Stats & Info: Udonis Haslem

Why Ray Allen will succeed in Miami

July, 7, 2012
7/07/12
5:26
PM ET
ESPN.com IllustrationRay Allen has agreed to join LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
With Ray Allen agreeing to sign with the Miami Heat, the NBA champions have added one of the greatest shooters in league history.

How will Allen fit in with the Heat?

Using Synergy Sports Technology to analyze Allen’s potential role with the Heat, it seems that he will fit in just fine.

OPEN JUMPERS FOR THE HEAT

The acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh created more open jumpers for the Heat. The year before the Big Three formed, only 41 percent of the Heat's catch-and-shoot jumpers were unguarded, the fifth lowest percentage in the league. But that percentage has increased over the past two seasons.

During the 2010-11 season, 57 percent of the Heat’s catch-and-shoot jumpers were unguarded, the second highest percentage in the NBA. And last season, 63 percent were unguarded, which ranked third.

Four of the Heat's current players that were in Miami prior to the Big Three era -- Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, James Jones and Udonis Haslem -- have received a significant increase in unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers over the past two seasons as compared to the season before the Big Three formed.

Only 30 percent of Wade's shots were unguarded in 2009-10, but that percentage doubled to 60 percent last season. Nearly four of every five Chalmers catch-and-shoot jumpers last season were unguarded.

LeBRON & BOSH MAKE TEAMMATES BETTER

Chalmers, Wade, Jones and Haslem saw an immediate improvement on catch-and-shoot jumpers after LeBron and Bosh arrived. The most dramatic improvement was Wade, who went from a 28 percent shooter on catch-and-shoot jumpers in 2009-10 to 37 percent in 2010-11.

RAY ALLEN CATCH-AND-SHOOT JUMPERS

Allen has improved his field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot jumpers over the past two seasons as compared to the previous three seasons. He shot less than 43 percent and ranked outside of the top 50 (among the 200-plus players with at least 100 attempts) in each season from 2007-08 to 2009-10, but he shot 45 percent and ranked in the top 25 in each of the past two seasons.

Allen has also improved his field goal percentage on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers in each of the past two seasons. In 2009-10, he shot 42 percent on those shots. That percentage jumped to 51 percent in 2010-11 and 52 percent last season, which ranked sixth of the 68 players with at least 100 attempts.

Over the past few years, Allen has been left open more often on catch-and-shoot jumpers. In 2005-06, only 31 percent of those shots were unguarded. That percentage increased in each of the next three seasons. In 2010-11, he was left open on 49 percent of his catch-and-shoot jumpers, and last season 53 percent of those attempts were unguarded.

CONCLUSION

The Heat have had more open jumpers since LeBron and Bosh came to Miami. And the Heat’s most prominent shooters that were in Miami prior to the Big Three era became better shooters after LeBron and Bosh arrived. Allen was just as good of a shooter (if not better) last season as he was a few years ago. Part of this is because Allen has been left open more over the past two seasons.

If the pattern continues, expect Allen to receive even more open jumpers in Miami.

Heat return to comfort zone vs Celtics

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
1:05
PM ET

Credit: Steve Mitchell/US PresswireThe Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series 83.5 percent of the time when tied 2-2.
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat (ESPN, 8:30 ET) will square off in Game 5 tonight with the winner taking a 3-2 lead in the series. The Celtics have put themselves in a good position to take control, because in the Big 3 era (since 2007-08 season), Boston is 8-0 in Game 5s when the series is tied 2-2.

The Heat, however, have been very comfortable at home against the Celtics recently. Miami is 6-1 at home against the Celtics in the postseason all-time, and according to Elias, Miami’s current six-game home postseason win streak against Boston is its longest against a single opponent in franchise history.

The Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series 83.5 percent of the time when tied 2-2.

Miami has certainly been more comfortable at home this postseason, averaging 100.4 points compared to 91.0 on the road. That's crucial, considering the Heat are 7-0 this postseason when scoring at least 100 points, and were 25-4 in such games during the regular season.

