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The 50-40-90 Club explains Miami Heat’s funky line-up with Jimmy Butler

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So far Erik Spoelstra’s use of recent additions has resulted in a fast start for the Heat.

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

This early in the season a question remains whether Miami Heat’s fast start out of the gate is the result of a scheduling fluke or the start of something big.

Part of answer might come from seeing how the members of the Heat’s 50-40-90 club perform once teams put the clamps on them later on in the schedule.

The 50-40-90 figures are 50 FG%, 40 3P%, and 90 FT%, and players on the Heat who qualify in order of minutes played per basketball-reference are:

  • Kendrick Nunn 52/48/100
  • Duncan Robinson 52/44/100
  • Derrick Jones Jr. 78/50/100

If only field goal attempts are counted, then Meyers Leonard with a splits of 55/64/50 would qualify as someone who can stretch the floor.

The starters from the last game included Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, surrounded by three efficient scorers (FG%/3P%): Nunn (52/48), Robinson (52/44), Leonard (55/64).

Having Butler run the point wasn’t in the off-season plans, but Butler and Adebayo flanked by players featuring 50/40 splits hopefully results to continued winning down the road if their production is sustainable.

After only a small sample size of five games the Heat are third in 3P%, first in FTA, STL and BLK, in other words they’re a pretty aggressive group of competitors who also space the floor.

Only eight NBA players have qualified for the 50-40-90 over an entire season, so a rookie such as Nunn breaking into that circle would be an unprecedented achievement.

Currently three players with more than 50 FGA have surpassed those figures: Pascal Siakam 51/44/96, Nunn 52/48/100, Bojan Bogdanovic 52/44/100, so how many remain in that circle by season’s ends remains to be determined.

Notably yesterday’s starting line-up didn’t include a single player from last year’s starters of Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Hassan Whiteside and Jones Jr. versus the Orlando Magic.

Quietly the Heat have reshaped their approach this season to produce a team which features defenders and shooters: Butler and Adebayo surrounded by three 50/40 players.