NBA / Aug 14, 2009 / 10:00 am

Who’s Better: Ray Allen or Michael Redd?

Ray Allen

Ray Allen

We argue. You decide.

RAY ALLEN (by Ben York)
“I want to take Ray Allen’s jump shot out for dinner to the best restaurant every night. I want to marry it and raise a family with it. It’s so f’ing pretty. It’s a g**damn thing of beauty.”

Couldn’t say it any better than that.

To be fair, as we all know, there are dozens of other assets to being a great NBA player besides a pretty jump shot. But, holy hell is that thing pretty; and it’s been consistently gorgeous for 14 years in the league.

Though we aren’t talking about who has the better career (since that isn’t even debatable, although Redd could make a strong case over the next 5 years), we’re analyzing these players now.

Michael Redd is a sick player and I have absolutely nothing against him in this match-up. I just think Ray is still the better overall player right now (though I may be singing a different tune come mid-season).

It’s awe-inspiring to look at how similar their stats have been over their careers; Allen has an extremely slight edge on the majority of statistical categories (points, rebounds, FT%, 3PT%, steals) and over a longer period of time (5 years). However, the reasons I’d still choose Allen over Redd aren’t solely based by quantifiable stats.

1. Clutch: No surprise here — there are few people I’d want taking a last-second shot than Ray Allen. His playoff performances last season demonstrated that he’s just as deadly as he once was, in spite of a much different role than he’s been accustomed to.

2. Defense: He did a fantastic job “containing” Kobe in the 2008 NBA Finals, helping the Celtics jump out to an early series lead, and his ‘D’ hasn’t changed much since then. I feel much more comfortable with Allen’s defense and putting him on the opposing team’s top scorer, than I do with Redd.

3. Multiple ways of changing a game: He can still take over a game on the offensive end of the floor as the go-to guy, but he can also come in and play a lesser role that forces the defense to constantly be on the look-out, even if he’s having a terrible shooting night. This isn’t to say that Redd doesn’t do the same thing, but Allen is the guy I’d rather have in a plethora of game situations.

If I’m honest, you really can’t go wrong with either guy. I’d give the slight edge to Allen for being a better ball-handler, creating more options for his teammates, and having a better cumulative awareness for the game.

Michael Redd

Michael Redd

MICHAEL REDD (by Austin Burton)
Quiz the most ill-prepared NBA coach or the most novice defender, and he at least knows this much: If you leave Ray Allen or Michael Redd open on the perimeter, they’ll leave you looking like Johnny Depp in the last 25 minutes of Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

What separates one sniper from the other, though, is that long-range bombs are the only consistently effective weapons left in Ray’s arsenal, while Redd still roams every part of the court to inflict damage.

At 34, Ray is almost exclusively a shooter. Forty-six percent of his field goal attempts last season were threes, putting him on par with Mike Bibby (42%), Kyle Korver (47%), Quentin Richardson (49%) and other guys who stopped attacking the rim around the same time they stopped wearing t-shirts under their jersey. Meanwhile, only 34 percent of Redd’s shots last season were threes. And in his previous full season (injuries limited Redd to 33 games last year), just 28 percent of his attempts were threes. And still, Redd is a consistent 20-ppg scorer, while Ray has settled into the 17/18-ppg phase of his Hall of Fame career.

Redd is now what Ray used to be – a complete scorer who specializes in shooting the deep ball. Take away the three, and he can still generate buckets and dominate a game. Although listed at 6-6, 215 pounds, Redd appears heavier (i.e. stronger), helping him get inside and absorb contact. And while he doesn’t quite match Ray at the free throw line, his 84 percent career FT clip ain’t exactly Shaq-like. When Redd dropped 30 on Chicago on last season’s Opening Night, here’s how I described it in Smack:

“If we had to use one word to describe Michael Redd last night, it would be sharp. On one of Milwaukee’s first possessions, Redd went back-to-the-basket on Thabo Sefolosha and broke out a string of fakes and jabs that gave Thabo the runs before sticking a turnaround J in his face (or where Thabo’s face would be if he hadn’t gotten shook out of his socks). Whether it was handling the ball, cutting to the basket, unleashing that beautiful jumper or running around screens, Redd looked sharp in everything he did. After a mix of mid-range J’s and trips to the free throw line in the first half, Redd came out for the second half and immediately wetted three straight triples.”

