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This Western Conference favorite playtype could become a disruptive force for the Miami Heat

Stats show top teams from the Western Conference use pull-up jumpers more often than most other teams.

NBA: Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Witnessing the success of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers against the Miami Heat and other teams lately, a glance at the stats for 3-point pull-up jumpers exposed that six teams, which used it the most often, were all from the Western Conference.

Most 3-Point Pull-Up Jumper Attempts

TEAM 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
TEAM 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
Houston Rockets 408 1146 35.6
LA Clippers 238 686 34.7
Portland Trail Blazers 248 672 36.9
Dallas Mavericks 191 645 29.6
Utah Jazz 206 638 32.3
Golden State Warriors 234 628 37.3

Of the six teams, which had the least amount of 3-point pull-up jumper attempts, five were from the Eastern Conference.

Least 3-Point Pull-Up Jumper Attempts

TEAM 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
TEAM 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
Philadelphia 76ers 84 266 31.6
Milwaukee Bucks 92 321 28.7
San Antonio Spurs 101 327 30.9
New York Knicks 102 354 28.8
Miami Heat 108 360 30.0
Detroit Pistons 118 374 31.6

The Houston Rockets, with James Harden and Chris Paul, have a diametrically opposite style of play from the Philadelphia 76ers with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

As constructed now, the Heat starters, with Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, and Josh Richardson, figuratively speaking play Eastern Conference basketball, while the bench, with Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington, is Western Conference basketball.

Miami Heat 3-Point Pull-Up Jumpers

PLAYER 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
PLAYER 3 Pt M 3Pt A 3Pt%
Rodney McGruder 1 1 100.0
Kelly Olynyk 10 23 43.5
Wayne Ellington 37 101 36.6
Tyler Johnson 7 20 35.0
Goran Dragic 26 78 33.3
Dion Waiters 14 54 25.9
Josh Richardson 4 18 22.2
Dwyane Wade 3 18 16.7
James Johnson 4 34 11.8
Bam Adebayo 0 3 0.0
Justise Winslow 0 2 0.0
Luke Babbitt 0 0 0.0
Hassan Whiteside 0 0 0.0

Predictably Miami always sends players to the corners for 3-point catch-and-shoot baskets, as the ball-handler drives to the basket for a quick outlet pass.

The video below of Russell Westbrook making transition baskets, illustrates why Portland ranks last in assists, as their guards also dribble the ball down the court for relatively easy baskets about 30% of the time, except they launch shots from the 3-point line with greater accuracy.

What striking about the video is Westbrook’s measured pace going down the court, where he allows his rebounders to get position in the paint for second-chance points, before he attempts a pull-up jumper.

Part of Olynyk’s success comes from defenders leaving the painted area out of respect for his long-range shot, while James Johnson is forced to make turnover-prone passes, due to his dismal record from 3-point land.

The Heat have five players in McGruder, Olynyk, Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Goran Dragic, who can bring the basketball down the court and force defenders out of the paint, leading to baskets in the restricted area by the bigs and back-door cuts.

Teams might be surprised not seeing Heat players planted motionless in the corners, and won’t be prepared for a change in how Miami spaces the court.