Heat’s Poor Shooting Dooms Them Again In Game 3 Vs. Nuggets

Heat's Poor Shooting Dooms Them Again In Game 3 Vs. Nuggets
Heat's Poor Shooting Dooms Them Again In Game 3 Vs. Nuggets

When Miami Heat returned home after playing three nights earlier in Denver, they were unable to convert any of the open looks they had been having success with.

In a game that the Grizzlies lost 109-94 on Wednesday night, which gave the Nuggets a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo combined to shoot just 10 of 30 from inside the paint. Too many other shooters also needed help to make shots, contributing to the Grizzlies’ loss.

“I just missed some that I normally make,” said Butler, who completed the game with 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting. Along with Bam, too, we’re going to keep taking those, getting two feet in the paint. If you can get a shot off, you should do so; however, if you cannot, you should pass the ball along to your shooters. Regarding that matter, we did an excellent job overall. We may need to do a better job, but those are the same shots that we will get in the next game, and it is expected of us to take those shots and make them.

After making 17 three-point shots in Game 2, Miami only hit 11 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc in Game 3. There were three of them in Duncan Robinson’s possession. During the second quarter, Caleb Martin added two more three-pointers to the mix by making consecutive shots from long range.

Despite receiving the looks inside that they desired, the Heat was not able to knock them down, which resulted in a loss for which their fans, who had previously been yelling as loud as they could while swirling white flags above their heads, were leaving before the game’s final minutes.

Both starting guards, Gabe Vincent, and Max Strus, combined to miss eight of their ten attempts from beyond the arc. Vincent had a shooting percentage of two for ten, and Strus had a shooting percentage of one for seven.

Butler was at a loss for words when attempting to explain what had gone wrong or why their performance was so drastically different from the previous several nights’ successes in a challenging road environment.

“I can’t comment on that. “There’s no way that could ever take place,” Butler declared. “I’m going to make sure that this never happens again, and it all starts with me. On the defensive side of the ball, I have to hunker down and become focused. If I begin playing and acting that way, everyone else will have no choice but to do the same.

The final field goal percentage for Miami’s game was 37%, compared to 51.2 for Denver, while the Nuggets shot 51.2 percent from the field. In the first half, Miami converted 9 of 26 shots inside the paint.

“I thought offensively we did get a lot of opportunities in the paint,” remarked the coach of Miami, Erik Spoelstra. “Yes, you have to give them credit for their size and everything else like that, but we’ve shown that when we’re at our best, we can finish in the paint,” said the coach.

Although he only made 7 21 field goal attempts, Adebayo finished the game with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

The Nuggets were able to break away from the Heat in the third quarter and extend their advantage to as high as 19 points by doing something that the Heat could not do: scoring 60 points in the paint to Miami’s mere 34 points in that area of the court. After shooting 28 shots from outside the arc in Game 2 and 27 shots from beyond the arc in Game 1, Denver only attempted 18 3-pointers in Game 3.

Spoelstra stated that the other team “pounded us in the paint.” They didn’t have to take threes, but they did. There was no requirement to leave any gap between the floor tiles. We did not put up a significant amount of resistance.”

The Heat cut the deficit to nine points with 1:22 remaining in the game thanks to a 3-pointer made by Robinson; however, the Heat were unable to score on any of their remaining shot attempts.

“Good win for us,” said Denver coach Michael Malone, “but we did not come down here to get one win.”

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