Whether Redd can maintain that versatility that currently gives him the edge over Ray is the question. If the knee injury that grounded him in ’09 persists, Redd’s game could more closely resemble Ray and his suspect ankles. If he’s at full strength, though, Redd will further widen the gap over the next couple years while he’s still in his prime. (His hairline might say otherwise, but Redd turns just 30 next week.)

In the final minute of a game, sure, I’ll take Ray. For the first 47, though, I’ll take Redd.

Who do you think is better?

Follow Ben York on Twitter: @bjyork
Follow Austin Burton on Twitter: @AustinatDIMEmag
Follow DIME on Twitter: @DIMEMag

“Who’s better?” archives
8/12 — Steve Nash vs. Jason Kidd
3/3 — David West vs. LaMarcus Aldridge
2/26 — Kevin Durant vs. Danny Granger
2/19 — Paul Millsap vs. David Lee
2/17 — Caron Butler vs. Tayshaun Prince
12/24 — Marcus Camby vs. Andrew Bynum
12/19 — Deron Williams vs. Chauncey Billups
12/17 — Manu Ginobili vs. Tracy McGrady
12/12 — Amare Stoudemire vs. Al Jefferson
12/10 — Dirk Nowitzki vs. Chris Bosh
12/9 — Derrick Rose vs. O.J. Mayo
12/8 — Rasheed Wallace vs. Elton Brand
12/5 — Kevin Martin vs. Vince Carter
12/4 — Brandon Roy vs. Joe Johnson
12/3 — Dwight Howard vs. Yao Ming
12/2 — Paul Pierce vs. Carmelo Anthony

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  • JCarr

    Jesus Shuttlesword!! No question. As matter fact am gonna watch He Got Game right now.

  • marcus the great

    are you serious? is that really a question?

  • marcus the great

    the answer is no, its not a question. redd is nice, but he’s a poor man’s ray allen

  • prym3tym3

    Ray Allen all the way if not the greatest shooter in NBA history he’s definitely top 5. He Got Game

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    think about it… if it was redd with the sonics instead of allen a couple years back, how would that have turned out?

    without question the answer is Jesus

  • MBE18

    This isn’t even a question. Sugar Ray

    I got one, Isiah Thomas or Allen Iverson?
    I know they played in different era’s but seven of my co-workers and I were talking about it and we were split.

  • Charles

    I’m insulted for Jesus Shuttlesworth myself. I don’t think they are even close. Jesus has been to the playoffs with three separate teams. Further to that after that 50 point explosion last playoffs I think that had to be the nail in the coffin. Hova! Let me know when Redd does something that matters, anyone can score on a bad team. My mom could put up 20 on the Bucks.

  • karizmatic

    #3, My sentiments exactly

  • jzsmoove

    I would take Allen in the last 1 minute of any game than Redd for the first 47 minutes of any game any day. I am giving Austin a pass on this one cuz there really isnt much defense for his Redd argument. Its like selling caller ID to a blind man.

  • karizmatic

    #5 I always said if Allen Iverson had dedicated himself fully to being a ppoint guard he could have been better than AI, but he never did that. As such Isiah will always be the better all around player. In terms of scoring ability. AI, but not by much, but if you’re talking about all around game and basketball IQ Isiah is the better player.

  • karizmatic

    Sorry Iverson could have been better than Isiah.

  • the_don_mega

    Jesus Saves…

  • Scott

    @MBE18 … you and your co-workers should be embarrassed if you were arguing that Iverson is better than Zeke.