The focus for Miami will again likely be in the closing seconds. Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem each missed game-tying and go-ahead attempts with under 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and OT in Game 4, and the Heat are now 0-for-10 on such shots in the last two postseasons. Overall, Wade is now 2-8 on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or OT in his postseason career, below the league average of 26.9 percent. By comparison, LeBron James is 5-14 (35.7 percent) in those situations.

What's more, Wade has been a slow starter this series. He is averaging just 5.5 points on 25.8 percent shooting in the first half of games against the Celtics, his lowest points average for a first half for any round in his postseason career.

The Heat are also hoping to activate Chris Bosh for Game 5. His status could be pivotal, as Miami is 5-1 this postseason in games Bosh has played, with a +13.2 points differential in that span.

On the other side, the Celtics have relied heavily on Rajon Rondo in this series. Boston has been much better with Rondo on the court, averaging more than 19 points per 48 minutes compared to when he’s been off the floor. According to Elias, Rondo has 13 double-digit assist games this postseason and 38 for his career, and when he takes the court tonight, he'll be looking for his 39th 10-assist game, which would break the all-time Celtics record originally held by Bob Cousy.

Rondo's postseason performance has also placed him in great company this year. He's averaging 17.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 11.9 assists in 16 games this postseason, and according to Elias only one player in NBA history has averaged at least 17 points, six rebounds and 11 assists in 10+ games played in a single postseason (Magic Johnson did it six times).

Statistical support for this story from NBA.com.

Michael Hickey/US Presswire LeBron James has at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in back-to-back postseason games.
Game 6 between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers (ESPN, 8 ET) will feature several key storylines to watch, including how the Heat replace a suspended Udonis Haslem. Miami will be without one of its best mid-range shooters, as Haslem has made seven mid-range jump shots (outside paint, inside 3-point territory) this series, trailing only LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Haslem has also been a spark off the Heat's bench in the last three games, scoring double figures in each of the last two. In three games Haslem has come off the bench this postseason, Miami averages 25.7 bench points. In seven games Haslem started, the Heat have gotten only 16.1 points from their bench.

With Dexter Pittman also suspended, the best option for the Heat is likely Ronny Turiaf, as his +13 this series is the highest among the Heat's available big men for Game 6. In this series, Turiaf has played only 65 minutes in five games. However, when he's been on the court, the Heat have outscored the Pacers by 13 points. Miami has also limited Indiana to just 33 percent shooting when he's playing. Also available in the frontcourt are Joel Anthony (+7) and Juwan Howard (+5).

Overall, the Heat appear to be in good position to advance. In NBA history, teams that have held a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win the series 85.9 percent of the time, including 4-0 in the First Round this postseason. In addition, the Pacers have never come back to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-2 (according to Elias they are 0-8 all-time).

James has been a prime reason why the Heat can close out the series tonight. He has recorded at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in back-to-back postseason games, and if he matches those numbers in Game 6, he will become the first player in NBA history to do so in three consecutive postseason games.

History says James will have another strong performance tonight. According to Elias, James has scored at least 20 points in each of the last 11 potential playoff series-clinching games on the road, the second-longest current streak of any player in the league, behind only Kobe Bryant (19).

Meanwhile, Danny Granger (sprained ankle) has said that he will start Game 6. His play will be crucial, as he has been much better at home this series than on the road (averaging over nine points more at home).

What's more, the combination of himself, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and David West have outscored opponents by 75 points when on the court together, the highest of any five-man lineup on any team this postseason.

A key for Indiana will be on the boards. The Pacers have outrebounded the Heat 102-76 in their wins in Games 2 and 3, but have lost the battle on the boards in their losses in Games 4 and 5 (outrebounded 96-73). When Hibbert is on the court, the Pacers are +15 rebounding, but with him off are -19.

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