Ranking the Top 5 shooters in Miami Heat history

Miami Heat, Tyler Herro. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat, Tyler Herro. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
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In the Heat’s rich 36-year history, they’ve employed their fair share of elite shooters. Miami has finished top ten in 3-point percentage 14 times; with 2022 being their peak with a No. 1 finish.

Shooting is more important now than ever in the NBA. In the inaugural 1989 Heat season, the team attempted 298 3s in total. Compare that to the Heat’s brief sharpshooter, Damon Jones, who attempted 521 3s himself in 2005. That was almost 20 years ago, the elite shooters may shoot 650 3s in a season these days. A massive difference that illustrates how the NBA is changing.

Shooting is a combination of accuracy, shot creation ability, range, shooting versatility (catch and shoot, off the dribble, shooting on the move, contested shooting), volume, and confidence. Mid-range and free-throw shooting can add up on the scoreboard. These are the factors, plus time spent with the franchise, that I considered when selecting the five best shooters in Heat history.

With only five slots, some fiery shooters will inevitably miss the cut. Let’s shout out some honorable mentions guys that defenses couldn’t leave open.

Honorable Mentions

LeBron James hasn’t been known as an elite shooter throughout his illustrious career. He was a changed man in Miami. In his last two seasons donning a Heat uniform, James shot 39.1% on 3.7 3PA (3-point attempts). His volume wasn’t substantial, but James was the most accurate he’s been over a two-year stretch.

Wayne Ellington didn’t have the longevity to crack this list, but he was a lethal shooter in his two-year Heat run. He made 227 3s in 2018 (4th most in Heat history) and was the Heat’s first high-volume 3-point shooter in a sense. He shot 39% on seven 3PA in 2017 and 2018.

Mario Chalmers was a clutch shooter. His 2012 game four NBA Finals performance where he went off for 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting will forever be etched in Heat fan’s memories. He’s one of four players to hit ten 3s in a game in a Heat jersey. His 657 made 3s are fifth in Heat history. “Rio” was fearless, he never shied away when it was time to let it fly.

Jon Sundvold, Mike Miller, James Jones, Shane Battier, and Jason Kapono were all 40% 3-point shooters at points in their Heat tenures. They didn’t have quite enough volume to crack the list, but their contributions to the Heat offenses cannot go unnoticed.

Max Strus was key in helping Miami reach the Finals this past season. Even if his shot wasn’t falling, defenses still sold out to contest his shots. He had a lot of gravity that way. The Illinois native made 197 3s this past year. The Cleveland Cavaliers should be ecstatic that a tough-minded sharpshooter is joining their roster. Goran Dragic is another Heat legend who helped Miami reach the Finals. He was as tough as they come. He carved up defenses being a smooth lefty. He was an elite shot creator and a knockdown spot-up shooter.

Eddie Jones was the toughest omission from the list. During his first Heat stint, Jones shot 38% on five 3PA. Good enough volume to crack the list and he had the overall production in a Heat uniform. He was knocking on the top five door but what stopped him from getting in?