2 – Grayson Allen
Plenty of eyes will be glued to Grayson Allen in these playoffs following last year’s second round debacle. It needs little rehashing, but fans will remember that Allen had an incredibly poor outing against the Boston Celtics last year, which was the reason behind him being in trade rumors for much of the past season. Allen has a chance to redeem himself this season, and this series could be a big one for one due to what he brings to the table offensively.
Per NBA.com, the Heat gave up the second-fewest points in the paint per game during the regular season at 46.2 on average. Due to their dedication to defending the paint, Miami surrendered the third most opponent 3-point makes per game in the regular season. The Heat will look to shut off the paint to prevent Antetokounmpo from dominating, which will give the Bucks’ outside shooters more looks on the perimeter. That is where Allen could undoubtedly be very useful.
Allen’s strongest attribute is undeniably his long-range shooting; as a member of the Bucks, he’s shot 40.4 percent on 5.5 attempts in the regular season. If he can translate his sweet shooting to this series, he could undoubtedly have an impact. The looks will be there, but it will be up to Allen to make them count. Allen gave the Bucks a massive lift in round one last season due to his sweet perimeter shooting, and the team is certainly hoping he can do it once more.
Yet, Allen’s shooting alone does not make him an X-factor, as it will be interesting to see what he does on the defensive end. Allen will likely be targeted on the defensive end as he has been in the past; the question is whether he holds up on that side of things. If it’s a repeat of last year against the Celtics, it might be wise for the Bucks to simply role with Wesley Matthews instead of Allen. However, if Allen looks competent and can hold his own, he could make a huge difference in this opening series on both ends.