Ray Allen to Miami Heat: Where Allen Fits Best into Heat's Offense

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIJuly 7, 2012

It looks like Jesus Shuttlesworth is taking his talents to South Beach. 

Just when you thought the 2012 NBA championship team couldn't get any better, the Miami Heat go out and steal Ray Allen away from the Boston Celtics in free agency.

The all-time NBA leader in three-point shots made, Ray Allen has agreed to sign with the Miami Heat, as reported by Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

The agent for Ray Allen, Jim Tanner, confirms that he has agreed to join the Miami Heat.

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 7, 2012

 

Boston only has itself to blame for losing Allen to the Heat, after signing shooting guard Jason Terry to a three-year deal instead of heavily pursuing Allen. 

The only question now is where Allen and his deadly three-point stroke fits into the Heat's isolation offense.

Last season, the Heat found the most success when it focused on running in transition and relying on the isolation talents of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the half court, rather than trying to run a legitimate half-court set.

Allen's talents as a spot-up shooter will undoubtedly fits with the Heat's offense, it's just a question of whether Allen would be best utilized in the starting lineup or in the bench rotation.

Inserting Allen into the starting lineup would be a risky move. It would make the Heat's lineup a bit smaller, but it would put four All-Stars on the court, and it would ensure a solid amount of minutes with LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Allen on the court together.

While it's not exactly ideal, a lineup without a true center could work for the Heat. It certainly worked for the Heat during the 2012 NBA Finals when Bosh stepped into the center position.

A starting lineup with Allen would look like this: Mario Chalmers (PG), Ray Allen (SG), Dwyane Wade (SF), LeBron James (PF) and Chris Bosh (C).

The only issue with that lineup would be on the defensive side of the ball, where Bosh could encounter matchup issues with some of the stronger and more complete centers in the NBA.

The other way the Heat could utilize Allen's talents is by bringing him off the bench to bolster the efficiency of production they get from their second unit.

Allen would certainly be the first man off the bench for the Heat, but he would likely replace Wade in the offense, meaning the minutes when LeBron, Wade and Allen are on the court together would decrease.

While that may not be a major issue for the Heat, it's not maximizing the potential they have on their roster, and that could be something that could hold them back next season if they aren't careful.

One of the biggest concerns for Allen heading into the 2012-'13 season is his health, and the best way to ensure he stays healthy is to control his minutes. The Heat could control his minutes no matter where he's at in the lineup, but bringing him off the bench would be a way to intentionally control his minutes.

Wherever Allen is in the Heat's lineup, he'll certainly be effective. But if the Heat want to maximize the talent on their roster, inserting Allen into the starting lineup is the only way to go.

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