Back in December, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo had a bet. If Adebayo didn’t shoot a 3-pointer in a game, he owed Butler $500. But as we get closer to the playoffs, should it be the other way around — Adebayo nudging Butler to take 3-pointers?
ESPN’s Zach Lowe says so.
In an article last week, Lowe says that Butler’s “aversion to 3s is reaching DeRozan-y levels.” He adds that the Heat would have a higher ceiling if Butler took and made a few 3s at a league-average rate — something he’s done for three seasons from 2016 onward.
What’s going on with Butler’s shot? Does it have something to do with the wrist sprain he sustained last year? The former Marquette wing is shooting just 24.5 percent from 3 on 2.1 attempts per game. As recently as the 2018-19 season, he made 34.7 percent of shots from beyond on the arc on three attempts per game. He’s been the least efficient jump-shooter this season. (On the other hand, Duncan Robinson is the most efficient jump-shooter.) It’s the one blemish on the five-time All-Star’s otherwise superb first season in a Heat uniform.
Least Efficient Jump Shooters In The NBA, 2019-20— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) August 10, 2020
1. Jimmy Butler ......... 33.4 eFG%
2. Russ Westbrook ... 39.9
3. Jordan Poole ........ 40.0
4. Aaron Gordon ....... 40.1
5. Julius Randle ........ 41.0
6. Markelle Fultz ....... 42.6
Min. 250 jumpers attempted (154 players) pic.twitter.com/qqzNr7OyTC
Of course, Butler is most helpful to the Heat when he is around the rim and getting buckets or a trip to the foul line. And he’s had a great season even with the flat jumper because his penetration leads to fouls, scores or assists. That’s what he should spend most of his time doing.
In case anyone needed a reminder what the G stands for... Gets. Jimmy. Gets. Buckets. pic.twitter.com/PaMPR2hYvs— x - Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 11, 2020
But if Butler has an open 3 and better options don’t appear available, he should take it. I feel the same way about Derrick Jones Jr., who has shot just 28 percent from 3 this season. If Jones doesn’t even look at the basket and instead turns the ball over via an ill-advised pass, what does that accomplish?