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Ray Allen Still (and Always) a Sight to Behold

The Knicks are done and that is fine. How good the Celtics are is still a mystery based on their first round body of work (at least for this fan). These four games solidified only one thing for me. Watching Ray Allen shoot a basketball is still one of the most beautiful things to behold in all of sports.

With Griffey’s sweet swing gone from baseball, I can’t thing of many things prettier. And you know what I mean when I say pretty. Smooth. Pure. Effortless. Fundamentally flawless. There are few athletes you can watch at their trade and extol that the manner in which they execute that one trademark talent or skill is damn near perfect, no matter how consistent and/or spectacular the results. Yet, that’s the way I feel when watching Allen shoot a jumper. Every time.

The perfect balance. Set feet. Elegant stroke. Never out of control. Form finish. After watching the Celtics burn the Knicks time and again, Allen was the one player who never seemed to bother me, even as he thrust the dagger.

The man is simply a pleasure to watch. So often the ball leaves his hand from beyond the arc and seems to barely touch twine on the way to the bottom of the bucket, so as not to disturb the net and thereby throw off the soulful symphony of the entire act. The best moments to sit back and enjoy are the ones that you see coming from miles away. Not the corner spot ups where Allen is left alone after a drive and a dish. No, those are the foregone conclusions. The real spectacles are the across the court, off two screens slow curls into it. Catch. Turn. Set. Rise. Release. All in one choreographed motion. Finished with a splash.

I will not be rooting for Boston against anyone in these playoffs. But I will never grow tired of watching Ray Allen shoot the rock. It’s what the phrase “poetry in motion” was designed to describe. And he’s still dropping j’s and saying “what.’

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