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Duncan Robinson: “Motivation is at an All-Time High”

Duncan Robinson mostly spoke about the improvements he is looking to make in his presser this afternoon.

He started off by saying, “I definitely have some areas of focus in my mind.”

He then elaborated mentioning that his body is the primary focus, especially when playing for the Miami Heat. Duncan also mentioned the defensive improvements that need to be made, which he’s been working on with Heat trainers.

And most importantly, he discussed adding a mid-range game to his offensive package. This is something that I’ve mentioned all off-season, since it was obvious he would work on a one-dribble pull-up all off-season. That one addition opens up his entire offensive game, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

He also talked about his poor performance in the first two finals games, which he said he wished he could get those two games back. But, he mentioned you just have to move forward, and “Motivation is at an all-time high.”

It seems as if motivation is high for everybody in that locker room, since it’s clear that they’ve seen the “fluke” comments. Duncan Robinson addressed it saying, “The chip with our group is as big as ever after hearing rumors that it was a fluke.”

Finally, he ended off mentioning that he’s thankful for the group he has around him, saying “One thing I love is that people are always in my ear encouraging.”

Duncan seems focused on yet another break-out season, since he said “I always feel like the percentages can go up.”

And with all of the improvements that Duncan is mentioning, it will make for an intriguing start of the season for the Miami Heat.

Duncan Robinson: A Klay Thompson Attribute That Is Necessary

The Duncan Robinson and Klay Thompson comparisons have been looming following a historical season from Duncan shooting the basketball.

Even though this was Duncan’s second year in the league, I consider it his rookie season since he didn’t get playing time in year one.

Duncan averaged 14 points a game this past season, while Klay Thompson averaged 13 points a game in his rookie season. Although shooting the ball is both of their best attributes, they each have a more important skill.

Klay Thompson has the ability to lock up basically anybody he gets matched up with, while Duncan’s strength is that his impact on offense comes without even touching the ball. The gravity that he holds by running around trying to get open is truly second to none.

Although an ideal addition to Duncan’s game would be Klay Thompson-like defense, that’s not where I am going with this. Instead, I believe Duncan will need to try and step inside the three point line at times.

He began to utilize this more in the bubble when he was getting blanketed, which led to many open layups. But the mid-range game is what Duncan Robinson should focus on when watching film on Klay Thompson.

Klay is one of the best at using one dribble to step inside the three to get a better shot. The reason is that once a defender is worried about that part of your game, the three point shooting gets opened up even more.

In Klay Thompson’s rookie year, he was attempting 7 two pointers a game, which is now up to 10 a game. Duncan Robinson, on the other hand, didn’t even attempt 1 two pointer a game in the regular season.

Erik Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler have constantly mentioned that they want Duncan shooting the ball as much as possible, so it’s obvious they won’t mind him shooting some more mid-range jumpers.

And it definitely isn’t a hard thing to master. As mentioned with Klay, all he needs to do is master the pump-fake into a one dribble pull up. That one move opens up Duncan Robinson’s whole entire game, which is why I’m positive that it’ll be added to his game next season.

Klay Thompson definitely isn’t a bad player to model Duncan’s game around, since they already share similar games. And surprisingly, there have been many records that Duncan has passed Klay in already.

In five NBA finals appearances for Klay Thompson, he’s only hit seven threes in a game one time.

And in Duncan Robinson’s first finals appearance, he hit seven threes in a crucial game five performance.

Duncan clearly has a chance to be the best shooter in the NBA, but it’ll be harder since Klay will be returning. But if he utilizes the mid-range jumper a bit more, I believe he can put a stamp on that title.

Miami Has One Decision to Make to Acquire Jrue Holiday

Pat Riley seemed pretty adamant in Friday’s presser about finding the “next thing,” and going “Whale hunting.”

He is not afraid to pull the trigger on a possible deal that makes them better immediately.

It’s clear though that Jrue Holiday changes this whole team upon arrival, since he’s one of the best defensive guards in this league, and has a solid offensive game.

When people around the league begin to talk about Jrue Holiday, they usually start by talking about his motor.

Sound familiar?

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are two guys that play hard on both sides of the ball as well, and are known for their motor and toughness. Jimmy has talked very highly of Jrue in the past as well, as shown here…

It’s pretty obvious that Jrue Holiday fits this organization and team perfectly, but what is the one decision Miami will have to make?

