The shot is in the air. This is the moment, the final seconds of an NBA Finals game, guard Ray Allen of the Miami Heat loves most.
Four months later and with a new season starting Tuesday, Allen can reconstruct virtually every detail of the end of regulation play in Game 6 of the Finals against San Antonio.
But the intriguing part to ex-Sonic Allen isn’t catching the pass while moving backward behind the three-point line, which league referees broke down in a summer symposium, frame by frame, to see whether Allen traveled (he didn’t).
Nor is he surprised by the shot’s quick release (.85 seconds) or flat arc (40 degrees), as an ESPN “Sport Science” segment calibrated.
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The shot in the air is the part that intrigues Allen. Anything can happen in that 1.6 seconds. Everything’s in play. And that fickle flight of the basketball, Allen feels, represents the magic of sports.
“It’d be interesting to freeze it in the air and list all the consequences that are possible for everyone,” Allen said. “If it goes in and the Heat win, you can make a list of what that means.”
They repeat as champs. LeBron James is the greatest. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich literally has repeated nightmares …
That is what happened, as Allen’s shot forced overtime and the Heat proceeded to win Game 6 and a deciding Game 7. “And if it doesn’t go in,” Allen said, “that’s another list.”
The Heat faces disbanding. James is a choker after losing three of four Finals.
“When you’re a great team, you’re just that far from being a bad team (he holds thumb and index finger a sliver apart),” Allen said.