Allen is the definition of game breaker for the Heat. He runs the floor with the intention of spotting up in different ways on each and every possession. “Ray is the definition of ‘the ball will find energy,’” Spoelstra told the Miami Herald. “He’s in constant movement and it shifts, so whenever the defense turns their head, he runs into the passing lane and you see him right in front of you.
“It’s an incredible skill that he has. Everyone talks about his shooting but it’s his movement to get into open space — he’s a moving target.”
When he’s not coming off a screen, he can be found trailing the ball-handler from a variety of angles, most of which involve him being within eyesight of the dribbler (who have been made aware to always look for Allen). He practically mirrors the ball when it’s driven to the hoop, patiently waiting to be found in moments of uncertainty (i.e. offensive rebounds, loose balls, post-ups, drives).
He’s shooting a career high 52.9% from behind the arc. By comparison, last year with Boston was Allen’s second-best season 3-point average (45.3%) in his 17-year career, which is interesting because it was probably the most comfortable he’d been playing with Rondo, Pierce, Garnett and company.
Ray Allen isn’t a streak shooter; he is one of, if not the, premier shooter(s) of all time. If he’s this comfortable within the Miami Heat’s super-powered offense this early in the season, the rest of the league better hope that the 37-year-old’s legs begin to fall off as the year progresses.
If that doesn’t happen, an already lethal fourth-quarter attack will almost certainly be even more dangerous come playoff time.
Good luck, everyone. Three game-winners from “Jesus” in, it looks like you’ll need it.
Below is an excellent highlight video that takes you back to the beginning of Allen’s carer. Enjoy:
And if you’d like to learn more about Allen’s movement and shooting exploits, we’ve got you covered there, too:
Below is some more news from around the NBA this afternoon:
Amar’e Stoudemire is shooting for a return date near Christmas, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post: “Amar’e Stoudemire’s goal is to return around Christmas, with mid-December no longer a legitimate possibility, according to person familiar with the Knicks power forward’s thinking. The person said Stoudemire hasn’t begun running on the court following his surgery on Nov. 1. The Knicks’ timetable of six-to-eight weeks from the left-knee-debridement surgery hasn’t changed. Under that time frame, the earliest he could be back is mid-December. The Knicks play the Lakers on Christmas Day.”
Mike D’Antoni isn’t happy with the Lakers offense so far. This from Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register: “‘Within the numbers, there is some good stuff, defensively mostly,’ D’Antoni said. ‘Stuff that in the long run will make us a contender. In the short run, our offense is anemic right now. We don’t move the ball, we don’t do a lot of things we should be doing and we have to figure that out. We have to get better than 77 points.’ The Lakers struggled to reach that mark in Tuesday’s 79-77 loss to Indiana. D’Antoni said missing 20 free throws didn’t help. He said the team has their share of problems. ‘That’s hard to do,’ he said. ‘You have to be a special team to do that.’”
Pau Gasol is going to take some time to adjust to coach D’Antoni’s offense, from Mike Trudell of Lakers.com: “As the seasons pass in the NBA, the league’s players seem to get smaller and more agile in the frontcourt. But the Lakers have not ascribed to the movement that has seen wings like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony start at power forward, instead putting 7-footer Pau Gasol in the PF slot next to centers Dwight Howard this season and Andrew Bynum last. Gasol’s best and most natural position remains in the pivot, where he can utilize his terrific hands, post moves over either shoulder, face-up game and passing ability at his leisure. The Spaniard spent the majority of his first several years in Los Angeles at center, with Andrew Bynum missing the 2007-08 season with injuries and playing fewer minutes than Gasol particularly in crunch time.”
Even more from LA… What might the Lakers get by trading Pau Gasol? Here’s a look from Robert Silverman and the New York Times: “As if there hasn’t been enough drama in the Lakers’ season, there’s now speculation that all-star power forward/center Pau Gasol and the team have reached an untenable level of mutual dissatisfaction, one that will inevitably result in a parting of ways. Gasol was recently quoted as saying: ‘Now it’s a different personnel, different need, different look, different system, different positioning. As a professional, you adjust to a different position in your company and try to do your best so the company still finds you a valuable asset and the company still performs as well as it did before.’”
Boston is having trouble right now because it’s confused about its identity. Ian Thomsen from Sports Illustrated with more: “It’s too early to say the Celtics are in a crisis. But they are at a crossroads. Rajon Rondo, in his first year as unquestioned leader, has abandoned the team for two games by way of suspension. Paul Pierce, at 35, is shooting 42.1 percent from the field, a nine-year low. The 36-year-old Kevin Garnett’s rebounding amounts to his worst since 2009-10, when he was diminished by surgery on his knee the previous spring.”
The Phoenix Suns are offering fans money-back guarantees for their December 6th game against Dallas, according to NBC Pro Basketball Talk’s Brett Pollakoff: “The Suns are struggling to create fan interest in the post-Steve Nash era. Attendance is down, and the team, while having a few players on the roster who casual NBA fans should recognize, is lacking overall in any real star power. But the team has competed for most of its home games, and even had some exciting finishes — the 26-point comeback to beat the Cavaliers was certainly one of those.”
Jeremy Bauman is a 2011 Indiana University alum who is an aspiring scout and shooting coach. After covering last June’s NBA finals for this site, he’ll be blogging for SheridanHoops.com weekdays during the 2012-13 basketball season. Follow him on Twitter.