The old saying goes, live by the three-ball, die by the three-ball.
And the latter was definitely the case for the Miami Heat in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics. The Heat had its second-worst performance of the postseason, shooting 27.3 percent from downtown.
The only time they shot worse in the playoffs was in Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers, as they went 8-30 from behind the arc. Their next time out though, they improved to 12-of-31, which was a 12 percent jump in a Game 1 victory against the Bucks.
So hoping to find a trend, I looked into Miami’s previous poor shooting performances to see how they shot this season after a dreadful outing from downtown in the previous game.
Miami was 7-1 in games this season after shooting less than 28 percent and shot above 40 percent in six of those eight games, including the postseason.
For reference, the team shot 37.9 percent from deep in the regular season.
In the ninth game of the season, the Heat had their worst three-point shooting night of the season, hitting just 17 percent of their threes against the Lakers.
Four nights later, they righted the ship in a 117-108 victory over the Pistons shooting 43.8 percent from downtown.
Miami’s second-worst shooting performance of the season came in game 35 against the Orlando Magic, as they shot 18.9 percent from behind the arc.
Once again in the next game, they beat the Portland Trail Blazers 122-11 and increased their percentage by over 20 points, shooting at a 40.9 percent rate from three-point range.
The hot shooting didn’t last long and two games later the Heat had their third-worst shooting game of the season against the Brooklyn Nets at 24.1 percent from downtown. Their next time out against the Knicks, they shot 40 percent from deep. This was the only time Miami lost a game after shooting below 28 percent this season.
The Heat’s worst regular-season performance against Boston from the three-point land came in Game 47 of the regular season when they shot 24.3 percent from behind the arc. Miami responded with a 45.5 percent showing on the deep ball the next time out against the Magic in a 102-89 victory.
Game 15 of the regular season saw the Heat go 6-of-24 against the Philadelphia Sixers just to once again shoot above 40 percent in the next game in a 117-100 victory against the Charlotte Hornets.
The only time Miami shot below 40 percent in a game after shooting below 28 percent was when they shot 26.7 in the last game of the seeding matches and then hit 37.1 percent of their threes in Game 1. It was still an 11 percent jump from the previous game which was the least after shooting less than 28 percent.
On March 6 against the Pelicans, the Heat shot 27.3 percent from downtown. The next game out against Washington, Miami shot 46.4 percent from the 3-point arc in a 100-89 victory.
Moral of the story: the Heat will continue to shoot the deep ball and hit consistently, even after a bad showing in the previous game.