The baseline trade that has been discussed has involved Kendrick Nunn and the 20th pick as the main assets, but I see New Orleans wanting another player instead.

Duncan Robinson.

Obviously everybody knows that if there’s anybody that can pull off a deal without giving up a guy like Duncan, it would be the Miami Heat front office.

But I just don’t see them giving Jrue up unless they get Duncan in return. He fits their team perfectly right now, since his gravity on offense from beyond the arc can open up the floor for Zion Williamson.

His movement without the ball is much like that of JJ Reddick, but obviously you’re going much younger and cheaper.

Now, I definitely believe it’s something that Miami thinks about. I’ve been a strong proponent of keeping the core, but if you are giving up Duncan Robinson for Jrue Holiday, that’s hard to pass up.

A big three of Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday, and Bam Adebayo would be a scary sight on the defensive end, since they can basically switch everything. And you still have your 20 year old offensive talent in Tyler Herro.

That’s a team that can win a title right now, and then go after a “whale” in 2021 free agency.

Once again though, it’s hard to see Miami giving up Duncan Robinson like that, especially since they have a bunch of assets right now. I also believe it comes down to how much they value KZ Okpala. If they value KZ more than they value Duncan going forward, I think they do it.

But if they’d rather go forward with Duncan instead of developing KZ, then I believe they can make something work without Duncan.

 

Also, check out an episode of Five on the Floor where they discuss Jrue Holiday.

Could Miami Overload Shooting with A Joe Harris Pick-Up?

Do you know what’s better than one Duncan Robinson?

Two of them.

There was a report about two weeks ago that said the Miami Heat might be interested in Joe Harris.

But is that what Miami needs right now?

Obviously you can never have too many shooters, which is why the Joe Harris fit isn’t an issue. The problem is you’d be using around $15 Million for a one year deal on a position that is not a necessity. Miami clearly needs a big to help out Bam Adebayo, but what if they could pull off both?

Once again, if any team could do it, it would probably be the Miami Heat. If Miami could buy into more of a back-up big type player such as Tristan Thompson, or even a possible DeMarcus Cousins signing, it’s possible they could pull it off.

To take a bit of a deeper dive into the exact fit, I believe he would most likely used as a sixth man. The toll that would take on opposing defenses would definitely be interesting, since they’d have to chase Duncan Robinson around for a whole quarter, and have the same exact type of player sub in with fresh legs.

He’s another shooter that never stops moving, and needs to have a body on him at all times. But what would him and Duncan look like on the floor together?

Due to the play-making abilities of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, this would make these two guys even more deadly on the floor together. Bam’s dribble hand-offs with Duncan have proved to be pretty close to unstoppable this season, so just imagine the sets they can run with all three of them.

Once again, I don’t believe this is a route they will end up going, since there are two other needs in this current roster. But since they’ve showed interest, it’s not impossible.

One year deals will be the only thing on Miami’s mind once free agency opens up, so if some guys on their radar begin to sign elsewhere, they could go this route to try and make their offense even more dynamic.

The Game that Showcased the Miami Heat’s Full Potential

59 seconds on the clock.

Down 117-111.

Trae Young just proclaimed the game over.

But was it?

The answer is no, because it’s never over when you have the amount of firepower that the Miami Heat have on this roster.

A Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler three sent the game to overtime, which was the beginning of a 22-0 run.

Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson exploded in overtime to give Miami a win.

Not only did this game show what this Heat team can do as a team, it was also a game that showcased many player’s personal abilities.

Bam Adebayo achieved his first career triple-double, while scoring 30 points for the first time in his career.

Jimmy Butler also put up a triple-double, grabbing a career high 18 rebounds.

Duncan Robinson scored a career high 34 points, knocking down 10 threes.

Kendrick Nunn also with a career high 36 points.

This was just the beginning of what these guys are truly capable of doing. This was the first game that Bam showed his full offensive package, and obviously he still has room to improve. It was also the moment that people realized he has the ability to take over a game if needed, which is what he did in overtime. And it’s also what he did throughout Miami’s playoff run.

That Jimmy Butler triple-double wasn’t really out of the norm, since he began to do that on a regular basis in the finals. Grabbing 18 rebounds though is impressive in itself, especially since he emphasized on rebounding so much against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This also put a stamp on the shooting excellence of Duncan Robinson, since it’s not everyday that a player makes 10 threes in a game. But since so many other guys were clicking on that night, it opened up the floor for him.

