Bench shooters giving Heat a lift

By John Schuhmann,

VIDEO: Through the Lens: Heat vs. Pacers, Game 2

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Shooting is important in the game of basketball. (This is not breaking news, by the way.)

Not only do good shooters put the ball in the basket at a higher rate than bad shooters, but their presence on the floor typically provides spacing for their teammates looking to score in the paint.

To see the importance of shooting, you only need to see the Miami Heat’s numbers with Ray Allen and/or James Jones on the floor in the playoffs.

In 328 minutes with at least one of the two veteran bombers on the floor, the Heat have scored more than 120 points per 100 possessions. That’s 14 percent better than the the league average in the postseason (105.6).

In 200 minutes with neither on the floor, the Heat have scored fewer than 98 points per 100 possessions. That’s less efficient than the Charlotte Bobcats’ offense was as they got swept by the champs in the first round.

Somehow, the Heat defense has also been better with Allen and/or Jones on the floor. So, in those 200 minutes, they’ve been outscored by 50 points, the equivalent of losing a 48-minute game by 12. With at least one of the two on the floor, they’re a plus-16 per 48 minutes.


Both Allen and Jones come off the bench, of course. So yeah, their starting lineups have not been very good. Their starting lineup with Shane Battier at the second forward spot is just a plus-1 in 83 minutes. Their starting lineup with Udonis Haslem in place of Battier is a minus-39 in just 65 minutes.

It should be noted that 64 of Jones’ 107 postseason minutes came against Charlotte and that he’s a plus-0 in his 43 minutes since.

But the importance of shooting is also illustrated in some SportVU numbers from the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.

In Game 1, the Pacers shot 11-for-19 (58 percent) on uncontested jumpers, according to SportVU. The Heat shot 8-for-27 (30 percent).

In Game 2, the numbers were basically reversed. Indiana shot 10-for-28 (36 percent) on uncontested jumpers, while Miami shot 15-for-27 (56 percent).

It stands to reason that the team that knocks down their shots in Game 3 on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) will be the team that takes a 2-1 lead. Again, this is not breaking news.


  1. DLEE says:

    Miami almost lost game 2 if it wasn’t for Wade, game 1 and 2 lebron performance was poor and in game 2 he took long to perform.
    lucky the pacers didn’t take off with a high lead or else miami wouldn’t have break down the lead so fast with lebron late performance. Get your act together Lebron n start to perform early if you want to 3peat!!!

  2. dbell1992 says:

    set up plays for Ray Allen (screens) could be the key for the heat to win a championship. All their shooters need to step up.

  3. TROYBOY says:

    Good statistics. But those numbers won’t work for this series. Indiana ranked on the top on defending the three. Ask the Knicks how that stat work out for them last year when they played Indiana. This series is about how each team play every single possesion. It won’t matter what they do overall. It’s how they value each possesion. And that goes to both players and coaches. If Miami is the number 1 team than Indiana is a close number 2. There is no real advantage here for the Heat. Indiana’s size bothers them and it showed with them( as a #1) making roster adjustments instead of the number 2 team.

    Game 7 at home. Pacers win in 7.

  4. aaron gibson says:


  5. thespectator says:

    iunno man, watching these spurs, im starting to believe spurs are gonna win the title, and im no heat hater but what they doing is scary, miami barely won the title last year, they won cuz of tiny mistakes which spurs will not make twice. not to mention they have home court advantage..

    • Game Time says:

      Right now the Spurs look unstoppable, but I remember the same thing being said last year.

  6. okc2014 says:

    I disagree. The Pacers can.

  7. jdub455 says:

    If the Miami shooters make those OPEN shots like they should… No team can beat them…