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Miami Heat Player Countdown: #40-39

In today's edition of Hot Hot Hoops exclusive countdown of every Miami Heat player ever, we look back (and ahead) at current shooting guard Ray Allen and former Heat big man Jermaine O'Neal.

Kevin C. Cox

40. Ray Allen

Ray Allen is a 6'5" shooting guard from Merced, CA. Born on July 20th, 1975, the right-hander attended Hillcrest High in Dalzell, SC. As a three year member of the University of Connecticut Huskies, he was twice honored with NCAA AP All-American selections, third team in 1994-95, and first team in 1995-96. He was originally selected in the first round of the 1996 draft by the Minnesota TimberWolves, with the fifth overall pick. He was soon after traded with a draft pick (Rasho Nesterovic) to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury.

Allen played six and a half seasons for the Bucks (494 games), ranking 10th on their all-time leaderboard. He is the franchise's all-time leader with 1,051 three-point shots made, and ranks eighth with 618 steals. He was an all-rookie team selectee in his first year, and later was selected to the all-star game three times. He then made four more all-star rosters in four and a half seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics (296 games). He made three more all-star games in five seasons with the Boston Celtics (358 games). If he had retired before joining the Heat, he would already be a probably first ballot hall of famer....but he didn't retire....

On July 11th, 2012, Allen rejected a two-year, $12,000,000 contract with Boston to sign a three year deal with the Heat for just over $3,000,000 per season. He played 79 minutes off the bench backing up perennial NBA top-ten player Dwyane Wade, shooting 44.9% in 25.8 minutes per game. He shot 41.9% from three-point range, and 88.6% from the charity stripe. He averaged 10.9 points per game, with 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per appearance. He posted in double digits 49 times. On November 3rd, in a 119-116 win over the Denver Nuggets, he shot eight-for-12 with six three pointers, five rebounds, and two steals, totalling a season high 23 points. Allen scored 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting in 29 minutes on January 23rd in a 123-116 win over the Toronto Raptors. On April 10th, he equalled his season high with 23 points, also pitching in with six rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 103-98 triumph against the Washington Wizards. Miami went 66-16, losing the only three games in which Allen did not appear. He played in all 23 of Miami's playoff games on their march to their third NBA title, maintaining his season averages in most categories. His performance was most notable in game six of the NBA finals against the San Antonio Spurs. According to Wikipedia:

In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals on June 18, Allen made a game-tying three-point shot with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Having rallied from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third quarter, the Heat won in overtime 103-100 over the San Antonio Spurs and forced a seventh game in the series. With the Heat leading 101-100, Allen stole the ball from Manu Ginobili under the Spurs' basket and drew a foul with 1.9 seconds remaining in the overtime period. Allen made both ensuing free throws to put Miami up 103-100. Allen played 41 minutes in Game 6 off the bench and scored nine points on three-for-eight field goal shooting; his game-tying three-pointer was the only three-pointer he made in three attempts. Allen also had one defensive rebound and two assists.All-Time HEATline: One season, 79 games, 25.8 minutes, 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.6 PER, 6.9 win shares.

Allen's 3-Pointer Compilation from '12-'13 NBA Season (via NBAshowtimeHD2)

All-Time HEATline: One season, 79 games, 25.8 minutes, 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.6 PER, 6.9 win shares.

39. Jermaine O'Neal

Jermaine O'Neal, born on October 13th, 1978, is a 6'11" center from Columbia, SC. He was drafted right out of Eau Claire High School in the first round of the 1996 draft by the Portland TrailBlazers with the 17th overall pick.

O'Neal played four seasons with Portland (211 games). He was used sparingly as he learned the professional game, averaging just under a quarter per game with four points and three rebounds. He then joined the Indiana Pacers for eight seasons (514 games), earning six all-star selections with 19 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. He started out the 2008-09 with the Toronto Raptors (41 games). On February 13th, the Raptors traded him with Jamario Moon and two draft picks (Da'Sean Butler and Jonas Valanciunas) to the Heat for Marcus Banks, Shawn Marion, and cash.

O'Neal joined Miami's rotation with two seasons left on his seven year, $126,588,000 contract. Miami would ultimately be
responsible for $44,388,000. He started in each of his 27 appearances in South Beach to close out the season, shooting at a 47.5% clip in 30 minutes per game. He scored 13 points with 5.4 rebounds, two assists and two blocks averaged over each contest. Miami went 13-14 with him in the lineup. He finished 21 times in double figures with two double doubles. On February 21st, in a 97-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, he shot eight-for-12, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. He shot 10-for-19, scoring 28 points with eight rebounds and five blocks in 48 minutes of a 140-129, three overtime win over the Utah Jazz. Miami earned the fifth seed with a 43-39 record. They lost in the opening round in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks. O'Neal ranked a distant second (to Dwyane Wade, 29.1) in scoring, with a 13.3 points per game average over six games.

2009-10 would see O'Neal shoot at a career best 52.9% from the floor, playing 28.4 minutes per game. In 70 games (all starts), he scored 13.6 points with 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He scored 10 or more points on 54 occasions with 14 double doubles. He helped Miami to a 37-33 record in his starts. In a 95-91 setback at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on February 6th, he scored 24 points with 16 rebounds in 37 minutes. February 19th would see him score 18 points with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks in a 100-87 win over the Memphis Grizzles. On March 25th, he shot nine-of-14 for 24 points, with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in a win over the Bulls, 103-74. The Heat improved to 47-35, but still earned a fifth seed. Miami dropped the opening best-of-seven series in five games to the Boston Celtics. O'Neal shot just nine-for-44 (20.5%) with 28 rebounds in 23 minutes per game.

O'Neal signed on with the Celtics for two seasons starting in 2010-11 (49 games), joining the Phoenix Suns last season (55 games). He's slated to play with the Golden State Warriors next season.

All-Time HEATline: Two seasons, 97 games, 28.9 minutes, 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.5 blocks,
16.9 PER, 7.0 win shares.