Miami Heat Makes and Misses: The corner 3, Dragic and Richardson

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Goran Dragic
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Goran Dragic /
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CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 26: Wayne Ellington
CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 26: Wayne Ellington /

Make: The Corner Three

Finally, the Heat got to one of their core offensive principles in an enormous way, allowing their offense to flow through the corner 3-point shot. In Minnesota, the Heat converted on 8 of their 19 attempts, shooting 48 percent, and it was the difference in keeping their offense at a high level.

The corner 3 has always been a hallmark of the head coach Erik Spoelstra offense, and once again the Heat lead the league in attempts from the left and right corners. Hoisting 190 to date, six more than the second place Houston Rockets, they are one of the premiere volume shooting teams in the league.

But more than just the number of attempts, the Heat use the corner 3 to trigger their inside-out game that they’ve spent the majority of the season trying to get to consistently. In Minnesota, it finally worked.

There isn’t a ton of science to getting a clean look from the corner. Wayne Ellington doesn’t move even an inch and the look is created for him.

When the Heat can get in the lane, as Dragic does above, they’re a tough team to deal with offensively. There are a number of possibilities that can occur when you get a good passer into the teeth of the defense. Dragic finds Olynyk, who attracts two defenders and swiftly finds Ellington all alone in the corner for the dagger 3. This is a simple basketball play by any standards, and one the Heat haven’t been making up until this point.

Ellington particularly has served as the catalyst for the Heat’s return to form from 3, especially in the corner. He has a great sense at how much depth to give the passer, like in this instance where he is essentially wide open, but gives James Johnson a few slides to the corner to create a much better target.

This is the move of a career shooter and someone like Ellington pacing the Heat’s 3-point effort has opened up the totality of the offense. The more positive looks they can generate from their go-to zones like the corner, the more successful the offense will be as a whole.