Why the Miami Heat need Ray Allen
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI – Three feet separates the corner three-point line from the sideline on an NBA court.
Miami Heat guard Ray Allen has mastered that space.
“Well, it’s not just that space, it’s every angle on the floor you have to learn to master,” Allen said. “You have to know how much space you have, the defensive rules. But that (corner space) is probably more significant because when you come from college to the pros that space shrinks significantly.”
It was not by accident that Allen backpedaled with speed and precision to just the right spot in the corner without looking and without stepping out of bounds, caught the ball, shot and made the biggest shot for the Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, forcing overtime on a three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left.
It was a beautiful basketball play, instinct and skill coming together in art form. Not a surprise it was Allen who has blended science and skill.
It didn’t happen by accident though. Not much is happenstance with Allen, the game’s all-time leader in three-point shooters made. He carved a meticulous, borderline obsessive, regimen that has forged a Hall of Fame worthy career, xx seasons and still going.
Allen has a story and reason for just about everything he does from his diet (now Paleo), his shooting drills (born out of necessity) and workout drills (he tries to control his sweat).
The shot before the Shot
Trailing 95-92 with 19.4 seconds left, the Heat ran a play for LeBron James – a three-pointer from the left wing.
“It all goes back to everything we do,” Bosh said. “We ran that we’ve ran hundreds and hundreds of times in shootaround, in practives, 5-on-0, 5-on-5. We probably ran that play – I can count them on two hands – probably the whole season.
James got a good look because of a strong screen by Bosh, who then moved toward the basket for a rebound.
While the corner three-pointer has become an area of concentration for several teams, it is also an area prone to turnovers. How many times do you see a shooter step out of bounds while … [For more on Ray Allen shot in NBA Finals a reason Miami Heat need him, click here.]