Ray Allen makes veteran presence felt yet again for Heat in Game 2
MAY 08, 2014 11:55p ET
MIAMI -- When it comes to staying in shape, Ray Allen is already in the Hall of Fame.
There's the 38-year-old's Paleo diet that includes lean meats, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar or processed foods.
There's a regular routine of getting to an arena early, often with teammate and fellow sharpshooter James Jones, to get in extra work.
Sometimes, there's even weight training or treadmill time after a game. Yes, after.
"It's like when you come to work, if you don't put the work in, you go home and you feel guilty," Allen said. "That's kind of how I feel sometimes. You have to go to put the work in. I want that great sweat so when I go home at night I can sleep and actually eat the food that is ready for me so I'm not feeling guilty."
There was no postgame work for Allen on Thursday night, when he exited AmericanAirlines Arena without a guilty thought. That was because the veteran came off the bench to supply 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the Miami Heat's 94-82 victory against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"Ray's always to the rescue," said Chris Bosh, who had 18 points and six rebounds. "Ray's amazing. He's awesome. I want to be like him when I grow up."
It was Allen's second straight stellar performance. He had 19 points and four rebounds in Miami's Game 1 victory.
"He is a world champion. He enjoys this stage," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "He knows what it's all about."
Allen scored all of his Game 2 points in the second half and played a key role in a late-game stretch, during which the Heat kept possession for 100 straight seconds.
After Mirza Teletovic's 3-pointer pulled Brooklyn within 87-79 with 3:39 to go, LeBron James missed his own shot from behind the arc.
Allen broke down the lane as the King's shot went up, then leaped to grab the rebound in the middle of the paint.
"If I was taller I would have dunked it back in," Allen said with a smile.
James then missed a 19-foot turnaround jumper, with Dwyane Wade grabbing the rebound. James followed with a missed a layup, Bosh hauling in the board. The possession ended when James hit a layup for a 10-point Miami lead with 1:59 remaining.
Allen's rebound was critical in denying Brooklyn a chance to fight back.
The NBA's all-time 3-point shooter, Allen knows what his primary job is. But he also understands the importance of multitasking.
"Rebounding and assists are two great categories to fill up because you're doing extra things for your team," he said. "Offensive rebounds always are signs of hustle points, getting your team extra possessions. Defensively, getting a rebound is stealing possession.
"Getting somebody else the opportunity to score where you make a great play, it gives them energy and more into the game. I love being a part of that."
Still, it's a reputation for long-range accuracy that makes defenses worry about Allen. He hit three of five from long distance in Game 2.
"We can't take Ray Allen's ability to attract defenses for granted," said James, who scored 22 points. "I think Ray's biggest asset is getting a guy on the run and creating a shift in the defense without moving the ball. It's big-time for a team to have that trigger."
Allen played 27 minutes, 49 seconds in Game 2, after his 26:19 in Game 1.
Not bad for an 18-year vet.
"I'm ready," Allen said. "I tell Spo (coach Erik Spoelstra) all the time. If he asks me do I need a break, I say, 'No, this is kind of what I'm built for.' "
And there's no reason to feel guilty about that.