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Why It Matters: Heat’s 2019-20 Uniforms

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

In the case of the Miami Heat, superstitions lay in the hands of their beloved uniforms. Whether it be a Vice-themed night or a plain black, red, or white vibe, Miami’s jersey selection has brought good and bad luck.

And with the NBA finalizing every team’s jersey choice for the eight-game regular-season, taking place at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, the Heat will have the opportunity to cherish all four of their jerseys prior to the postseason.

They’ll kick things off with the casual white uniforms versus the Denver Nuggets, and end it with the black jersey against the Indiana Pacers. In total, Miami will play with the “White Association” jersey twice, “Black Icon” three times, “Blue Vice” in two contests and “Red Statement” just once.

Of course, marketing plays a big role, especially in selling the “ViceWave” City Edition jerseys, which have seemingly become a fan-favorite across the league.

Miami was scheduled to appear to wear the blue jerseys five more times this season prior to the league’s four-plus month hiatus due to COVID-19.

The following is the Heat’s jersey schedule:

August 1 vs. Denver Nuggets: White Association.

August 3 vs. Toronto Raptors: Black Icon.

August 4 vs. Boston Celtics: Blue Vice.

August 6 vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Black Icon.

August 8 vs. Phoenix Suns: Red Statement.

August 10 vs. Indiana Pacers: Blue Vice.

August 12 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: White Association.

August 14 vs. Indiana Pacers: Black Icon.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America

While it’s bold to believe that a jersey can change the outcome of a game, that’s somewhat been the case for the Heat in their past seasons. A more recent example being the 2018 “Vice Nights” jersey, in which Miami struggled through a six-game home losing skid before deciding to dump the “City Edition” alternates.

On a positive note, Miami’s throwback red “Hardwood Classics” uniform was frequently used during the Heat’s 27-game winning streak in the 2012-2013 season. In addition, the Heat’s “White Hot” jerseys were part of their back-to-back championship run, along with a 37-4 record at American AirlinesArena in 2012-13.

While Miami has only used four uniforms this season, compared to six in previous years, a chain of impressive performances while wearing a specific jersey can be examined in the Heat’s 65 games played before the league’s hiatus.

White Association

In 23 games in the white Association jerseys, Miami’s conquered a 14-9 record (0.61 win percentage), including victories against the Indiana Pacers (122-108), Toronto Raptors (84-76) and Washington Wizards (134-129). Defense remained a priority in the white look, giving up 106.7 points and scoring 108.5 points per contest.

However, offensive showings for Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic seemingly turn cold, seeing numbers drop in the scoring column. Although assists (6.5) and steals (2.0) increase when wearing white, Butler has seen his points drop to 18.8 per game, the lowest recorded in all four uniforms. As for Adebayo, points (15.1), assists (4.5) and steals (1.0) are all at its worst when wearing the association jersey.

Robinson, best known for his shooting from beyond the arc, averages a season-low 10.2 points on 37.1 percent shooting from three-point range. Dragic’s seen almost all of his numbers plummet, including his points (13.5), assists (4.6) and turnovers (3.0).

That trend doesn’t seem to affect rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, who have seen their highest numbers when wearing the white threads. For Herro, his career-high 29 points against the Atlanta Hawks came as he sported the association uniform. He’s averaged 15.7 points on 44.3 percent field goal shooting in those 23 games.

Nunn has peaked wearing white, averaging 16.1 points on 49.2 percent field goal shooting. Big-time performances versus the San Antonio Spurs (33), Atlanta Hawks (28), Washington Wizards (25) and Cleveland Cavaliers (23) all included the frequently-used jersey.

ViceWave (Blue)

Unlike past times with City Edition jerseys, Miami has done its best with the “ViceWave” threads, garnering a 12-4 record (0.75 win percentage). Victories past the Milwaukee Bucks (105-89), Philadelphia 76ers (137-106), Indiana Pacers (113-112) and Dallas Mavericks (126-118) headline the fairly successful uniform.

Miami’s been most successful from preventing turnovers (10.5 per game) in blue, while forcing opponents to 14.5 lost possessions per contest.

Jimmy Butler’s scoring play style seemingly shines in blue, averaging 22 points, including a season-high 38 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. Adebayo has seen his rebounds rise, notching 11.2 per game. He also saw his free throw percentage jump to 73.3 percent.

Black Icon

To say the least, Miami’s “Black Icon” jerseys haven’t brought the outcomes of the other three threads, holding an 8-7 record (0.53 win percentage). At the same time, key wins versus the Milwaukee Bucks (131-126), Houston Rockets (129-100), Toronto Raptors (121-110), Atlanta Hawks (135-121) and Sacramento Kings (118-113) have fallen in the hands of the black threads.

In the case of Adebayo, effective scoring has been common when wearing black, averaging 18.5 points on 61.5 percent field goal shooting. Robinson has caught fire in the icon threads, shooting 51.9 percent from beyond the arc and 54.8 percent overall.

A perfect example of Miami’s best showing in the black jerseys came against the Atlanta Hawks, as Nunn totaled 36 points, Robinson shot 10/14 from three-point range en route to a 34 point total, Adebayo recorded a 30-point triple-double and Butler had a 20-point triple-double.

Red Statement

Impressive is an understatement. Heat basketball just seems to shine brighter in red. In 11 games played with the “Red Statement” uniforms, Miami garnered an 8-3 record (0.72 win percentage), including impressive wins against the Dallas Mavericks (122-118), Philadelphia 76ers (108-104), Cleveland Cavaliers (124-105) and Phoenix Suns (124-108).

Miami’s points per game total (115.8) is at its highest when wearing red but also give up the most points (110.8). Facilitating has also developed, totaling 27.5 assists per game in the statement uniforms, the highest margin in all jerseys. The Heat’s shooting has also stepped up, making 48.4 percent field goal attempts and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc.

In the case of Dragic, his numbers rise tremendously in red, averaging 18.6 points and 6.8 assists on 50.0 percent field goal shooting. He’s also seen his accuracy at the charity stripe increase to 83.3 percent. Herro’s three-point shooting has also seen improvements in the statement threads, hitting 48.4 of his shots from deep while averaging 14.3 points and 3.0 assists per game.

NOTE: Statistics from Sam DiGiovanni of HoopsHabit.

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