Heat’s Winslow making shooting a ‘priority’

Miami Heat third year forward Justise Winslow knows that to take the next step in his development, he needs to extend his range to the 3-point line and become an adequate perimeter shooter.

In his first two years in the league, Winslow has shown to be a determined slasher who can get to the rim and finish in traffic.

The 6-foot-7 swingman currently does most of his damage between 3 and 16 feet of the basket.

Last season, Winslow posted averages of 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 35.6 percent from the field.

The 21-year-old only attempted 37 threes, however, hitting just seven.

The Heat’s offense is at its best when point guard Goran Dragic has driving lanes to attack so he can collapse the defense, freeing up Miami’s shooters for open threes and center Hassan Whiteside for weak side dunks.

Winslow has been spotted putting in extra work on his shooting mechanics after practice, fully aware he needs to be a better floor spacer this season for the Heat to flourish.

The former Duke star says becoming a better outside shooter is a priority for him.

“It’s a huge priority for me [to be a better shooter],” Winslow told the Palm Beach Post. “If I’m knocking that down then we’ve pretty much got five 3-point shooters out there, five guys that can put it on the ground. That second unit will be really special. I don’t want it to be my fault with the spacing and all that. I’m putting in the time and that’s all I know.

“I talked to guys on the team and asked them about what kind of workouts they do or what does it take to become a great shooter, and I listened and I learned. I’m just going out here and trying to get better each day. I’m coming in early, coming in late, watching other guys shoot. Every detail, every little thing I can do to become a better shooter, I’m trying to do.”

Winslow says he’s still going to play to his strengths and be an aggressive driver, but understands the league has put more of an emphasis on hitting the three.

Winslow’s hard work should pay off. He’s been at the Heat practice facility till 2 a.m. on some nights.

“I feel like I have the discipline and the focus to ultimately get there,” Winslow said. “Once that happens, I feel like the game is going to be mine. I’ll be able to pretty much do anything on the court, play multiple positions. I think by the end of my career, for sure, the three ball is going to be a weapon of mine.”