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 utterly swung in Philly’s favor, and it’s no thriller why. Joel Embiid’s return, coupled with Miami lacking 51 threes within the final two video games, has made this a sequence. One facet of the matchup, nevertheless that may be a thriller, is the disappearance of Duncan Robinson from the Heat’s rotation.
Robinson hasn’t been nice currently. Sure, it sounds easy sufficient. But Robinson was by no means a “great player.” However, he’s been a superb function participant who can hit well timed photographs. In Game 1 of the Heat’s first-round sequence in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks, Robinson scored 27 factors, hitting eight of 9 threes. Since then, his minutes have diminished to the purpose the place in opposition to the Sixers, Robinson’s barely taken off his heat up gear. Talk a couple of swift fall.
In that huge Game 1 in opposition to the Hawks, Robinson performed 23 minutes. He by no means eclipsed quarter-hour once more in that sequence. Through 4 video games of this sequence in opposition to Philly, Duncan’s performed a whopping 55 seconds, which got here throughout Game 2 in rubbish time. That isn’t even sufficient time to get a superb sweat on the courtroom. It’s one factor to be within the doghouse, however that is ridiculous. And let’s not neglect, Robinson signed a five-year, $90 million deal final summer season. Less than a 12 months later, he’s getting no enjoying time within the postseason.
The method the Heat have struggled capturing the ball in consecutive video games would lead one to suppose we may be seeing Robinson quickly. But in a decent Game 4 the place solely Jimmy Butler might seemingly get a bucket, Robinson by no means got here near coming into the sport. Toward the tip of the fourth quarter, Robinson was proven on the sideline nonetheless sporting his white long-sleeved Heat shirt over his uniform. I saved pondering, “These guys can’t hit a three, so Erik Spoelstra might as well throw him out there.” But it by no means occurred.
Miami has a roster able to going 9 deep in a recreation. But within the postseason, many coaches shorten their rotations. Yet for the Heat, many of the gamers who’re taking these minutes that had beforehand gone to Robinson aren’t precisely exhibiting out. Victor Oladipo returned to the workforce in March, however he’s been inconsistent, at finest, throughout these playoffs. Max Strus performed half-hour in Game 4 and scored six factors. Kyle Lowry can’t appear to remain wholesome and appears out of form altogether.
Gabe Vincent has performed 25 minutes over the past two video games and scored two-points whole.
It’s mind-boggling to observe Robinson not even get a possibility. The Heat couldn’t hit the ocean from South Beach 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 like Butler is the one participant placing up a combat.
I do know coaches don’t like forming their rotations primarily based on how a lot cash gamers make. But whenever you’ve obtained a $90 million man using the bench, and your workforce is in a capturing hunch, it may be time to go in opposition to your individual philosophy. Robinson shot 37.2% from behind the arc within the common season. Miami might’ve used that within 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 fully out of their rotation is absurd. Game 5 is Wednesday, and it’s a must-win for Miami. Robinson’s reps even chimed in on Twitter at the moment, posting a couple of recreation through the 2020 NBA Finals the place their consumer made seven 3-pointers. Hopefully, for Robinson, Spoelstra sees this and takes the trace. Put Duncan in and see if he can get free. After all this, I’ve a sense we’ll see Robinson in Game 5 again in Miami. The Heat don’t have a lot else to lose after lacking 51 threes in two video games.