Heres all you really need to write when trying to crystallize the cavernous wealth of talent backing the Heat in these 2013 playoffs: The soon-to-be all-time leader in postseason three-pointers is coming off the bench.
With 315 career playoff three-pointers after the Heats 110-87 victory Sunday, Ray Allen stands just five triples from matching Reggie Miller for the NBAs all-time postseason mark. Allen and his patented jump shot have now participated in the playoffs with four different teams. Coincidentally, his postseason career began with the Milwaukee Bucks, which the Heat leads 1-0 in its best-of-7 first-round series.
So there he was, Allen, the future Hall of Famer, the 17-year pro, already the NBAs all-time leader in regular-season three-pointers, doing pushups after practice on Monday for losing, of all things, a three-point contest to LeBron James.
Like Allens shot, the form of those pushups was uniform and perfect.
Yall should be glad were not playing for money, James joked as he stood over Allen and Mario Chalmers like a drill sergeant and counted off his punishment to the rhythm of a bouncing basketball. The scene was ironic in a way, and not just because Allen and Chalmers grew up the sons of military men. James marked improvement from the behind the three-point arc this season could, partially at least, be credited to Allen, who came to Miami from Boston last summer and brought with him that iconic work ethic so respected by his peers.
For years, Allen has been arriving to arenas on game days hours before his teammates to practice his shooting. At beginning of the season, James began joining Allen for many of those pregame sessions. Always a learner, James tweaked his preparatory habits based on Allens influence.
Limited by an ankle injury during his final postseason run with the Celtics, Allen begins his playoff chase with the Heat in a physical condition that more closely resembles all those years of greatness that defined his career. In Game1 against the Bucks, Allen had 20 points off the bench, which made up the lions share of the Heats 43 bench points. That total now ranks second in postseason franchise history behind only the 45 points the Heats reserves, led by Clarence Weatherspoon, scored against Detroit in a first-round playoff series.
The work [Allen] continues to put into the game at his age and his physical condition, James said, hes back healthy, and its a tribute to him and who he is as a professional and as a person and as a man, and were happy to have him.
Of course, many of the three-pointers throughout Allens career were knocked down directly in the face of Dwyane Wade. Wade loathed chasing Allen around the court, fighting through screens, only to see Allen pull up and knock down a contested shot.
Hes obviously made a lot of shots over me, but the one thing about Ray is you think you have him contained there are those games in the first three quarters where you dont have a Ray Allen sighting as much and then it just takes one, it takes one look away and hes going to the deep corner and hes got a three, Wade said.
On Monday, James and Wade were still talking about Allens corner three-pointer in Game 1 against the Bucks that came at the very end of the shot clock and gave the Heat a 73-61 lead in the third quarter. In that play, all of Allens well-honed gifts were on display.
He didnt even turn the right way, and he got it off so quick, Wade said. Hes just special. Theres not many of him.
Just his ability to get his shot off no matter if the defender is right on him, no matter if its in transition or no matter if its run in the offense. He can get a three-point shot off at any point in the game.