Almost 20 minutes had passed since the end of the Miami Heat’s Wednesday practice at FTX Arena and Duncan Robinson finally strode off the court, walking side by side with Ray Allen after perhaps Allen, the owner of the biggest shot in Heat history, was done holding court in the center of the gymnasium.
“Us shooters,” Allen said as he walked off the court in Miami, “we have to stick together.”
Robinson grew up watching Allen and models much of his his three-centric game around the Hall of Famer’s, so of course he was going to take the opportunity to pick Allen’s brain.
“Any time you can be in greatness’ presence,” he said, “you just try to let it rub off on you a little bit.”
They talked “mostly about routine and preparation,” Robinson said. They discussed what it took for Allen to be ready to come off the bench in the postseason when he was playing for the Heat and how he was able to deliver Miami a season-saving shot in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra hopes it won’t be the last time.
“I’d like to have him out here more,” the coach said.
Allen, who played for the Heat from 2012 to 2014 and won a championship with Miami in 2013, was out at practice Wednesday after reconnecting with Spoelstra at Chris Bosh’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction last month. Allen had just been named the coach at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, so he started picking Spoelstra’s brain about coaching. Spoelstra wanted his players to be able to pick Allen’s.
“It’s just fun to have him around and when we get everybody in here I’d like to also have him spend some time to with the team,” Spoelstra said. “He has great leadership and what-it-takes-to-be-a-champion advice. I think it resonates with everybody.”
When practice wrapped up and all the postpractice shooting drills were over, Allen held court with Robinson and shooting guard Max Strus at midcourt. They’re the Heat’s two closest things to three-point specialists, and both particularly admire Allen’s ability to create open looks away from the ball.
Duncan Robinson and Max Strus are chatting with Ray Allen as Heat practice wraps up. pic.twitter.com/5yDW4qHBQX
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) October 13, 2021
Robinson said he had spoken with Allen before, although the two have never actually worked out together. He’s embracing any bit of advice he can get from the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers.
“His off-ball movement is something that I can continue to grow and he’s a master at it, just a master of his craft in terms of setting up defenders and being patient, and doing all those sorts of things off the ball to get open looks,” Robinson said. “He’s always been willing to offer any sort of advice, but hopefully we can connect more moving forward. That’d be great.”
Heat regulars don’t travel
Star forward Jimmy Butler is still dealing with a minor illness and didn’t travel with the Heat for its penultimate game of the preseason Thursday against the Atlanta Hawks.
He won’t be missing much.
Nearly all of Miami’s regulars didn’t make the trip to Atlanta, instead likely lining up the Heat to use the final game of the preseason Friday against the Boston Celtics as a dress rehearsal ahead of the regular season.
Guards Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and Robinson, and post players Bam Adebayo, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker and Dewayne Dedmon all did not travel to Georgia for the first game of the Heat’s preseason-concluding back-to-back set. Wing Marcus Garrett also did not travel as he’s dealing with lower back spasms and neither did center Omer Yurtseven, who was “a little under the weather,” Spoelstra said.
With those 11 not traveling, Miami will have only guards Gabe Vincent, Javonte Smart, Dru Smith and Strus, and forwards KZ Okpala, Udonis Haslem and Micah Potter available when they face the Hawks at 7 p.m. at State Farm Arena.
The Heat has avoided playing players in back-to-back games this preseason, which will give Miami something close to its regular lineup Friday when it closes out the preseason back in South Florida.