There’s a reason Pat Riley decided to load up on wing shooters. Without proper spacing, LeBron James may still be a superstar, but he’d have to work much harder to generate the uber-efficient offense we’ve grown to expect.
Spacing for someone like James is like foreplay before playing 20 Toes. He’s going to score regardless, but why not make it as efficient and pleasurable as possible?
“The corner three is an effective shot,” Chris Bosh said a few weeks back. “Our principles are to spread the floor.”
And spread the floor they have done, leading the league in offensive efficiency this year, while also ranking second in three-point percentage (40%) and sixth in attempts (22.1). It’s time to rank the Heat’s top shooters in franchise history. (*Note: Being able to create your own shot is a bonus, it’s the difference between someone like Jason Kapono and Ray Allen. This isn’t purely about threes. While the player’s entire career is taken into account, their years in Miami certainly factor in.)
Just Missed The Cut: Steve Smith, Dan Majerle, Eddie House, and Bruce Bowen
13. Shane Battier
Years With Team: 2 (2011 – present)
Best Heat Season: 2012-13 – Battier lit up this year, kaboom-ing at a 43 percent clip from three.
Career: 39.7% 3FG
Shane is the prototypical role player in today’s game. His intelligence is unmatched, his jumper is clean, and he gets after it defensively. We also hailed Battier as the most integral role player on this year’s squad.
As a shooter, his career has been reinvigorated in Miami. His job: Get to an open spot on the floor (preferably in the corner), let LeBron carve the defense up, and be ready to let it fly when the rock arrives at it’s launch point.
12. James Posey
Years With Team: 2 (2005 – 2007)
Best Heat Season: 2005-06 – Connected on 40 percent of his threes during the season and 42 percent during the playoffs.
Career: 34.9% 3FG
Posey’s role during Miami’s first successful title run was a carbon copy of Battier’s today. Defend and shoot, with a little nasty in between.
11. Tim Hardaway
Years With Team: 6 (1995 – 2001)
Best Heat Season: 1999-2000 – Shot 36.7 percent from deep (Just one point above his career average.)
Career: 36.7% 3FG
The man with the killer crossover should have also been nicknamed Chuck for his addiction to launching threes with no regard for efficiency. Hardaway was 12th in three-point attempts in league history (4,385), yet didn’t rank among the top 200 in three-point percentage (35.5%). He’s still the Heat’s all-time leader in made threes with 806, and for that we grant him a home on this list.
10. Voshon Lenard
Years With Team: 5 (1995 – 2000)
Best Heat Season: 1996-97 – Shot 41.4 percent from three, which ranked 10th in the NBA.
Career: 38.4% 3FG
Voshon spent his first five years in the league as Miami’s go-to sniper, spreading the court for Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning and Jamal Mashburn.
9. Eddie Jones
Years With Team: 6 (2000 – 2005, 2006)
Best Heat Season: 2002-03 – Averaged 18.5 points on 40.7 percent shooting from the perimeter.
Career: 37.3% 3FG
Jones gets props for not only tearing it up from deep in his 14-year career, but also for consistently displaying the ability to create shots for himself and his teammates. EJ was a three-time all-star who had two stints in MIami.
8. Jon Sundvold
Years With Team: 4 (1988 – 1992)
Best Heat Season: 1988-89 – Jonny Sun tortured opponents in the Heat’s inaugural season, leading the league in three-point percentage (52.2 percent).
Career: 39.2% 3FG
Many youngins may be asking “Who the hell is this guy?”. Being born in 1987, I asked the very same question.
7. Damon Jones
Years With Team: 1 (2004-05)
Best Heat Season: 2004-05 – Filleting opponents from deep (43 percent from three) on a team that took the Detroit Pistons to seven games in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals.
Career: 39% 3FG
This 10-team journeyman was one of the better shooters in league history, but excelled at nothing else. Still, he ranks 55th all-time in career three-point percentage and top-10 in swag.
6. James Jones
Years With Team: 5 (2008 – 2013)
Best Heat Season: 2010-11 – Assassinated defenses to the tune of 43 percent shooting from the perimeter in year one of LJE (The LeBron James Era)
Career: 39.9% 3FG
The former Cane is one of the league’s most consistent long-range bombers. The fact he doesn’t really play on a squad that craves shooters tells you just how deep this Heat team is.
5. Jason Kapono
Years With Team: 2 (2005 – 2007)
Best Heat Season: 2006-07 – Led the league in three-point shooting at 51.4 percent.
Career: 43.4% 3FG
Kapono, the long lost twin brother of Novak Djokovic, will go down as one of the purest three-point shooters Miami has ever seen. If only he wasn’t slow-footed and caucasian too. One of the Heat’s four winners of the Three-Point Shootout.
4. Chris Bosh
Years With Team: 3 (2010 – present)
Best Heat Season: 2012-13 – A career year with 53.5 percent shooting from the field, including 52 percent from between 16 and 23 feet.
Career: 49.6% FG
What’s a big man doing on this list? While he rarely launches them from three, Bosh is the best mid-range shooter in the game, connecting on 52 percent of shots taken between 16 and 23 feet this season.
His jumper is silky, making him the ideal third piece to Miami’s juggernaut core. We witnessed the demise of a Bosh-less Heat team against Indiana in last year’s playoffs. They barely advanced without him.
3. Mike Miller
Years With Team: 3 (2010 – present)
Best Heat Season: 2012-13 NBA Playoffs – Hit 31 of his 75 threes, including an outrageous 7-for-9 clinic from deep in a deciding game five of the NBA Finals.
Career: 40.6% 3FG
Mike gets bonus points for his ability to put it on the floor and create jumpers off the dribble. Despite his ferocious physical decline over the past four seasons, Miller has consistently displayed elite shooting on a team that feeds off it. When that beautiful jumper goes viral, it’s all over.
2. Glen Rice
Years With Team: 6 (1989-1995)
Best Heat Season: 1994-95 – Averages 22.3 Points on a 48-41-86 shooting split (FG/3FG/FT).
Career: 40% 3FG
Rice’s jumper was slicker than Pat Riley’s hair in it’s prime. The former Wolverine was the first legitimate franchise player in team history, and led the Heat for the first six years of his professional career.
1. Ray Allen
Years With Team: 1 (2012-13)
Best Heat Season: 2012-13 – Ripped the net from deep at a 41.9 percent rate this year. Beats crippling away in Beantown.
Career: 40.1% 3FG, 1st in Career Threes Made, 1st in Career Attempts, 1st in Career Playoff Threes Made.
“Jesus Shuttlesworth” is the most electric shooter in NBA history, so headlining this list was a formality. LeBron’s court vision plus this dude’s lightning release equals nightmares on the reg for opposing coaches. Life isn’t fair sometimes, and the rich got richer last summer when Ray came south.