    No doubt he is a shitty GM but Zeke is in “the best point guard of all time” debate while Iverson is in “the most selfish point guard of all time” debate. They are in completely different categories.

  • bobby stew

    I saw Ray Allen play in a preseason game once and even his misses were beautiful. I think Allen is slightly better than Redd. Allen can/could create alot better for himself and his teammates. As for Isiah and Iverson it depends on what your team needs. Zeke was definetly the better point guard though.

  • Me

    i’d say the iverson-isiah debate should be next. this one isn’t an argument.

    @18 in terms of a 1 to 1 comparison i’d say it’s closer than you think. I’d take zeke as a teammate tho but I like watching AI more as a fan. Overall skillwise, I dunno……..

  • Me

    i meant @13.

  • http://dimemag.com kiko

    why are we even comparing these two?michael redd aint done shit!ray ray has the sweetest J ever!!and he’s got a ring now..

  • Kobeef

    Jesus (Shuttlesworth) is the answer.
    Praise Jesus (Shuttlesworth).

  • Me

    i meant @12 (scott). these post numbers are changing every tme i refresh.

  • Sanssasin

    no question ray allen.

    michael redd dribbles the ball like it’s a 10-ton brick! whenever he puts the ball on the floor it’s a turnover.

    horrible question DIME

  • Sanssasin

    as far as isiah and ai…. i would go with isiah.

    @12, you should be ashamed of yourself for putting isiah in the greatest point guard conversation. he’s a top 10 but not even close to #1. get real!

  • http://dimemag.com kiko

    RAY: forgive DIME for even thinking of posting this for they do not know what they are doing…

  • MSkittle

    Redd is.. Why does everyone overlook how Ray Allen disaappeared on the Celtics in the playoffs for long stretches the past 2 years?

  • Clay

    WTF?
    dumb question

  • MBE18

    @12 Scott…Why should I be embarrassed if you don’t even know who I sided with? Isiah is a great point guard, but I have never heard anyone make an argument that he is “the best point guard of all time.”

    @19 Sanssasin…I agree with you, a top 10 point guard.

  • Ian

    easy one allen wins easy.

    mbe18
    i hope u are on the side that picked thomas because that isnt even a debate hes a top 5 pg alltime.
    iverson is just selfish and overrated.

  • high release

    I’m from Milwaukee, and I take Ray to win, Redd to score. Truth is, Redd’s shooting is a myth. He’s much better going to the bucket than people think, but a worse shooter. That lefty Sam Perkins thing isn’t all that! And Redd is horrible at the line with seconds left. Horrible. And he’s a shot hog. Nice guy, though.

    We won a bit when Ray was around, so I’m going with him. His shot is better aesthetically, and he’s quicker still. I remember him telling Redd that he needed to work on his “old man body”, hehe.

  • King

    The real question is Can Michael redd be mentioned in the same breath as ray Allen ?

    Can’t be serious here can you

  • Scott

    @Sanssasin … really??? Zeke in the 80’s was nasty. Besides Oscar and Magic who else is better than Zeke?

    I don’t think he is the best PG of all time (I’d go Magic, Oscar then Zeke) but whenever you discuss best PG of all time you have to consider him … same can’t be said about AI

    @Me … the argument over who is the better player should never turn on “I like watching him more” … it’s all about championships and what that player does to help his team win them

  • Scott

    @MBE18 … re-read my post. I said you should be emabarrassed if you were arguing AI was better.

  • Ringo

    Isiah played with Mark Aguirre,Joe Dumars,Vinnie Johnson, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and John Salley in his prime.

    Iverson played with Raja Bell,Matt Geiger, George Lynch, Aaron McKie, Dikembe Mutombo and Eric Snow in his prime.

    You can’t even compare those teams in terms of talent.

    I know it was a different era, but everyone should take that into consideration as to why Iverson comes off as selfish. He had no choice but to dominate the ball.
    Looking at that Sixers roster is what makes it even more amazing that Iverson took them to the finals.

