The Philadelphia 76ers tied their semifinals sequence 2-2 with the Miami Heat on Sunday night time, defeating them 116-108. The momentum on this sequence has fully swung in Philly’s favor, and it’s no thriller why. Joel Embiid’s return, coupled with Miami lacking 51 threes in the final two video games, has made this a sequence. One facet of the matchup, nonetheless that could be a thriller, is the disappearance of Duncan Robinson from the Heat’s rotation.
Robinson hasn’t been nice recently. Positive, it sounds easy sufficient. However Robinson was by no means a “nice participant.” Nonetheless, he’s been a superb position participant who can hit well timed pictures. In Sport 1 of the Heat’s first-round sequence towards the Atlanta Hawks, Robinson scored 27 factors, hitting eight of 9 threes. Since then, his minutes have diminished to the level the place towards the Sixers, Robinson’s barely taken off his heat up gear. Speak about a swift fall.
In that large Sport 1 towards the Hawks, Robinson performed 23 minutes. He by no means eclipsed quarter-hour once more in that sequence. By means of 4 video games of this sequence towards Philly, Duncan’s performed a whopping 55 seconds, which got here throughout Sport 2 in rubbish time. That isn’t even sufficient time to get a superb sweat on the courtroom. It’s one factor to be in the doghouse, however that is ridiculous. And let’s not neglect, Robinson signed a five-year, $90 million deal final summer season. Lower than a 12 months later, he’s getting no taking part in time in the postseason.
The best way the Heat have struggled taking pictures the ball in consecutive video games would lead one to suppose we could be seeing Robinson quickly. However in a good Sport 4 the place solely Jimmy Butler may seemingly get a bucket, Robinson by no means got here near getting into the sport. Towards the finish of the fourth quarter, Robinson was proven on the sideline nonetheless carrying his white long-sleeved Heat shirt over his uniform. I saved pondering, “These guys can’t hit a 3, so Erik Spoelstra would possibly as properly throw him on the market.” Nevertheless it by no means occurred.
Miami has a roster able to going 9 deep in a sport. However in the postseason, many coaches shorten their rotations. But for the Heat, most of the gamers who’re taking these minutes that had beforehand gone to Robinson aren’t precisely displaying out. Victor Oladipo returned to the workforce in March, however he’s been inconsistent, at greatest, throughout these playoffs. Max Strus performed half-hour in Sport 4 and scored six factors. Kyle Lowry can’t appear to remain wholesome and appears out of practice altogether.
Gabe Vincent has performed 25 minutes over the final two video games and scored two-points complete.
It’s mind-boggling to look at Robinson not even get a chance. The Heat couldn’t hit the ocean from South Seashore in video games three and 4. I do know Duncan isn’t a star, however coach Spo and the Heat want a spark proper now, and I wouldn’t care the place it got here from. Miami led this sequence 2-0, and now it’s tied, and it appears to be like like Butler is the solely participant placing up a combat.
I do know coaches don’t like forming their rotations primarily based on how a lot cash gamers make. However once you’ve obtained a $90 million man driving the bench, and your workforce is in a taking pictures hunch, it could be time to go towards your personal philosophy. Robinson shot 37.2% from behind the arc in the common season. Miami may’ve used that in the final two video games, the place they shot a mixed 21.5%.
Robinson isn’t going to win this sequence alone for the Heat, however for him to be completely out of their rotation is absurd. Sport 5 is Wednesday, and it’s a must-win for Miami. Robinson’s reps even chimed in on Twitter today, posting a few sport throughout the 2020 NBA Finals the place their shopper made seven 3-pointers. Hopefully, for Robinson, Spoelstra sees this and takes the trace. Put Duncan in and see if he can get unfastened. In any case this, I’ve a sense we’ll see Robinson in Sport 5 again in Miami. The Heat don’t have a lot else to lose after lacking 51 threes in two video games.