Duncan Robinson was a fixture in the starting lineup next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. His shooting helped the Heat’s offense run smoothly even though Butler and Adebayo are non-shooters.
For those two seasons, Robinson shot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc on high volume. That earned him a five-year, $90 million contract last off-season. But the former Division III basketball player struggled to shoot early in the season. Late in the year, Max Strus took his starting job. After Kyle Lowry’s injury in the first round of the playoffs, Victor Oladipo took his bench role. By the end of the Miami Heat’s playoff run, Robinson was out of the rotation.
And he opened up about it all on his podcast, The Long Shot.
"Not playing sucks... especially when you feel that you are capable and you feel that you can help win. It's a really challenging feeling."— The Long Shot (@TheLongShotPod) June 7, 2022
Dunc opens up about embracing his changed role in the playoffs. Full ep drops tomorrow.
Full clip here: https://t.co/adx2YVCHVg pic.twitter.com/gTvRwKneB1
The swingman pointed to the first two games of the Heat’s playoff run in the podcast episode. He set a franchise playoff record with eight made 3-pointers and scored 27 points in Game 1. The next game, Robinson just played six minutes and 40 seconds. The former Michigan player said, “that particular Game 1 to Game 2 shift in that series was something that I probably let bother me a little bit more than I should have.”
During the Heat’s second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers, I said that Robinson deserved a chance. But Max Strus earned the starting role in the playoffs, even with shooting struggles of his own. Robinson’s unreliable shooting and his propensity to foul on the other end of the floor prevented him from sniffing playing time on an injured team that desperately needed shooting.
During Pat Riley’s press conference earlier this week, the Heat President said that Robinson has to improve defensively. “That message has been delivered to him many times,” Riley said.
And it sounds like he’s motivated to come next season as a better player.