The Miami Heat used a late rally to take down the Memphis Grizzlies 91-86 on Friday night. This was supposed to be former Heat Mike Miller‘s triumphant return as he received his NBA championship ring. The Grizzlies were in control of the game all night up until center Marc Gasol tweaked his ankle and was forced to leave. That is when the wily vet Ray Allen took over.
Allen scored 18 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists including several key plays down the stretch. It is ironic that Allen out-shined Miller as ultimately he was the man that allowed Miami to amnesty Miller this past summer. On nights where LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade look bored, that is when the 38-year-old out of UConn seems to do his best work.
It is immeasurable how important it is to have someone like him spreading the floor for the Big 3; it completely puts opposing defenses in jeopardy. It’s pick your poison; you have to help on James’s drives, but when you do, you leave knock-down shooters wide open. After 18 years in the league, Allen still has an incredible knack for getting open simply by moving without the basketball. Allen is getting hot at the right time, averaging 18.6 points in the last five games.
Allen is clearly not in his prime anymore, and there are some nights when he looks just plain old. The odd thing is for as a great of a shooter he has been during his career, he tends to be streaky. If this kind of production continues into the postseason, the Heat will continue to be difficult to knock out in a seven-game series.