CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Despite a recent shooting slump, Ray Allen started for Dwyane Wade on Saturday night against the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
It was the 10th game this season Wade missed because of knee soreness or illness. Wade scored eight points in consecutive games and scratched himself from the lineup after Friday night’s victory against the 76ers. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra indicated that he plans to start Allen for Wade for the remainder of the season on nights when Wade is out. It was Allen’s fifth start of the season.
“What we want is just to get a little bit of consistency,” Spoelstra said. “At least we know what direction we’re going to go when Dwyane is out. Again, this team is built different than last year, so we’ve made that adjustment.”
Spoelstra said starting Allen had nothing to do with trying to get the shooting guard out of his current slump. Entering the game, Allen was 9 of 52 (17.3 percent) from the field and 3 of 29 (10.3 percent) from three-point range in January.
“Ray’s shooting will be fine,” Spoelstra said.
Allen went 1 of 7 on Friday against the 76ers and 5 of 11 against the Bobcats on the second night of the back-to-back.
“It has nothing to do with work ethic,” LeBron James said of Allen’s slump. “He shoots more than anybody on the team and, obviously, we all think that every shot he takes is going in. He just needs to see the ball go in the basket, and it’s my job to help him do that.”
With Allen slumping, James said he would try to attack Allen’s defender to create easy shots for his struggling teammate.
“Make his defender take one peek at me and just try to get Ray an open look,” James said.
The Heat is currently last in nearly every major rebounding category, including offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding and overall rebounding. James and Chris Bosh lead the Heat with 6.7 rebounds per game.
“We know that’s an area we have to improve on, and much of it is committing to the little things — the block outs, the rotations, putting a body on somebody,” Spoelstra said. “Then once the ball goes up, you have aggressive guys that have no problem being physical, but the details part has to improve.”
Chris Andersen felt healthy enough to play Saturday but was held out by the Heat’s trainers as a precaution.
Birdman has missed three games in a row with soreness in his right knee. He hopes to play Monday against the Hawks but likely will be a game-time decision.
“There are no setbacks,” Andersen said. “There is only moving forward.”
Andersen has missed six of the Heat’s past 12 games with various ailments, including his return to Denver on Dec. 30.
“He’s continuing to get stronger and feel better, but he’s not quite there yet,” Spoelstra said. “A couple days ago he thought he was ready to go and we ramped up his workouts and then he realized he wasn’t quite there. We’re going to be patient and make sure he is fully healthy when he gets out there.”