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.”
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.