray ray?

  • ctkennedy

    Considerin BOTH sides of the court RayAllen shouldnt be higher than Bogut or Deng PERIOD

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Cosign AllenP. Change it too the definitive ranking of the 50 Best players with an extreme offensive bias and you guys are right on the money so far.

  • Justin

    SLAM should reverse the values on the graph. Having a larger bar gives me the false impression that the larger number is a good thing.

  • Double J

    considering the article clearly says EC SEMIS, i will disregard sean b.’s post… i’ll give him the 5 games tho

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Justin’s right.
    When Wade, Kobe and Bron come up, they’re gonna have some small bars, which should mean a bad thing, not good.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    I think boozer is a top fifty player, hell is wrong with yall, he suffered injuries last season, that dont mean he still aint good.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Slick Ric, It’s not that he isn’t good, it’s that he sucks…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If he made half of his $14M a year he wouldn’t be so heavily disliked. It’s his fault though, he put himself in this position on more then (1) occasion. But he is good, prolly top 50 (assuming this is an offensive heavy list like always, if David West is annually apart of it, don’t see how Boozer woouldn’t be) during the regular season. Obviously the playoffs play a much bigger role in people’s perception of a player though.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    boozer’s gonna be on this list.
    why? cuz of….well its because…um. just because.
    its the same reason we all thought he was gonna have a huge impact in the post for the bulls.
    which is because um…well its uh….

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Not just his playoff performances, but also his inability to stay healthy should play a part in why he shouldn’t be top 50.
    Stats-wise, he’s top 50.
    But take into account how many games he misses, how he fails to show up for the most important games, and how he’s the weak link in one of the, if not the best defensive team in the NBA, and all that adds up to not being top 50 worthy, in my opinion.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, exactly! I’m still amazed that the bulls were a top-2 defensive team with someone like Carlos “Broken Dam” Boooooozer playing 30+ mins each night. Much of the praise has to go to Thibs, Noah and Gibson for holding down the fort.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Oh yeah, also Kurt Thomas and Omer Asik deserve a lot of praise for picking up the slack too.
    Gibson and Noah would double-team relentlessly, block shots, crash the boards, all that good stuff.
    Boozer would let a dude go right by him and yell “HEYYYYYYY!!” and that was his style of defense.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I mean…come on.
    Mike Kryzekzizkkrykzewski.
    Paul Silas.
    Jerry Sloan.
    Tom Thibodeau.
    And not ONE of them could get through to Boozer on his lack of defense???

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    They call him concrete shoes for a reason. I’m sure he wants to move his feet but they are rooted deep.

  • Shifty

    We should really chat about boozer when/if he makes the Top 50 but I beleive in the mean time it should really be about Ray Allen, the dude is 36 and still putting up numbers that 25 year olds cant put up, i know he gets more playing time then what people his age normally get in the L but still, he’s as efficient as a mother f%@ker from hell as he averaged his best career percentages in the reg season and post season. I believe he should be a lil higher up but i can dig 48

  • Blasphemy

    When Ray Allen has his feet squared and set for a catch and shoot the opponents home crowds already starts to moan in disapproval, because just like fate, gravity and death, its going to go in. He has the best jump-shot ever amongst mortals and owning the all-time 3 point record proofs it. But this seems like a appropriate spot for him.

  • TheCarsonist

    Kobe and Donyell Marshall actually have a three point record that he doesn’t.

  • Heals

    Uuugghhhh, Ray Ray still cracking the list. The guy is a basketball specimen with a legacy etched in stone…

  • bashmo

    People are idiotic sometimes, it is a shame the man is not higher. A fundamental 2 guard in every aspect and is an excellent player on BOTH sides of the court. If you watch Ray Allen carefully then you would realize he is actually a very smart and disciplined defender as well as a threat with or without the ball in his hands.

  • ScottyBoi

    Boozer will definitely be on here.
    “Rankings are based solely on projected ’11-12 performance”

  • rinehart

    My top 50
    1. Kevin Durant
    2. Dirk Nowitzki
    3. Lebron James
    4. Derrick Rose
    5. Carmelo Anthony
    6. Dwyane Wade
    7. Kobe Bryant
    8. Dwight Howard
    9. Blake Griffin
    10. Chris Paul
    11. Amar’e Stoudemire
    12. Deron Williams
    13. Monta Ellis
    14. Joe Johnson
    15. LaMarcus Aldridge
    16. Kevin Love
    17. James Harden
    18. Zach Randolph
    19. Paul Pierce
    20. Tyreke Evans
    21. Danny Granger
    22. Rajon Rondo,
    23. Andre Iguodala
    24. Rudy Gay
    25. Tim Duncan
    26. Russell Westbrook
    27. John Wall
    28. Al Horford
    29. Josh Smith,
    30. Ray Allen
    31. Pau Gasol
    32. Ty Lawson
    33. Jason Kidd
    34. Andrew Bynum
    35. Joakim Noah
    36. Chauncey Billups
    37. J.R. Smith
    38. Eric Gordon
    39. Brook Lopez
    40. Andrew Bogut
    41. Steph Curry
    42. Baron Davis
    43. Brandon Roy
    44. Jamal Crawford
    45. Chris Bosh
    46. Gerald Wallace,
    47. Marc Gasol
    48. Steve Nash
    49. Caron Butler
    50. Stephen Jackson

