Despite a near five-month layoff, the Miami Heat picked up right where they left off with some stellar shooting from deep against the Denver Nuggets.
Before the NBA season halted back in March, the Miami Heat were atop the league’s best 3-point shooting teams percentage-wise, knocking down 38.3 percent on 34.8 attempts per game. With a nearly five-month hiatus, many questioned before the restart if they could continue this dynamic shooting, and after Saturday’s performance against the Denver Nuggets, that question no longer remains.
Miami was dominant from behind the arc, knocking down 13 3-pointers on the day on 29 attempts as a team, an impressive 44.3 percent. Jae Crowder, Duncan Robinson, and Kelly Olynyk sparked the Heat’s dominant day from behind the arc, combining to hit 10 of the team’s 13 total makes from 3-point territory.
Olynyk particularly put together an eye-catching performance as he entered the fourth quarter of action with zero points to his name. However, the big man caught firing, totaling 20 of Miami’s total 31 points in the quarter. Olynyk finished the day with a solid 20 points on 8-for-11 field goal shooting, including a stellar 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point arc.
Jae Crowder also added nine points, going 3-for-4 from the field, his only attempts of the day coming from behind the 3-point line. The forward’s trade to Miami midseason had revitalized his 3-point shooting, as his 29.3 percent shooting from behind the arc before the trade jumped to 39.3 in his first 13 games with the team before today.
Duncan Robinson also knocked down three triples, going 3-of-7 on the day in what some might call an “off-day” from the 26-year-old sharpshooter. Shooting 44.8 percent from deep on the season, Robinson is typically more efficient, but his outing today was much needed as he finished with 17 points.
The Heat dominated in the second half, outscoring the shorthanded Nuggets 38-to-22 in the third quarter, and then 31-to-26 in the fourth. Miami’s electric 3-point shooting undoubtedly served as a catalyst to their blowout performance in the final two quarters.
With a 125-105 victory, the Miami Heat move to 42-24 on the season, still situated in the Eastern Conference’s 4-seed. Despite Denver being down three starters, the Heat’s excellent shooting something that should put a smile on the face of Heat fans moving forward. Miami looked sharp in their first game back, and if they can keep up this red-hot 3-point shooting, they could be a tough out for any opponent they face.
Hopefully, with a phenomenal effort shooting the ball in the books, this game was not a fluke, and the Heat can build some momentum moving forward. This 3-point shooting could be Miami’s greatest weapon, and make them the team that no one wants to run into in these upcoming playoffs.
It was reported back in April that Jimmy Butler sent portable basketball hoops to all of his Heat teammates so they could continue getting shots up during the hiatus. After today’s performance, it appears they took full advantage of the All-Star’s generosity with a top-tier outing, shooting the lights out in their first action in months.