And of course Kendrick Nunn. This was when Kendrick was playing at Rookie of the Year levels, since his scoring abilities were off the charts. Obviously some of the lows throughout these playoffs made some people forget about this, but it’s clear he has the ability to do it. He began to show some glimpses in the Finals, but this game was the beginning of the increase in his value.

And this was on a night where Tyler Herro scored 0 points, which may be more surprising than any of the other player’s records.

It also showed that this team was full of a bunch of dogs, who are hungry to win. After seeing their will to win in this game approximately 10 months ago, it isn’t surprising what Miami did in the playoffs.

This team is full of young and evolving talent, which is why it’ll be very interesting how much they improve by the start of the 2021 season.

Miami Heat on to Game Six: “Bunch of dogs in that locker room”

“We gotta bunch of dogs in that locker room that love competing.”

That’s what Duncan Robinson had to say following Miami’s big game five win over the Lakers. It’s obvious that motto begins with the Heat’s leader Jimmy Butler, who had 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals in 47 minutes.

Those numbers mean nothing to Jimmy though, since the only numbers that mattered to him were 111-108 when the clock hit zero. Jimmy knows that he can step up when it matters, but more importantly he has been trying to instill in others that they need to be ready as well.

Jimmy Butler has had a message for Duncan Robinson for a while now, which he tried to instill in him more following the game two loss. They had a little meeting in Jimmy’s room, which he was just letting him know that he needs to continue to shoot no matter what.

Jimmy said after game five, “You can’t shoot the ball if you don’t have the ball.”

This game five win just showed once again that it can be any player on any given night. Jimmy will do his thing no matter what, but having a bunch of guys that can explode out of nowhere.

Last night, that guy was clearly Duncan Robinson who hit seven three pointers, but he wasn’t the only one who stepped up. Kendrick Nunn took control of the game at one point, mostly since he had confidence in himself with the ball in his hands. And that all starts with the support of Erik Spoelstra. Even after a tough game four performance, he showed that he believes in Kendrick and he delivered. When Kendrick plays with confidence, he’s a totally different player. His play-making and defensive abilities begin to shine, which is why this game will be important for the rest of the series.

They won this game without huge performances from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Bam struggled with finding that offensive aggression and intensity that he usually has, but it may have something to do with not being 100%. Tyler on the other hand is being targeted by the Lakers defense constantly, which consequently opens up the game for others. That won’t be the case for long though, since a breakout Tyler Herro game is coming, and it could be tomorrow night.

This team just continues to show their resilience and fight to the finish. This team truly believes that they can win a title right now, especially since they see their leader leaving everything he possibly has on the floor.

This team truly is just a “bunch of dogs,” that are hungry to finally achieve what they have wanted their whole lives.

They are now two wins away from holding up that Larry O’Brien trophy.

It’s time to get what is yours.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Game Five Loss to Boston

The Miami Heat allowed the Boston Celtics to battle back in the second half and get the win, 121-108. This game was clearly a tale of two halves, with Miami dominating the first and Boston dominating the second. Here are five takeaways from the game…

#1: Duncan Robinson comes out scoring early, not just from three, but in the paint.

Duncan Robinson hasn’t had the best series scoring the ball, but that changed early in game five. While many would expect he made most of his scoring impact from beyond the arc, it actually came from attacking the rim. I’ve continually said that since Duncan is being watched so closely, he will need to put the ball on the floor once in a while to open up his shooting. Well, that’s exactly what he did tonight. After scoring around the rim to start, that led to him hitting three first half triples. Duncan has been a bit of a decoy throughout this series, but now he proved once again that he’s much more than that. He will need to show up again in game 6 to give Miami’s offense a boost.

#2: Jimmy Butler fills up stat sheet in first half, but his biggest impact didn’t involve numbers.

Jimmy Butler’s energy on both sides of the floor in the first half was clearly impressive. He finally was searching to score at times in the first half, which led to some fouls on Boston’s top players. But his biggest impact wasn’t on the offensive end, and it wasn’t shown in a stat sheet. It was on display through his active hands on the defensive end through help defense. Miami’s first quarter lead began with Jimmy making guys uncomfortable when attacking the rim, and ultimately led to buckets on the opposite end. But Miami’s second half issues allowed Jimmy Butler’s offense to grow stagnant, which consequently made his intensity take a dip. Now only up 3-2, Jimmy will need to be ready to close this out on Sunday.

