Ray Allen is a machine. Unfortunately, from time to time, machines malfunction at the worst possible time. Allen has one of the prettiest shooting forms in the entire league and from the charity stripe he's usually automatic. However, on Wednesday night, Allen's wires got frayed and he misfired on a free throw that would have sealed the win for Miami in regulation.
Allen bricked the first, which gave Miami a three-point lead and on the final possession, Paul George drained a hail mary from downtown to force overtime. LeBron's buzzer-beating lay-in bailed the Heat out in the extra period, but hours after the overtime thriller, Allen was still on the court trying to ensure that any malware glitches in his free throw shooting motion were wiped out.
Via The State:
"As much as I think about people in my career can talk about all the shots that I hit to win games, I don't remember those," Allen said. "As much as people talk about me celebrating, I remember the ones that I didn't make. That what keeps me in the gym."
Which brings us to Thursday.
Allen stayed nearly an hour after practice shooting free throws with an assistant coach. He shot at least 150 in the first part of the workout. He finally ended the session after making 100 of 102.
The reason was simple.
Allen missed a free throw that would have sealed the Heat's victory in regulation against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. They instead needed a last-second basket by LeBron James in overtime to avoid the opening-game upset.
All because Allen, a career 89 percent free-throw shooter, missed what for him is usually easier than a slam dunk. That's why Allen was still on the court long after James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had exited AmericanAirlines Arena.
"It's a rhythm thing that you get in there," Allen said. "Even when I stood over the (line) last night, I felt pretty comfortable. You just have to revisit this floor. I call it the lab. You've got to make sure that you spend your time in here. You've got to make sure you do what you have to do, especially this time of year. You have important situations out there on the floor. You have to be willing to answer the bell."