MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat have been constructed to utilize the slashing and post-up ability of the Big Three to create wide open shots on the outside for the team’s shooters.
One of the biggest problems for the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals though has been those shooters missing shots.
The Heat signed Ray Allen to be the lights out 3-point specialist that he’s been throughout his career. Through much of the season, Allen stood in the corner and waited for just the right time to drill a three pointer to put the dagger in an opponents’ defense.
The Heat also relied on Shane Battier to hit three-point shots and provide his typically high level of defense. While Battier has held his own on the defensive end of the floor, much like Allen, he’s struggling with his shot against the Pacers.
Combined Allen and Battier have shot 11 for 46 from the field, or just 23.9 percent during the Eastern Conference Finals. Behind the three-point line, the Heat’s two shooters have hit just 7 of 30, or 23.3 percent.
For comparison purposes, during the season Allen shot 45 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from behind the three-point line, while Battier shot 42 percent from the floor and 43 percent from behind the three-point line.
During the Eastern Conference Finals, Allen is averaging roughly four fewer points per game than he did in the regular season while Battier is almost three points below his season average. Considering the Heat has lost games by four and seven points, just getting back to their average could drastically change this series for Miami.
The Heat and Pacers return to Miami for Game 5 on Thursday night and if Allen and Battier can finally get going, Miami should be able to take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Indianapolis. But so far, that’s been a big if during this series.