Duncan Robinson is having surgery on the middle finger on his right hand today. He will be out for at least four weeks and then be re-evaluated.— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 4, 2023
In addition, Chiang reported that the surgery will happen in Los Angeles today, where the Heat currently are ahead of their nationally-televised showdown against the Lakers. Chiang noted that he initially injured his finger in Washington nearly two months ago and hasn’t been fully healthy since.
Surgery will happen in LA today. Robinson initially injured the finger in Washington nearly two months ago. https://t.co/GGpLSSW9nl— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 4, 2023
Robinson, who’s been sporadically in and out of the lineup, was originally questionable on the injury report heading into Wednesday. He’s played in the team’s last five games and nine of their last 10, but missed a combined 10 games over an 18-game stretch from Nov. 18 to Dec. 12 to either injury or DNP-CD.
Robinson is averaging 6.9 points on 33.1 percent shooting from distance (5.0 3PA), the lowest mark of his career over a full season. After getting bounced out of the starting lineup late last season, he’s came off the bench in 47 of the last 48 games he’s played in and has had an inconsistent role within the rotation.
That, of course, has hurt his on-court rhythm — something he didn’t have to worry about at all from 2019-21. Robinson’s true-shooting percentage (.528) and player efficiency rating (7.9) this year are the lowest since his rookie season in 2018-19, when he played just 161 minutes over a 15-game span as a two-way player — even though his current usage (17.9%) marks a career high and per-minute shooting volume is on-par with his career numbers.
Robinson will now be the third player to miss the next month with an injury, joining Omer Yurtseven (foot), who might miss the rest of the season, and Nikola Jovic, who got diagnosed with a lower back stress reaction Tuesday.
Robinson’s shooting might not be where it was or a place where he’d like it to be, but his spacing, gravity and movement as a shooter is useful within a Heat offense that becomes stagnant at in-opportune times. He was also a good positional defender at the back of Miami’s amoebic zone, despite the propensity to pick up (silly and sometimes unfair) fouls.
Now the Heat will likely be asking of even more from Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and two-way star Jamal Cain, when he’s not in Sioux Falls, in the rotation as a 3/4.
The Heat possessing the infamous #NextManUp™ mentality isn’t unusual — in fact, I’d argue they’ve thrived in those waters more often than not, in the regular season, over the last several years — but they’re really going to buckle down with the upcoming schedule looking as daunting as it is if they want to climb up the ranks within the East. And they’ll have to do so without one of their most feared movement shooters.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for details.