With the regular season fast approaching, the Miami Heat are beginning to determine the appropriate amount of minutes for each player. With an aging roster, monitoring minutes is extremely important, but certain voids will need to be filled in order to not only have a balanced starting lineup but a stable bench as well.
The Heat made some risky choices this offseason by signing Greg Oden and Michael Beasley. Mike Miller was also released via the amnesty provision in order to reduce the enormous luxury tax bill the Heat are going to receive due to the new CBA.
All of this movement is going to result in a shifting of minutes throughout the Heat roster. With the recent acquisitions of both Oden and Beasley, the Heat could have a potentially talented frontcourt. The area of focus for the Heat now is at the shooting guard position. Miller averaged 15.3 minutes per game last season, so this void will need to be filled. This is where Ray Allen comes in. Last season, Allen averaged a career low in minutes per game with 25.8. With Wade coming off extensive knee injuries, the backup shooting guard position is more crucial than ever. Allen will most likely see his minutes jump to about 30 minutes a game. Even with his defensive deficiencies, the offense that Allen provides is so vital to the fast pace and space offense the Heat roster thrives on. Allen would undoubtedly average more than 10.9 ppg with the increase in minutes and provide another offensive cushion for when one of the Big Three has an off night.
This is one of the most important seasons in franchise history for the Heat, and every role is important from the starting lineup all the way to the 15th man on the roster. Allen’s role wasn’t prominent last season, and it wasn’t until the playoffs that his worth was truly felt, but this upcoming season will be different. With the extended minutes, Allen will show why he was part of Boston’s Big Three.