Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn calls out in the second...

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn calls out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MIAMI - After the Nets’ first game, coach Jacque Vaughn lamented the lack of three-pointers his team took, hoisting up just 27 in their season-opening loss to the Cavaliers.

Since then? They’ve been one of the better teams in the league at getting shots behind the arc. Ahead of facing the Heat Thursday, the Nets are fifth in the league with 40.6 three-point attempts and were third in percentage (38%). Currently that pace is higher than last year when the Nets averaged 33.8 three-point attempts.

At the same time, Vaughn doesn’t have a set number to reach each game. The Nets have taken at least 41 in six games and no fewer than 33 since the first game, but it just depends on the matchup.

“We just want high quality shots and sometimes those threes are early in transition,” Vaughn said. “Sometimes they're because of drive and kick basketball.”

It’s also varied because of injuries. Cam Johnson, the Nets best shooter, missed seven games.

Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith are taking 6.8 threes per game, career-highs for both.

If anything, Vaughn wants the Nets to take more threes relative to career averages. So far it’s worked, but the variance also translates into who’s making threes so far.

Finney-Smith is shooting 44%, well above his career average of 36%. Johnson is averaging 32.1%, far below his 39.1% career-average. Cam Thomas was shooting just 32.1% on a career-high 6.6 attempts, yet it hasn’t kept him from averaging 26.9 points before he got hurt.

Mikal Bridges has struggled as well, shooting just 29.2 % on threes. But Vaughn is less worried about who’s making or missing threes and more pleased with the volume his team puts up - even without a set number on his mind.

“That thing will regress to the mean,” Vaughn said about his team’s individual shooting numbers. “But we’ll take some high quality shots along the way.”

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