Jul 11, 2012, 12:42 PM EDT
We knew it was coming, but it still seems a little strange to see Ray Allen sitting there with Pat Riley and holding up a Miami Heat jersey.
Allen admitted this came out of the blue as well, saying he cried after the Heat eliminated the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals and he never expected to sign with the Heat. Allen was emotional and said he was really going to miss those guys in Boston, and the fans as well.
But there he was, on the stage, and it is official. Allen signed a three-year, $9 million deal (the tax-payers mid-level exception) to take his talents to South Beach. There he will be joined by Rashard Lewis.
So does this make the Heat the favorites in the East? You bet, the NBA champs just got better. But Allen was more cautious, as quoted by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.
“The work still has to be put in. I look at Boston and they had a great chance and they made some great signing, commitments this past week. I look at this situation and I thought about what’s best for my kids and my wife.”
Allen tried to play down his friction with Rajon Rondo, which had been reported as one of the reasons he decided to leave Boston, take less money and go to a rival. From the twitter of David Aldridge of NBA.com.
“There’s differences. We all have differences. Paul eats corn flakes. I may not like corn flakes.”
Who doesn’t like corn flakes?
With the addition of three-point shooters like Lewis and Allen, it’s easy to picture the Heat going with the small lineups that were so successful in the playoffs — Chris Bosh as the center, LeBron James as the four, and making sure there are shooters to spread the floor at all times.
But Riley tried to downplay that, saying what they were going to do is play lineups that win games. In reality, that’s some small ball. Lewis summed it up well at his press conference. From the AP.
You’ve got to double-team LeBron. You have to double-team Dwyane Wade. You’ve got to double-team Chris Bosh. And then you think they’re going to leave Ray Allen open?” Lewis said…. “They’ve got to leave somebody open. So I have to go shoot a million jumpers tonight and be ready to knock them down. Somebody’s got to be open.”