A week ago, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade compared the struggles his team is going through to that of the ones Wade's 2014 Miami Heat faced en route a Finals loss. Ray Allen, who played alongside Wade in two of Miami's four Finals runs from 2011-14, has some thoughts on why Miami couldn't complete a three-peat.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Allen piped in on why the Heat faltered in The 2014 Finals, saying that a lack of adjustments by the team at large and front office led to the defeat. Manny Navarro of the Miami Heraldhas more from Allen's interview, as well as coach Erik Spoelstra's response to it:
Allen, 42, said the Heat forced the players into doing too many appearances and coach Erik Spoelstra scheduled too many practices and shootarounds.
“It certainly was tough on all of us as players,” Allen told Sports Illustrated while promoting his new book “From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love.”
“Organizationally, I don’t think they ever adjusted,” he continued. “Most of the guys, having gone to so many Finals, me being an older player, having played a lot of basketball the last five, six years, organizationally and coaching wise they didn’t adjust.
“We had the oldest team in the NBA, and on top of that, we had such a bad schedule. Every holiday we were away from home. Every situation we were in we were fighting to just stay above board, trying to figure out how to sleep or rest our bodies. We wore down, we were tired, and we were definitely tired at the end. We still were good, and we still made it to the Finals.”
Spoelstra took a measured stance in replying to Allen's comments, saying that getting to four straight Finals in and of itself is a difficult enough task in the NBA:
“If we didn’t win three in a row, I think we should be open to criticism,” he said. “It’s tough, it’s tough to win in this league multiple years, going four years in a row. I tip my hat off to teams that have been able to win three in a row. But I love Ray.”
Ultimately, though, Allen blames management for why the Heat didn’t win three titles in a row and instead lost to the Spurs in the 2014 Finals 4 games to 1.
“With a team as old as we were, and with as much basketball as we’d played, we were still doing a million appearances, we still were having all the practices, and doing all the things that typically wear you down by the end of the year,” Allen said. “Just being on your feet so much. The team didn’t learn how to manage our bodies better.
“When your players have played in June the last three or four years, by this time you have to figure out how to get people off their feet. We don’t need to have a practice. We don’t need to have a shootaround. We just have to be mental. From those aspects, you wear yourself down long term."
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