Lee Jenkins has an awesome story about the last 29 seconds of Game 6 of the NBA finals and Ray Allen's incredible shot on SI.com today. It's full of great quotes from the game's principals, and it weaves together multiple perspectives without having to rest on the increasingly aggravating oral history format. One of the best parts is a brief anecdote about a special shooting drill Ray Allen invented for himself, one which made him perhaps the only man in the league equipped to hit that shot.
Allen's shot from the corner seemed so impossible because of all the moving parts. Any great shooter can spot-up in the corner or hit a pull-up jumper on the wing, but mad scrambles for rebounds that end with a shooter back pedaling into the corner aren't supposed to end with the ball snapping the net, because no shooter is ever really prepared for that situation. Except for Ray Allen, that is:
As a young player in Milwaukee, Allen invented a drill in which he lies in the key, springs to his feet and backpedals to the corner. A coach throws him a pass. He has to catch and shoot without stepping on the three-point line or the sideline. In Allen's first training session with the Heat, just after Labor Day 2012, he performed the drill. "It was the first time I ever saw anybody do that," Spoelstra says. "He told me he does it for offensive rebounding purposes. He said, 'You never know when you'll be in a situation where you have to find the three-point line without looking down.' "
As we've said before, calling Ray Allen's shot a "miracle" is an insult to Ray Allen. It was simply the result of the best shooter on the planet doing what he designed himself to do.