Heat's James Johnson feeling more confident at 3-point line as playing time increases

Shandel Richardson

The only people surprised by the numbers are those outside the Miami Heat locker room.

The insiders know the capabilities of Heat forward James Johnson from the 3-point line. It's always been there. Johnson is just now getting opportunity to showcase it.

He made 4 of 5 from the arc in the Heat's 118-113 victory against the Sacramento Kings Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Surprising? Hardly

"Nah, I've been shooting the three well," Johnson said. "You're going to have years where you're not shooting it well. Like I said, I trust my work. I'm going to keep putting them up with confidence until they come with a different scouting report."

Johnson is shooting a career-high 48 percent from the 3-point line. His previous best was 34 percent in 2016-17, his first season in Miami. The revival comes a few months after Johnson was an afterthought in the rotation. He was sent home from training camp in October because of conditioning issues. He has since worked his back into being a contributor.

"We're just asking him to be himself," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We don't have to obsess about one aspect of his game or the other. He had his impact on this game the way James Johnson should and that's across the board making winning plays on both ends of the court. His production should not be defined on whether the three-ball is going in or not."

Johnson is averaging 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13 appearances. He's still getting acclimated to playing with a new roster because of the limited playing time.

"It's not as rewarding as you think," Johnson said of playing with the everyday players. "I want to be able to do that with those guys. It's all about meshing and it's all about them guys are going to play a lot of minutes. In order to play with them, you have to play within your role and within your skill level. I haven't been able to do that as much with Jimmy (Butler) and Bam (Adebayo)."

Comments (4)
No. 1-2

Heat are officially a sleeper for the Eastern Conference Finals


I am glad to see that he is getting his confidence back and its growing with every game. Pretty amazing mental determination for someone who was sent home from camp to now be shooting so well from the perimeter.