  • MBE18

    Scott, I was on the Isiah side.

  • jay

    Ray Allen by far. He was a ridiculous athlete in his prime………..

  • Big North

    I will not stand here and have Michael Redds J called beautiful!!!!

  • q

    Why everyone claim Ray shot is super-pretty, it’s nice, of course, but it’s also tend to be a little jerky sometimes which causes a lot of in and outs and bad shooting nights…

  • srb

    Ray easily. He’s still effective driving (I guess because he shoots so many threes now) and even though he’s not a great defender he makes good defensive plays because he’s smart.

    Redd is just there on D. Not a liability but he’s not locking anyone down.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Ray is still the same player he was 5 years ago but plays a different role on the celts than he did on the bucks or sonics. He only scores 18 or 19 a game because he shares with two other allstars.

  • sh!tfaced

    Ray-Ray. Hands Down.

    This is probably the MOST LOPSIDED “Who’s Better?” comparison so far…

  • Sanssasin

    @ Scott
    What about John Stockton? Compare Stockton’s numbers to anyone and you will be impressed.

    I think the Greatest PG debate is between Oscar, Magic, and Stockton and that’s it.

    Seems like everyone remembers Isiah’s limping around with his sprained ankle in the Finals (which was very inspiring), but seem to forget his assist/turnover ratio was not good, played selfishly, was not a good 3-point shooter, and was a so-so defender.

    Now saying all that, I would still place him easily in Top 10 probably even Top 5, but NOT #1! That’s just ludicrous to me.

  • K Dizzle

    This comparison is so bad, there’s been one vote for Redd (post 20) which actually is a point for Ray cuz the Celtics really don’t scare anybody if Ray ain’t on. The last couple playoffs, when Ray is off, the team struggles, when he’s on…championship. Much like the Kidd vs Nash debate, I’ll take Nash or Ray in the final minutes all day…..every day.

    Mike Redd really had no chance in this. Maybe Ray vs Reggie woulda been more even

  • ponky_alolor

    ray allen all day. when he misses, it still looks good.

  • the_don_mega (representin’ the 3 stars and a sun)

    agree with K Dizzle… it should’ve been ray vs reggie…

  • sh!tfaced

    Ray vs Reggie would have been great.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Everyone kinda acting like Redd is just booboo. I think Ray is the better but it ain’t like it’s by this wide margin many are making it seem.

    Ray has proven himself over the course of time and is still an oh so very slight margin ahead of Redd now to me.

    Still, please make no mistake…Redd will shoot your face off!

    Oh and it’s current players vs. current players for this one. So anyone bringing up what would be better as far as a past player vs. a present player.. well perhaps DIME might do that next, but this ain’t that. Sooooo…

  • Scott

    @Sanssasin … the only reason I’d put Zeke ahead of Stockton is because Stockton never won a chip. Stockton would defintely be my number 4 though.

    And I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about Isiah’s D … he was a dirty defender

  • http://n/a Heaven is a Playground

    Do we even have to go here? Ray Allen all day.

  • sh!tfaced

    LOL. Like Stockton wasn’t a dirty defender?

    Redd would have been up there with Ray if he hadn’t been so injury prone. Ray never had a major injury, he took good care of himself to stay in top condition throughout his career. Not saying Redd didn’t, but in terms of having the breaks, Ray also had the edge.

  • control

    Redd vs Kapono might have been a little bit more fair…

    Allen might be one of the most fundamentally sound shooters ever, watch the guy shoot, EVERY shot looks exactly the same, and his motions are EXACTLY the same everytime. Don’t get better than that.

    Redd is aight, good when he’s hot. Nothing really exceptional about his game, he’s just a really good player in general.

  • Irishballer

    ray. not even close

  • Kevin

    We’re talking about who’s better RIGHT NOW, so I agree with Gee that it’s closer than you people are making it seem. If Ray was the No. 1 player on a team right now, they’d be a Lottery team. Redd is a more versatile scorer like AB said; If Ray’s shot is off, he’s not hurting you at all.

  • Mack Brownee

    I like the argument for Redd but everyone knows shuttlesworth takes this one. Anybody that watched ray ray play in the playoffs knows he still gots it. Redd is a very good player but gotta take allen even at this point in their careers

  • davon m

    wow!!!!!!! askin this question is like askin who is better “KOBE or Michael FINLEY” !!!!!!!!! JESUS SHUTTLEWORTH NO DOUBTTT

  • the cynic

    Redd is weak sauce, and no its not even close. Jesus could be 40 and Redd could be in his prime and Jesus would still be a better player.

  • MJAX

    Sugar Ray All Day….They just showed this special on Michael Redd and his pathway to the L, how he got to the Bucks when they had Ray, Sam an Big Dog. He flat out says if it wasn’t for Ray showing him the ropes and how to do things he wouldn’t be the player he is today. When Ray left for the Sonics the door opened for him.

  • Octopus Jonny

    Mike Redd’s downfall starts the second he puts the ball to the floor. He looks down at the ball, not for open team mates. That’s it right there. Neither guy is a lockdown defender (Ray has the edge on “team” defense though, he plays the role in Boston perfectly.) Redd’s jumper is ugly as fuck, don’t try to tell anyone otherwise. That’s why he’s in the mid 30’s from deep.

  • Chise

    Michael Redd sucks.

  • ctkennedy

    why do everybody act like ray is a winner he is a sidekick just like redd the problem is redd havent been a sidekick to nobody ray with the bucks was the most talented player on the team but not the best(cassell was the closer and leader glenn rob was 20 a night he was melo in the triple threat before melo)he got to the sonics they lost every year but the year rashard lewis became a mismatch problem for the league we all know he number 3 for boston

  • mr22

    imma have to agree with poppi and kennedy. ray’s probably got a slight edge over redd but not by far. i’m from milwaukee and i’m one of the few who likes redd’s game. he’s been hobbled by some injuries the last few years and face it, the team has pretty much sucked so he was kinda forced to take some bad shots and try to live up to his contract. not his fault for takin the money. like ray, he’s more suited to be a nice 2nd scoring option, or in ray’s case 3rd. if cleveland would have landed redd a couple years ago, guarantee lebron would have at least 1 ring.

  • J.Hicks

    I’d also give Ray a slight edge, but how are people saying Redd sucks? You’re acting like he wasn’t just on Team USA in 2008; of all the “shooters” in the League, Redd was the one who got picked to represent the U.S. And for the “anybody can score points on a bad team” crowd, if that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone do it? You can’t score 20 a game in the NBA and be a garbage player.

  • dial up

    mr22- stop with saying if lebron had redd they would have a ring. If lebron had redd, they still woulda lost. I mean, who would hit the clutch shots on the team???? neither are very good.

  • Ian

    31
    i dont know people here like to throw in teammates when its the player they like. some people that like kobe and hate bron say u cant compare because he hasnt won but on the other side the bron lovers go look at the team. im on look at the team side 99%of the time. you dont have to win if you have a bad team decent playoff runs are enough but iverson only had ONE decent run. isiah is the better player easy on this one.

    hicks
    yeah you can be a avg at best bench player traded to a bad team and get 20 hey whos gonna take the shots?

  • Ian

    whos better reggie vs allen?
    ask spike lee that one.

  • J.Hicks

    @Ian — But who’s ever done that? Which average bench guy scored 20 PER GAME on a bad team? And what average bench guy (Laettner don’t count) made the USA team?