#3: Miami’s three point shooting struggles become problematic.

Miami shot 19% from three in game five, only Duncan Robinson seemed to be able to connect from deep. This is very unlike this team, since they’ve been a top three point shooting team all season. For starters, Jae Crowder struggled shooting the ball again from three, which showed a huge decrease in his confidence with his jumper going forward. Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro weren’t even able to get in a groove shooting the ball in the first half. Boston struggled early in the game as well, shooting 5 for 20 in the first quarter, but their second half run overcame this. Although it’s tough to think positively about this poor shooting, this team’s shooting confidence is like no other, which is why it’s not much of a worry.

#4: Third quarter issues cause 20-3 run by Celtics.

It was clear that Miami was the energetic and locked in team throughout the first half, but it was the complete opposite in the second half. Not only were the Heat flat in the third, they just weren’t getting into their offense. It also seemed as if they got complacent with their halftime lead. No fire in their play, until Goran Dragic took the reigns of the team while trailing once again. It ultimately was too late though, since Boston went on a 20-3 run to start the quarter. It’s been a constant thing with this team that they must play for a full 48 minutes. Tough stretches, like the one in the third, will need to be cleaned up going forward, since they can’t do that against a team like Boston, especially in the Conference Finals.

#5: Goran Dragic continually finds ways to try and get them out of the mud.

Goran Dragic seems to get to another level whenever they go through tough stretches, and well, it was on full display tonight again. Even on a night that he’s not shooting particularly well, he finds ways to attack the rim and draw fouls to try and get the team back on track. This is something he has done all season. Maybe it’s that he’s able to do whatever he wants with the ball in his hands during those times, which means he can put his head down and play his game. Either way, Goran can’t be the only guy trying to get them out of the mud. They will need another type of offensive game to take some of the load off of him, like Jimmy’s attacking or Tyler’s shot-creating.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Victory Over Boston in Game Two

The Miami Heat trailed early in game two once again, but came back and got the win, 106-101. It happened after they increased their intensity in the second half, led by Bam Adebayo. Here are some takeaways…

#1: Duncan Robinson comes out firing.

If there was anything positive to takeaway from this game, it’d be the hot start of Duncan Robinson. He’s been struggling throughout these playoffs, and needed a game where he could come out the gate getting shots up. I’ve mentioned previously, Boston’s defensive game-plan is not the same as Milwaukee’s or Indiana’s. Although Duncan wasn’t hitting in game one, he was getting a bunch of good looks. Duncan will hold a bit of pressure heading into game three, since Miami’s offense runs so much smoother when he’s scoring. But that pressure is nothing for Duncan, since he’s one of the most confident shooters in today’s league.

#2: Bam Adebayo struggles early, but takes over in third quarter.

Bam Adebayo struggled early, not having the same success that he usually has around the rim. But that turned around late once again, since Bam got busy in the third quarter, absolutely taking over the game. Some of Bam’s early struggle may have had something to do with having to chase Kemba Walker around on defense, while he absolutely had it going. But he seemed to have gotten his usual energy back after halftime, being the vertical spacer that he always is. The team made it a virtue to run the pick and roll and find Bam, while Bam sustained the confidence in himself that everyone else has in him.

#3: The Erik Spoelstra and Brad Stevens match-up was on full effect.

Miami had problems all season defending the perimeter, but tonight they got attacked in the paint. Even Enes Kanter came in getting busy down low, since Miami doesn’t have a true big that can eliminate post defenders. Bam is clearly a terrific defender, but since he had a lot of assignments with Kemba Walker on the perimeter, this allowed them to thrive. This seemed to be an adjustment by Brad Stevens, since Bam isn’t in the paint, that’s what they decided to attack. But Spo’s adjustments in the second half proved his coaching excellence. He implemented more of the zone defense, gave Derrick Jones Jr minutes, and increased the intensity of the team. This win goes to Erik Spoelstra.

#4: Derrick Jones Jr gives another stint of quality minutes.

