Barry Jackson

Fifteen Heat nuggets, unusual feats in a most unique season

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) is congratulated by James Johnson (16) after a play during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, March 12, 2017.
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) is congratulated by James Johnson (16) after a play during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, March 12, 2017. dsantiago@elnuevoherald.com

Fifteen Heat nuggets and factoids looking back at a most unusual season:

• Not only did the Heat become the first team to reach .500 after being 19 games under, but no team had never even come close to that before, with several teams getting to 12 under but no closer. Miami succeeded in its fourth and final attempt to get back to .500, closing at 41-41 for the first time in franchise history.

• The Heat finished 21st in scoring (103.2), 15th in field goal percentage (45.5), 12th in three-point percentage (36.5).

Defensively, Miami was fifth in points allowed per game (102.1), 6th in field goal percentage allowed (45) and third in three-point percentage allowed (34.3).

• Hassan Whiteside, besides leading the league in rebounding, grabbed 1,088 total rebounds this season, marking the most for a single-season in team history, surpassing the previous record of 934 which was set by Rony Seikaly during the 1991-92 season.

Additionally, Whiteside grabbed 30.4 percent of all of Miami’s rebounds this season, the highest percentage by any player in franchise history.

And there’s this: Whiteside led Miami in rebounds in 75 games this season, the most by a Heat player for a single-season in team history, surpassing the previous high of 59 games set by Rony Seikaly in 1991-92. He also capped the season leading the team in boards in 35-straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

• Whiteside averaged an NBA-leading 14.1 rebounds and 2.09 blocks this season.

According to STATS, he became just the fourth player since 2000-01 to average at least 14.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks, joining DeAndre Jordan (2014-15), Dwight Howard (2011-12, 2010-11, 2007-08) and Ben Wallace (2002-03).

• James Johnson surpassed his career highs in many categories this season, including points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goals made, three-point field goals made and free throws made.

His improvement this season was the largest in the NBA when factoring in points, rebounds and assists per game averages from last season to this season. Denver’s Nikola Jokic was second factoring in all those stats.

• And that doesn’t even mention Johnson’s defense, which was exceptional.

Consider: According to the NBA, there were 56 players who defended at least 800 shots this season. Johnson allowed baskets on only 40.5 percent of those shots.

Only two other players among those 56 allowed a lower percentage in shots they were defending: Golden State’s Draymond Green (39.8) and New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday (39.9). Kevin Durant was tied with Johnson.

• Miami sold out every game this season and has sold out 335 straight overall games, which includes both the regular season and playoffs, the 10th-longest sellout streak in NBA history. Next on the NBA all-time list is the Sacramento Kings with their 354-game sellout streak from 11/26/99 – 4/18/07.

Both Miami’s 335 overall streak and their 279-game regular season sellout streak are the longest in franchise history.

• The Heat connected on double-figure three-point field goals 38 times this season, the most for a single season in team history. Miami also hit 808 total threes this season, also the most for a single season in franchise history. Additionally, eight Heat players hit at least 70 three-pointers this season, tying the most in the NBA.

• Luke Babbitt finished 12th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage at 41.4, Goran Dragic 25th at 40.5 and Dion Waiters 37th at 39.5.

• The Heat gave up 24.06 points per game in the fourth quarter this season. That was the third-lowest average in the NBA.

Additionally, Miami’s fourth quarter defense held opponents to 42.7 percent shooting in the fourth, also the third-lowest in the league.

• Tyler Johnson averaged 13.7 points per game this season, the second-highest average in the NBA by a player with no starts, behind only OKC’s Enes Kanter.

Tyler Johnson produced 1,002 points, 293 rebounds and 233 assists while James Johnson totaled 884 points, 341 rebounds and 248 assists off the bench, making them as the only two players in the NBA to score at least 600 points, grab 250 rebounds and dish out 200 assists off the bench this season.

Tyler Johnson recorded 11 20-point games as a reserve this season, marking the most single-season 20-point games off the bench in team history. James Johnson finished with nine, tying the fourth-most.

• Miami took only 25 charges, compared with 41 for its opponent, with Willie Reed leading the way with nine.

• Heat finished 14-2 on Wednesday but 0-8 on Sundays.

• The Dion Waiters/Goran Dragic/Hassan Whiteside/Rodney McGruder/Luke Babbitt starting lineup finished 20-5.

• Dragic scored in double figures his last 46 games, his longest streak of his career and surpassing his 29-game streak, his previous high mark.

• According to sportingcharts.com, the Heat’s top five in plus/minus were James Johnson (plus 139), Whiteside (plus 96), Wayne Ellington (plus 86), Waiters (plus 84) and Okaro White (plus 68).

 
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