Ray Allen is known for threes. This is not going to shock you. I mean, that’s what he does. He shoots, and makes, a ton of threes. Lots of threes. “ALL OF THE THREES” as the kids might say. But if you’ve watched the Celtics closely, you’ve seen that when teams over-commit to stopping Allen on the inside, he burns them on the cut driving inside. He’s still got remnants of the all-around player he was back in 2005.
And he wants to use more of that with the Heat. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
“In practice, I always posted up,” Allen said. “I just could never convince my coach to allow me go down in the post. He was always telling me he wanted different matchups. I’ve had so many matchups in the post throughout the years. It gives me a different scoring angle. It takes pressure off having always to shoot 3s.”
“What teams try to do is when they want a guy to chase me they bring a small guy that’s quick,” Allen said. “So you roll to your next stunt and you post them and get them out of the game. The way we play here just creates so many different opportunities. You put the other team in so many complicated situations that it forces their defenses to play more uncomfortable.”
via Miami Heat: Although labeled a 3-point shooter, guard Ray Allen feels he can bring more to offense. – Sun Sentinel.
Of the millions of ways the Heat are difficult to defend, this just adds another wrinkle. Neither Shane Battier nor Mike Miller, two of their better wing contributors had the ability last year to post or drive inside consistently. Allen can do that, if healthy and in limited spurts. It means the Heat can survive without having Wade or James on the floor for a few minutes. It means they can use those guys to provide Allen one-on-one opportunities.
But then again, Allen’s ankle is still bothering him and his skills are drastically eroded. He has to pick his spots. That outside shot is still the bread and butter. But anything else he can give them? Absolute gravy on a team already covered in it like Thanksgiving.
Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.
This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.
The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.
Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.
Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.
Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”
You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.
Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.
The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.
And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:
Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.
That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.
Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.
ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.
After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:
- Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
- Westbrook: “Nah.”
- Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
- Westbrook: “What exchange?”
- Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
- Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”
This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.
That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.
I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.