2003-04 Sonics Preview: Ray Allen
Noah Graham/ NBAE/Getty
“Having a chance to try to start fresh from the beginning is something I really look forward to.”
- Allen on the 2003-04 season

Position: Guard
Height: 6-5
Weight: 205

2002-03 Stats
76 37.9 22.5 5.0 4.4 .439 .916 .377

Starting shooting guard. Ray Allen should fulfill largely the same role he did last season in Seattle, playing around 40 minutes per game and sharing ballhandling responsibilities with the Sonics point guards. Allen is the team’s go-to scorer and the ball will be in his hands down the stretch during close games.

A change of scenery might have been the best thing for Allen midway through last season. His relationship with Bucks coach George Karl had grown tense, and Allen was no longer having fun in Milwaukee despite the fact that the Bucks were in the playoff race. His change in attitude in Seattle was as evident as the smile that frequently crept across his face. Allen was afforded more freedom by Nate McMillan, regularly bringing the ball upcourt and controlling the Seattle offense in the fourth quarter as the Sonics won a number of close games.

After an off-season spent working out and playing for Team USA in the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Allen is ready to go for the 2003-04 season. He seeks to answer an important question – can he and the Sonics maintain their performance during his two months with the team over a full season? The answer is probably yes. While Allen stepped up his performance and was a more aggressive part of the Sonics offense than he had been in Milwaukee, more playing time in Seattle also helped explain the increases in his per-game averages. Playing only 36 minutes per game with the Bucks hid some of Allen’s excellence.