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    We all know that his stats weren’t great last year right? 17, 3, 3 is not overwhelming. Deng and Bogut both posted much better stats. It’s only because of his intangible benefits to a team (great teammate, good leader, understands the game, can hit big shots) that he’s ranked this high. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him off this list.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    What are yall goofies talking about, fist of all, this is for the season. secondly he performed well last season when he wasnt hurt, I think he averaged 18ppg, 10reb, over 50% from field. the playoffs a whole different story but in the season he was pretty good and deserving of being on the top 50 list.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Slick Ric – are you referring to Boozer?
    He averaged 17.5 and 9.6.
    In 59 games.
    Also no defense.
    In 59 games!!
    He had all of 18 blocks last season.
    IN 59 GAMES!!!
    Once again, if he’s not playing enough games last season, than his health is an issue.
    And it probably will be again next season.
    Thus, he doesn’t deserve top 50 status.
    Again, my opinion though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    And mine
    Also Rinehart cmon dude Melo at 5? Better than DWade, Dwight and CP3?

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    true professional

    proposed nickname: golgo 13

  • EJ

    I hope Slam’s list is gonna be better than rinehart’s.

  • http://www.nba.com/boston lights out

    my boy ray, still cracking the list at 36. i think you could make the argument for his being higher. no, his stats are not overwhelming, but he was INCREDIBLY efficient: 48% from the field, 44% from 3, and 88% from FT. and what’s everyone talking about when they say he had an off series against Miami? he put up 16.5 while shooting 47 from the field, 50 from 3, and 93 from FT. sure, he couldn’t contain Wade, but who can? and for those of you who say that Ray’s purely an offensive talent, go watch the 08 Finals. His D on Kobe is a BIG reason why they dominated that series.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I stopped paying attention to rinehart’s list after I saw LeBron was lower than #1…

  • Sean B

    “considering the article clearly says EC SEMIS, i will disregard sean b.’s post… i’ll give him the 5 games tho ”

    You’re an idiot Double J. They just edited that… when I originally read it it stated ECF. Shut the hell up… don’t come at me when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/deeply-embarrassed-white-people-talk-awkwardly-about-race/Content?oid=9747101 Allenp

    I gotta give JTaylor his props.
    “Broken Dam” is the perfect nickname of Boozer. That is exactly how he plays defense. He looks like he’s going to do something, then BOOM, the flood of scoring begins.

  • http://www.slamoline.com Slick Ric

    Yeah, I rounded and how many guys on this list dont play good defense, um ray allen is one of them, his team defense is OK. in 59 games he still put up good stats while battling injuries, so I think he desrves to be on this list. bringing up injuries is stupid, because CP3 is injury prone, so is joakim noah and andrew bynum and many other guys, and they will be on this and a guy like noah is not a threat on offense so boozer shouldnt be on here cause he dont play defense?

  • ctkennedy

    Boozer D is no worse than Kevin Love n Love gon be top30 easily
    Boozer is one of the best 10-15 scoring BIG MEN in the league …that means alot
    he gets more boards than Aldridge n Amare they both gon be higher than him
    if your team is top5 n 10 in overall D n u a Big than u matter on D period
    All D starts in the paint

  • rinehart

    @Wayno: my rankings are debatable but kd will absolutely 100% be the best player in the league next year. You could argue he was even #1 this year despite not wining mvp

  • #6marjons

    to be fair in support of rinehart, Lebron WILL be the best player on the planet in the year 2011-2012 BUT in the league Durant should surpass him in terms of stats and what he means to the team. still SLAM will have LBJ as top spot for now and rightly so.

  • Povilas

    Sorry guys, but when you lead NBA in 3pt% and 3pt made, he’s also leads in 2pt% , 3rd in Game Winning Shots made, All-star 7 times in 2001 almost MVP, but many annalist and critics said that he should had it,career most- 54 pt/game , 10 3pt shot in finals(record). So my point is when he is the purest shooter, has so many achievements and records, how can you even think about BOOOOOzer, and lost of others?