Heat Stars Ready For Milwaukee Return





MIAMI – If anyone on the Miami Heat roster knows what to expect at the Bradley Center for Games 3 and 4 against of their first round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks it’s Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen.

They’ve got intimate knowledge of the place, both of having been in the building when it’s an emotional power keg, when the hometown fans are cranked up and caught up in the atmosphere of a big game.

They’ll be on the other side this time, though, wearing the wrong colored jerseys for Game 3 Thursday night (7 ET, TNT). But that doesn’t change the fact that these games serve as a homecoming of sorts for these Heat stars whose careers took off in “Brew City.”

Wade came to town as an unheralded Marquette recruit and left a lottery pick, beloved by the locals as the star who helped restore a once proud program to national prominence. His college jersey hangs in the rafters of the arena, one of the retired numbers of the greats to have called the city home at some point.

Allen’s future Hall of Fame career started in Milwaukee, he played the first six and a half seasons of his career with the Bucks, helped them to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001 and earned three trips to the All-Star game as a Buck before being traded to Seattle in February of 2003.

“I went to Milwaukee with not a lot of expectations and I came out of Milwaukee the fifth pick of the Draft,” Wade said. “Milwaukee has been special to me. It has helped me get to this point. Going back there in the playoffs is a cool thing. It’s very humbling (having his jersey retired). Every time I look up there, I think about how far I have come. It’s special to be able to play in an arena where your jersey hangs.”

As it should be, right up until game time, when the Heat hit the floor in those dark, road jerseys and try to push the Bucks one step closer to their season’s end. That’s when the fans he and Allen are so familiar with will shed whatever positive vibes they have and try to handle their business.

“They’re going to come out and play with emotion,” Wade said. “I’ve been in Milwaukee when they’ve had playoff teams. I know that place can get very loud. It’s going to be emotional for them. They’re going to give us their best shots. We have to be able to withstand them and still be there late in the game and have a chance to win.”

Allen has played 10 seasons since he left Milwaukee, made seven All-Star teams since his departure, won a championship in Boston (2007-08), experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on his journey.  But he’ll always be a part of one of the best Bucks teams of the past two decades.

Those 2000-01 Bucks were one win away from making it to The Finals. Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell were the Brew City Big 3 long before Allen joined forces in Boston with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

That Bucks team was broken up a year and a half later, having struggled to regain the form that saw them among the Eastern Conference elite. Allen, the scapegoat for many at the time, Flip Murray, Kevin Ollie and a 2003 first-round Draft pick (that became Luke Ridnour) were sent to Seattle for Hall of Famer Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. Allen took the blow in stride, using it as motivation throughout the following decade of a magnificent career.

“That trade hardened me,” Allen said. “It taught me a lesson about the business of basketball and showed me at a pretty early stage in my career that I had to always be on my guard. It made me a better player because it taught me that you’ve got to have a work ethic and think things through and not take anything for granted.”

Since leaving Milwaukee, Allen has become the standard-bearer in the league for professionalism. His dedication to his craft is unmatched, prompting Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to offer up his own nickname for the man whose Heat teammates refer to as “Jesus” and “Shuttlesworth” for his star turn in Spike Lee‘s hoops classic “He Got Game.”

“You have a guy who is absolutely diligent and dedicated to his craft,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We have a lot of professionals that are very committed. But to see a guy who has a routine that no matter what, rain, shine, injury, flu, who will always be there, is a great example. I call him ‘Every Day Ray,’ for that reason. It’s every single day. Not every other day. Not when I feel like it. It’s not on days when I only have my health. It’s Every Day Ray. Every single day on the road he will be there on the early bus. We had to create that early bus. We didn’t have that before Ray. We remember that in Boston, when he was going through major ankle problems and they were trying to convince him out of that to get him some rest. Every Day Ray, he will be there. Every Day Ray is right there. That shot does not happen by accident.”

Allen is already the NBA’s all-time career leader in 3-pointers made during the regular season. His 317 career playoff 3-pointers is just three shy of Reggie Miller‘s NBA record of 320.

The idea of him catching and perhaps passing Miller while in Milwaukee, where he knocked down the first 107 of those career playoff 3-pointers, makes the return very, as Wade put it, special.

Special indeed for at least two members of the Heat traveling party.

22 Comments

  1. Good read. Miami’s playoff game against Milwaukee looks like it was very special for Wade. Thanks for posting.

  2. Lebron25 says:

    Go Bucks

  3. AWESOME BRIAN says:

    wow will they are totally loseing to the brooklyn nets in the second round not the bucks in the first round. brooklyn vs new york knicks

  4. will says:

    You guys are just hating on the buck. They are a good team and they are only going to get better in the future. And i agree with Brandon Jennings that the bucks will win in 6

    GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ene be a says:

    Every day ray for 3.
    Jesus, jesusssss, jeeeeeeessssuuuuussssss.

  6. ene be a says:

    Every day ray for 3.

  7. dmh says:

    What do the heat call a practice punching bag before they get to the real rounds of the playoffs? This year they call them the Milwaukee Bucks. I think one year they called them the New York Knicks (of course that was before they got actually good again)…. Either way, this is practice time for the heat. The bucks have done a horrible job in developing a frontline and are marginalizing everyone not named Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis. Realistically the only reason why the Bucks are even in the playoffs is because the rest of the East was just that much worse. Ok, granted there were a lot of freakish injuries on various teams but, still!!!
    Since this article is about Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade’s Wisconsin ties…. I do have to say this… These two are genuine examples of how hard work pays off. These are definitely midwestern values that should never be taken for granted. When kids come into the league with hype thinking they are the next MJ or Kobe or Shaq, they do need to take a couple steps back and eat some humble pie. Then get to work!

  8. W/E says:

    I feel sorry for the Bucks,they are gunna get humiliated in front of their crowd :/

  9. sally says:

    I totally agree, I think they will go all the way again too, I just don’t think anybody can beat them, and you can bet “every day Ray” will be ready as well and Shane, Mike, Rio and whoever else they have on the floor for the 3′s. Then there’s the “Bird”, you know he will be ready to flap his wings……should be a great game……………GO HEAT, GO HEAT !!!

  10. ko0kiE says:

    Every Day Ray will break that record in game 3!:

  11. acryn says:

    i think it will RAYning 3′s tomorrow

  12. Kosta1991 says:

    Lets go heat!!

  13. ewan sayo says:

    lets go HEAT!

  14. peter says:

    Curry broke the record for most threepointer made during reg season didnt he??????

    • Dan says:

      Curry broke the single season record for most three pointers made. Allen still holds the record for most three pointers made during regular season games over the course of a career.

    • #dontcommentifyoudontknow says:

      lmao name

  15. KG says:

    Every Day Ray is gonna make it look like just another day in WI #hesgotgame

  16. theholyspectator says:

    bucks bout to get worked!

  17. Gary Payton says:

    Heat will go all the way again!

  18. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    #SWEEP
    ON TO THE NEXT 1