MIAMI Once a year, the NBA holds a 3-point contest featuring some of the best shooters in the world.
As for the Miami Heat, they have one of those nearly every day.
Miami players regularly have contests after practice. If you didnt know better, youd think it was the NBA event during All-Star Weekend.
The Heat feature two players who have won the All-Star contest in Ray Allen, the 2001 winner with Milwaukee and a six-time participant, and James Jones, the 2011 champion with Miami and a two-time participant. They have three other guys who have competed in six combined contests in Rashard Lewis (three), Mike Miller (two) and Mario Chalmers (one).
We could field pretty much half the field in the 3-point contest, Allen said.
Maybe even the entire six-man field. The Heat also have Shane Battier, a career 38.2 percent marksman who led the NBA with 42 3-pointers in the 2012 playoffs while helping Miami to the title.
We have some of the best 3-point shooters in the world, said Chris Bosh, who, as a center, also can stroke them.
The Heat, of course, have high-scoring stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But could it be possible that many Miami games this season will generate into a three-ring circus of shooting?
It sure is. The Heat gave fans in China a glimpse of what to expect when they drilled 21 of 50 long-range shots in two recent preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
I think for us we got to take those looks if those looks are given to us, James said. Were a team that plays with a lot of pace, a lot of space. We want to create that space for our attackers.
I know D-Wade is not going to take as many 3s. Im not going to take as many 3s because we have so many guys that can spread the floor. We want our shooters to shoot. Thats one thing about (coach Erik Spoelstra). He doesnt want any of our shooters to turn down shots.
The Heat last season were a mere 20th in the NBA in 3-pointers made (5.6 per game) and 23rd in attempts (15.6) while ranking tied for ninth in percentage at 35.9. But they added during the offseason Allen, the NBA career leader in 3-pointers made, and Lewis, who ranks ninth.
Theyve also given the green light to Bosh, who is 2 of 6 from long range in three preseason games. And theres the emergence of Norris Cole, who was a pedestrian 21 of 76 for 27.6 percent last season on 3-pointers.
Cole went 4 of 4 in the two China games. And Allen, perhaps the most legendary 3-point shooter the world ever has known, had actually admitted before the team left for China about losing regularly to Cole in those contests after practices.
Norris has beaten me every morning in shooting, so now hes on my mind, Allen had said. I got to get him and start beating him.
If Allen can get Cole, its not as he can relax. Everywhere you turn, theres a hired gun on the Heat.
We have guys who could potentially win any given year in the 3-point contest, Allen said.
It might be just as hard to win a shootout after a Miami practice than the actual one during All-Star Weekend.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson