ESPN’s True Hoop analyzed the Heat’s drop in defensive productivity (ranked 25th in the league). Here’s reason #3:
3. The Heat have fallen apart defensively with Ray Allen on the court.
When Allen has been on the floor this season, the Heat have surrendered 109.0 points per 100 possessions. When Allen’s on the bench? 97.7 points per 100 possessions, or right about where they were last season.
An 11-point disparity is a signal to dig deeper. Why does the Heat’s defense fall apart when Allen takes the floor? First, and probably most important, he’s new. Acclimating himself with the Heat’s system will take time (just ask Bosh or Battier).
Secondly, Allen will never be mistaken for Tony Allen out there as a stopper. It has spelled trouble when Allen is asked to keep up with point guards in the second unit (game film showing what Andre Miller did to Allen should be rated “R” for graphic content). All the small-sample-size caveats apply, but it’s no surprise that Allen ranks 161st among 165 players in points allowed per play, according to Synergy Sports (min. 50 plays defended).
Ouch. Those are some ugly numbers. In Ray’s defense, he’s not in Miami to play defense. He’s there to drain jumpers.