Ray Allen Is a Legitimate Shooting Upgrade for the Miami Heat

Thomas KellyContributor IIIJuly 16, 2012

Ray Allen provides the Heat with an excellent shooter.
Ray Allen provides the Heat with an excellent shooter.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat made a nice addition to their World Championship team by recently signing Ray Allen.

Ray Allen, who turns 37 this month, is a 10 time All-Star. According to Michael Wallace from ESPN.com, The Heat are singing him to the mini-midlevel amount of just over $3 million a season for 3 years.

The Boston Celtics may have the pieces to make up for the loss of Ray Allen. The 21-year-old Avery Bradley is the organization's future shooting guard.

He is recovering from a second shoulder surgery, this one on his right shoulder. According to Chris Forsberg from ESPNBoston.com, Bradley had surgery on his left shoulder in May.

In just 21 minutes a game this past year, Bradley averaged 7.6 points a game, shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three while playing terrific perimeter defense. He should continue to improve his game, especially in a bigger role with more playing time.

Jason Terry is an addition that will give them depth at the position while Bradley is recovering. According to Chris Forsberg from ESPNBoston.com, the Celtics will soon have a deal completed with Terry.

While it remains to be seen what the implications will be for Boston at the shooting guard position, this is a nice upgrade for Miami's bench.

Allen's 2011-12 shooting statistics by themselves among qualifying players in the NBA are impressive.

  • 45% 3-point percentage (4th)
  • 2.3 3-pointers made per game (4th)

Furthermore, the Miami Heat don't need Ray Allen to start. They have Dwyane Wade starting at shooting guard. More than likely, Allen will be the first or second player off the bench along with Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem.

For a team that centers around LeBron James, this is a nice addition. LeBron focused much more on attacking the basket this year and not settling for jump shots. In doing so, he initiated double teams, which left perimeter jump shooters open. With defenders also respecting Wade and Bosh, LeBron did a tremendous job locating and finding these shooters, and they returned the favor.


Miami benefited greatly from the three ball in the 2012 playoffs. Battier shot 58% (15 for 26) while Miller shot 64% (7 for 11). Ray Allen is a another piece that can do the same for Miami.

Ryan Feldman from ESPN Stats and Information did a great piece on the Ray Allen addition to Miami. First, he detailed that LeBron's attacking style does generate a surplus of open looks for Miami. 

During the 2010-11 season, 57 percent of the Heat's catch-and-shoot jumpers were unguarded, the second highest percentage in the NBA. And last season, 63 percent were unguarded, which ranked third.

Simply put, the Heat get many open, catch-and-shoot jumpers. As Feldman explains, Allen has become an elite shooter in these situations.

(His) percentage jumped to 51 percent in 2010-11 and 52 percent last season, which ranked sixth of the 68 players with at least 100 attempts. 

Miami now has two formulas to success in this regard:

  • The ability to create open jump shots courtesy of LeBron's attacking style.
  • The ability to make open jump shots courtesy of Ray Allen.

Ray Allen would help any team because of his work ethic, leadership, ability to move off the ball and shooting credentials. He helps Miami even more because of his niche. He can come off the bench and excel at hitting open jump shots that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are creating game in and game out.