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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Duncan Robinson’s camp has apparent message for Heat amid playoff benching

Duncan Robinson in his Heat uniform

Aug 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) reacts before being fouled by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Robinson’s camp seems to be trying to put the heat on Miami.

Glushon Sports Management, the agency representing the Heat swingman Robinson, delivered an apparent message for the team in a tweet Monday. They hyped up Robinson’s seven three-pointer performance 19 months ago during the 2020 NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble.

19 months is not exactly a noteworthy milestone, so it seems like the timing here is not a coincidence but rather an attempt to get Robinson on the court. Robinson has been benched for virtually all of Miami’s second-round series against Philadelphia, playing just one total minute (in garbage time).

On one hand, the Heat signed Robinson, one of the very best three-point shooters in the league, to a $90 million contract and are not playing him at all in a series where their outside shooting has been horrendous. In Sunday’s narrow Game 4 loss to Philly, Miami shot a collective 7-for-35 (20 percent) from deep on looks that were mostly uncontested.

On the other hand however, Robinson is a poor defender and would be hunted mercilessly on switches by both James Harden and Tyrese Maxey if he was playing. By instead relying on Max Strus, who has been starting this series, Miami gets a player who (usually) shoots the triple almost as well as Robinson does and is a much better defender. Ex-All-Star Victor Oladipo has also been a fairly consistent option off the bench.

Role players generally tend to shoot better at home, so if the Heat’s three-point shooting normalizes (especially with two of the last three games of the series taking place in Miami), Robinson may still ultimately not be needed. Benching Robinson gives the 76ers less potential fodder for jokes as well.

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