Improving 3-point shooting is adding to Miami Heat's already strong offense

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 19: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat shoots over Metta World Peace #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

When the Miami Heat returned home last week from a very rough 5-game road trip, they were in need of some kind of spark. Throughout the year they had been one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the league, hovering around 40%, but they were not taking many shots from downtown despite the success hitting them.

When the Heat was on the ropes during their 5-game road trip, they began to rely a little more on the 3. That didn't work out very well, as they hit just 31.4% of their triples while on the road trip. That didn't fare too well for the team, as they returned home on a 3-game losing streak.

Since coming home though, Miami has been hitting from downtown much more frequently, and its no surprise that they haven't lost a game since. During their current win streak, the Heat have hit 53.3% from beyond the arc. It certainly helps that LeBron James started shooting more from behind the line, making 9-of-14 from 3-point range over his last four games.

Getting a healthy Mike Miller back in the lineup is huge for Miami. He's a major threat from downtown, and since returning from injury on Tuesday against the Spurs, has shown how well someone can shoot when they aren't working with wrapped hands and injured thumbs. In three games this season, Miller is shooing 75.0% (9-of-12) from 3-point land.

If the Heat can continue getting guys wide-open looks from beyond the arc, they can very easily lead the NBA in 3-point shooting this season. Right now they are 2nd in the league behind only Boston, hitting 40.8% from downtown. If Miami keeps hitting their triples, and guys like Mario Chalmers (44.8%) and Shane Battier (42.9%) keep up the strong shooting they have shown of late, the Heat's league-leading offense will get that much better.

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