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Will the Heat have enough 3-point shooting next season?

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With the loss of some deep shooters, do the Heat still have depth when it comes to outside shooting? Let’s take a look at the options.

Andy Lyons

Amongst the panic these past weeks, little has been discussed about Miami's outside shooting moving forward.

The retirement of Shane Battier along with the departure of James Jones, Rashard Lewis and possibly even Ray Allen, has left somewhat of a hole in offense. The Heat did a great job of acquiring capable scorers in Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger while keeping on 26th draft pick Shabazz Napier and rewarding prospect James Ennis with a rookie contract but the question remains - who's going to be spacing the floor for Miami?

The natural choice would be Chris Bosh, right? Only this season his role is changing; he'll no longer be in position to be fed the ball while LeBron is drawing defenders. While instinct would assume his 3-point shooting would increase, it is more than likely to be lower as he will now be the go-to guy close to the basket in his new role. In 2013-14 season alone, Bosh took more 3-pointers (218) than his seven years in Toronto (168). It's hard to really know if his new developed shooting will find it's role into the new roster.

McRoberts comes into the Heat as a possible Bosh 2010-14 role filler; the big guy who can spread the floor while being able to catch and pass is more than likely going to take up where Bosh left off. In his 2013-14 season with Charlotte McRoberts threw up 291 attempts from deep (with 36.1% accuracy) the most he's attempted in any season. A fluke, or an improvement on the 27-year-old's game?

Not every Heat player has been improving in the 3-point department. In contrast, Dwyane Wade and Deng's outside shooting have been on the decline in recent years (maybe decline is too generous of a word as it gives the impression Wade used to shoot particularly well). Deng has been efficient from deep at times, and at 29 years old he can still provide tenacity on both ends of the floor to help smooth out the kinks of LeBron's departure.

However, Deng's reliability from 3-point range remains in question. He was a league average 3-point shooter (34-35%) in his first season of high volume attempts from three. In 2011-12, Deng made 36.7% of his threes, which would be a welcome accuracy for the Heat this season. The questions come in the last two seasons in which he shot 32.2% and 30.2%, respectively, which is not what the Heat need from him. This shows with a higher volume of attempts he doesn't have the consistency to be an accurate shooter but maybe if you get him good looks he can be an effective enough shooter.

With LeBron out of the picture, the jury is split on how Wade will perform. Most are quick to discard the mercurial player and his trouble knees with the Heat relying on him heavily. Wade has never excelled in deep shooting (he's one of the weakest), though Pat Riley's recent call on him needing to reinvent himself could be enough motivation for the 32-year old to work hard to improve that facet of his game.

The loss of LeBron also opens up new opportunities for Mario Chalmers. With James no longer dominating the court, the combination of Norris Cole and Chalmers is one to be nourished by Spolestra and Riley. We know both can shoot. Moving forward, this could now be the beginning of a point guard run team and while they're probably not going to be spot-up shooters like in the past, they can still be effective from the outside while handling the ball more often.

Sure it's not going to be a walk in the park this season but that is what makes this one exciting. There's no more coasting, or waiting around until we hit April to witness this team's motivation. A change is coming, so let's welcome it with open minds.