Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| May 9, 2005
SAN ANTONIO - Within the span of less than a minute of game time during Sunday's Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals series with the San Antonio Spurs, the Seattle SuperSonics outlook changed considerably.
At the 8:26 mark, Vladimir Radmanovic went down clutching at his right ankle and had to be carried off the court. 27 seconds later, Ray Allen hobbled off the floor, his right ankle sprained as well. While the Sonics already trailed by 16 points at the time, the injuries stand to have more long-reaching consequences than one loss.
Before Monday's practice, Sonics Coach Nate McMillan confirmed what was obvious from Radmanovic's reaction Sunday night: His series is likely over.
"He won't be back this series," said McMillan.
"When I came back in there, both of us had our legs propped up and we're getting ice. The training room was a real infirmary last night."|
"I was more worried for him than anything, because I was sitting next to him in the training room and he was squirming on the table," said Allen.
While the Sonics were suffering a 20-point loss on the court, Allen painted an equally dim picture of the training room.
"When I came into the locker room, he was getting wheeled in a wheelchair from the X-ray room and I'm back out on the wheelchair going to the X-ray room myself," Allen recalled. "When I came back in there, both of us had our legs propped up and we're getting ice. (Athletic trainer) Mike Shimensky is on crutches too, so the training room was a real infirmary last night."
Allen told reporters he doesn't remember what happened on the play where he suffered the injury.
"I went to the lane, and pretty much after that I don't remember anything," said Allen. "I know Bruce (Bowen) was riding me the whole time. I was shocked I didn't get the call. I don't know whose foot it was, I don't know anything except I came down wrong."
Allen was able to walk to the locker room and was hoping to return to the game after getting the ankle taped. He started to join his Sonics teammates when they took the floor for the second half, but the pain was too great and forced him to the locker room.
Now, Allen's status for tomorrow's Game 2 is uncertain.
"I don't know," said Allen, asked whether he will play. "I don't know how I'm going to feel tomorrow. I'll go accordingly.
"I don't ever question my body. That's why we train the way we train - so that when things do happen, our body can respond and take care of it. I won't rule myself out, but I'll definitely give it a chance to heal properly."
Allen categorized the swelling in his ankle as "very minor," a good sign. But he remains a game-time decision, and much will depend on how his ankle responds to ice and stem treatment.
It's not a scenario the Sonics want to think about, but they did have to consider the possibility of playing without Allen in Game 2.
"They've won without me before. I think it may make them more dangerous."|
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty
"Our attack won't be much different if he's not (in the lineup)," said McMillan. "We'll be going with the same schemes and strategy as far as how we want to attack - trying to get the ball to (Rashard) Lewis
and playing against their double-teams as if Ray was in the lineup.
Allen emphasized the ability of his replacements in the lineup, guard Ronald "Flip" Murray and rookie forward Damien Wilkins.
"They've won without me before," said Allen. "I think their mindset, they have to go in and know what they're capable of doing. Flip is capable of playing and Damien is capable of stepping up and playing. I think it may make them more dangerous, because it causes that other team to let up a little bit, thinking these guys can't play and they can."
Allen shared with reporters what he knows his mother's reaction will be to his injury: Suggesting he use clay dirt to heal the swelling.
"She tells me that every time - every time I'm sore, anything happens, I got elbowed. 'Put some claydirt on it,'" said Allen.
"I'm like, 'Mom, we have highly-trained people that have gone to school for many years to understand the human body. I don't put clay dirt on my body.'"