Ray Allen Struggling
By: Matt Pineda
Miami acquired Ray Allen in the off-season with sights set on Ray hitting the open jumpers caused by Wade and James driving down the lane. But recently, Allen has struggled tremendously.
In 5 games in February (he sat out Friday against the Clippers), Allen is shooting a dismal 14% on field goals, and hasn’t topped 7 points. More surprising, he has made 1-12 three-pointers. He scored in double figures 9 times in January, including 21 in his return to Boston. But it seems the HEAT have struggled to get Ray Allen some of his usual looks, and Ray has missed his chances.
It hasn’t been all season, but there have been glimpses of the greatness of Ray Allen in a HEAT uniform, and then the more rare rough games. Twice this season, Ray has gone scoreless, and that’s only happened 3 total times in his entire career. In the midst of LeBron James having an incredible shooting display of the past 5 games, Ray has been silent, an after-thought.
For the season, Ray Allen is shooting 40% on 3-pt attempts, and 45% on field goals in general. He hasn’t been terrible, but he hasn’t been consistent for the HEAT. He can have great games notching up to 20 points, and then have games of 5 points. Allen is consistently getting 20+ minutes a game for Miami, and will certainly be a focus for the HEAT in the playoffs, and that’s exactly where their sights need to be.
The HEAT need to continue to learn how to best use Ray and his skill set, but he has already shown how important he can be – hitting game winning or game-changing shots this season for the HEAT. He is a threat, and no matter what kind of slump he can be in, that next one could always go in, and the opponents know that. Ray’s minutes aren’t going anywhere, so the two will need to figure it out.
The HEAT will be a much more efficient team when Allen is on his shot, until then, they continue to work him in the offense, and hiding him on defense.
Ray Allen may be struggling with his shot, but when LeBron James isn’t missing, and Dwyane Wade is near his usual superstar self, the HEAT only need contributions from a few players, whether it be Bosh, Battier, Chalmers or Allen.
When they are all clicking, it will be scary.
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