  • J.Hicks

    BTW, Redd averaged 21 points on the Bucks 2004 playoff team, and averaged 25 points on the 2006 playoff team.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/reddmi01.html

  • dial up

    J hicks- nice stats. Can you include how many wins vs losses the bucks had when he averaged those points? My point exactly

  • dial up

    How about a lebron vs allen iverson one. Both put up stats on bad playoff teams. And both have only had one deep playoff run. Iverson won a game in the finals. So who’s better??? I’mma go with A.i>

  • J.Hicks

    @dial up — What’s your point? Redd has averaged 20-plus for two teams that were good enough to make the playoffs, so my point is that you can’t just write him off as a “good stats on a bad team” player. If he’d only put up 20 a game on Lottery teams, I’d see what you’re talking about, but that’s not the case. I’m not saying Redd is Kobe Jr. or anything, just that it’s straight erroneous to say Redd sucks as a player. He’s one of the best SG’s in the League.

  • dapro

    Although Ray has been slowed down the last few years with age and his ankles this still isn’t close

    Ray allen can still shoot lights and can drive to the basket when his shot is struggling, he was born with a jumpshot

    Michael Redd learned to shot taking volume shots in practice and patterning some of his game after Ray,

    If the two change teams right now, what team would be better?

  • Tha Boddy “Agent Zero Returns”

    Ray Allen would kick Redd’s ass period…Redd is what people would call a poor mans Ray Allen

  • K Dizzle

    @ dapro – ummmmm, Boston would still be the better team. Replace Ray with Gerald Green and the Celts would still be better than the Bucks…Mike redd would be just like ray in Boston, hittin the open js. Ray’s just more well rounded as a ballplayer

  • ponky_alolor

    @66 dial up, AI over lebron? Not that its a good comparison to start with. But at least lebron has a job and a contract nowadays.

  • http://www.nba.com Jay

    Your comparisons are usually pretty close, but this one is not even questionable. Ray is still the best shooter in the league and still has some spring in his step. The dude has kept himself in great shape and it shows. AB made some good points about Redd, but he’s still a few notches below Ray.

    After watching the epic Boston/Chicago series I don’t see how anybody would argue against Ray.

  • KAKEJELLY

    Jesus FTW.

  • kowtz

    Shocking that there’s no link between KB24 and LBJ

  • http://ww.diznuts.blogspot.com Darkness

    Cuz Ima lifelong St. John’s fan, and cuz of this clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIktUKZuYLI

    I will always hate Michael Redd and his old man hairline.

  • doc

    Its Ray Ray and its not even close.

  • Schakr

    Sugar Ray for the win.

  • bola

    rayray all the way..

    the reason why he may have a higher percentage of shots taken from deep is because that is the way the sytem of the celt’s offense is designed and not because of allen’s inability to go to the hole.. look at his days in seattle or milwaukee, it was buckets from all over the court.. he is just playing his role with the celtics.. a sniper..

    better ball handler, better shooter, better player and he is Jesus! sheesh!

  • http://www.dimebag.com dmoney24

    And the overwelming answer is….RAY ALLEN!

  • Heckler…formerly ‘Yallallreadyknow’

    stupid debate. not even close.

    everyone associated with the milwaukee bucks would even choose ray allen

  • Amos Leak

    JESUS SHUTTLESWORTH…NOTHING LIKE HIM..MICHAEL REDD ISN’T EVEN MARKETABLE..HE’S THE TYPE OF PRIME TIME PLAYER..NO ONE COMES TO SEE…RAY ALLEN IS SO MARKETABLE…JORDAN SIGNED HIM …HE HAD HIS OWN MOVIE AND NOT TO FORGET..HE HAS A RING…IF THEY HAD A STARTING 5 FROM THE BUCKS..HE WOULD BE IT..AND MICHAEL REDD WOULD BE ON THE BENCH.

  • chief youngblood

    love em’ both but it’s jesus shuttlesworth

    hope redd gets to a contender eventually though

  • Big V

    Ray is playing within the confines of an offense that boasts multiple all-stars. Put him on the Bucks and you have an offensive clinic every night of the week.

  • SMH

    No offense to Redd..but

    Why is this even being asked??? lmao

    Ray>>redd.. my 6yr niece knows that.