Were the reports of Ray Allen's demise last spring -- pardon the painful cliche -- greatly exaggerated?

Yes and no. If you were watching the veteran shooting guard down the stretch last year, perhaps paying particular attention to the career-worst shooting slump he suffered throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, you'd be hard-pressed to deny it. Allen was titanically struggling -- on this, both the numbers and the eye test emphatically agree. He looked like a 36-going-on-37-year-old with just too much mileage on him. This appeared to be the end.

Then again, to judge the career of a Hall of Fame player based on a couple of bad months he endured while not entirely healthy? At best, that's a tad shortsighted. At worst, it's totally bonkers.