Ray Allen Biggest Reason For Poor Miami Heat Defense
The Miami Heat are not playing defense well this season.
There are 24 teams ranked higher than the Heat defensively this season. How is it possible to have LeBron James, the most versatile defender in NBA history, Dwyane Wade, one of the best shot-blocking guards in league history, and Shane Battier, one of the smartest defenders in the league right now all in the starting line-up yet be playing such poor defense?
It is a simpler answer than one thinks.
Allen may be the greatest three point shooter of all-time but at no point in his career was he known for his defensive ability. In his 16 year career Allen has never made an all-defensive team and at age 37 with an unhealthy ankle he is not an improved defender. Although the Heat are extremely hard to defend when their perimeter players are James, Wade, and Allen, they struggle as a defense when they are on the perimeter.
According to ESPN.com, the Heat are allowing 109 points per 100 possessions with Allen on the floor and allow only 97.7 points per 100 possessions when Allen is on the bench. Allen is still recovering from ankle surgery he had during the off-season and is still trying to acclimate himself to the Heat’s defensive system, but he clearly makes them a better offensive team but a worse defensive team. Opposing teams are shooting 52 percent from the field and 41 percent from the three point line when Allen is playing.
This is a time in basketball when arguably every team in the league has a point guard who can either score getting to the basket or shooting and if an old and still hurt Allen is the designated defender on a nightly basis the Heat’s defense as a whole will suffer.