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Heat open 2020 with practice focused on defense

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The Heat allow the most open 3-point shots in the NBA.

NBA: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Days after suffering a blowout loss to an injury-depleted Washington Wizards team, the Miami Heat opened the new year with a two-and-a-half-hour practice focused on defense.

Miami allowed 111.1 points per 100 possessions in December, which ranked 22nd in the NBA. The month included lackadaisical defensive performances against two sub-.500 teams, the Wizards and the Memphis Grizzlies. Those losses remain dark spots on an otherwise thrilling month of close wins.

One big area for Miami to work on is defending the 3-point line. The Heat lead the league in allowing “open” 3-point shots — when the nearest defender is 4-6 feet away from the shooter — at 16.4 attempts per game.

The Heat will play their first game of the new year Thursday at 7:30, hosting the Toronto Raptors.