How LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Will Allow Ray Allen to Thrive with Miami Heat
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Ray Allen shot a career-best 45 percent from three-point range last season with the Boston Celtics. His shooting percentage from the field overall was also higher than his career average in that category.
The court spacing that James and Wade will provide, as a result of the defensive attention they each create, will lead to increased shot opportunities for Allen from areas on the floor where he's most effective.
The ability that LeBron and Dwyane have to attack double teams as willing passers will also allow Allen to find easy looks all over the floor.
The first regular season three-point basket that Allen made as a member of the Heat was a direct result of that court spacing.
As James comes off the initial screen at the beginning of the play, he's moving away from Allen. The defense steps towards LeBron as he cuts across the lane, and all five defenders are looking in his direction.
While the defensive attention is on James and the action he is involved in with Norris Cole, Allen is able to create space by slipping down to the baseline behind the defense. When he eventually receives the ball in this position, the defenders do not have enough time to react.
Shot opportunities will also become available for Allen from areas he's most effective shooting the basketball as defenses collapse on LeBron in the painted area of the floor.
As illustrated by the website CourtVision, Allen made 57 percent of his three-point attempts from the left corner last season—the same area of the floor where he made his first three with the Heat. His next most deadly location on the court was the right wing, where Allen connected on 51 percent of this threes last season.
LeBron is in the perfect position to attack the Thunder's double team in the picture above by finding an open shooter on the right wing. Expect Allen to be on that right wing this season and continue to knock that shot down at a high rate.
Like James, Dwyane Wade's presence on the basketball court alone creates space for his teammates to become effective offensively.
As highlighted above, Wade finished with 29 points in the Heat's first game this season. In the process, he also assisted on perimeter jump shots from Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis and LeBron James. As defenses continue to converge on Wade, expect Allen to be on the receiving end of those same passes too.
Wade's ability to attack double and triple teams with the pass will also help Allen thrive this season.
Wade averages over six assists per game for his career. One of the main reasons he's most effective in that area is because he's able to pass out of a double-team. If he receives that double-team in the paint, like he did against the Bulls in the picture above, there will be room for Allen to find an open shot on the perimeter.
The court spacing and attention that Miami's two superstars will dictate this season will also lead defenses to simply losing track of where Allen is on the floor at times.
Allen scored his first two preseason points in a Heat uniform because the defense was overly keyed in on James. Ray's defender got caught looking at LeBron too long on the perimeter and Allen strolled in for the easy layup on the assist from James as a result.
In 31 minutes against the Celtics on opening night, Allen finished with 19 points on 71 percent shooting from the field overall. He also connected on 66 percent of his three-point attempts. Expect those type of numbers to continue for Allen as the season goes on.
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