Kendrick Nunn currently is the 9th man in the rotation, but it seems as if he’s slowly playing himself out of it. Not only does he continue to struggle, but Derrick Jones Jr gave some quality second half minutes on the defensive end. He matches up perfectly with this Boston team, since they’re full of perimeter wings. Not only can he defend guys one on one, but he’s such a disruptor with team defense. This is a big reason they use him at the top of the zone defense, due to his length and quickness. If he can give Miami some quality offensive minutes, he will 100% secure a spot in the rotation.

#5: When Boston’s scorers get going, they’re hard to slow down, but Miami found a way.

Kemba Walker struggled in game one scoring the ball, but their adjustments opened up the floor for him today, which led to his breakout performance. He torched Miami’s defense to start the game, which led to them getting comfortable down low. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum still seemed as confident as ever with the ball in their hands, putting on a display of their unique pull-up games. But once again, Miami utilized their unique way of gaining momentum. They intensified the game through Bam’s activeness, and overcame Boston’s first half scoring display. This team is hungry, and they’re up 2-0.

5 Post-Practice Comments from Spoelstra, Herro, Robinson

The Miami Heat are coming off an absolute game one thriller, but still remain as focused as ever. Erik Spoelstra, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson talked with media today following that game. Here’s what was said…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra was asked about an overall evaluation of their game one win. He said, “We need to play better.” He also mentioned that Boston was clearly outplaying them throughout, saying “We were getting our asses kicked going into the fourth.” Miami and Boston each had good and bad stretches, Miami owning the second and fourth quarter, while Boston handled the first and third. He thinks they can be better on both sides of the floor which is indeed true. They definitely didn’t have their best game shooting the ball, and defensively there were a couple of small mistakes. Most of those issues on defense occurred with Bam on the bench, since he was flying around the court in both zone and man defense in game one.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Tyler Herro started off his session with media speaking about missing the All-Rookie team by one vote. He said, “I felt I could have been on the first team but am happy with what I got.” It was expected that Tyler would make the second team, since this was a regular season award and he missed some time. Now, if this award carried over to the bubble and playoffs, he’d be the clear top rookie. But ultimately that’s not the case, and although he made that comment, he’s truly focused on much bigger things, as is Bam. Tyler Herro is currently on an unbelievable playoff run in his rookie year, while the other players from the All-Rookie team are watching his games from home. This just truly isn’t a big deal to him.

Post-Practice Comments #3:

Tyler Herro talked about last night’s near triple double stat line. He said, “I didn’t know I was close to a triple-double.” Its continually been talked about that Tyler is improving more and more with his play-making abilities, but most of his attributes aren’t teachable. He has a natural feel for the game, and also a high basketball IQ which rounds out his smooth overall game. Also, the other part of that triple-double with 11 rebounds proved to be essential as well. His elite rebounding abilities for his height is something that isn’t discussed much. Not only does he grab a bunch of rebounds, but he grabs them forcefully. Tyler just does so many things at an A level, which was not expected to be the case by many heading into this season.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Duncan Robinson touched on his shooting in game one, which it definitely wasn’t what it usually was. He said, “Truthfully, I feel like I’m getting good shots. I think I’m taking good shots.” Duncan was getting absolutely blanketed against the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, but that wasn’t the case in game one against Boston. Most of his shots were open shots, but they just weren’t going in, which is unusual for Duncan Robinson. This definitely isn’t something that should be a concern, since Duncan is one of the deadliest and most confident shooters in the league right now. He should have a huge bounce back game on Thursday.

Post-Practice Comments #5:

While Duncan Robinson was talking with media, Soloman Hill decided to join in and yell “Shoot it.” While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, this is how the entire team feels when referring to Duncan Robinson. They don’t care if he’s missed his last 20 shots, they want him shooting that next one with confidence. This is also because he is one of their main keys to winning, since he’s the start of allowing their offense to run smoothly. And once again, he has not had a back to back bad game all season, which is why he should bounce back in game two, to try and put Miami up 2-0.

5 Comments from Media Session with Spoelstra, Robinson, Budenholzer

Erik Spoelstra and Duncan Robinson talked with media today, following an overtime loss in game 4 against the Giannis-less Milwaukee Bucks. All of the players shared a mutual theme post-game, which was the Bucks deserved to win. Here’s what was said today…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Erik Spoelstra talked a little about yesterday’s game, but mentions that now it’s time to focus on the next game. He says, “It’s about getting to our game more consistently.” Some of that had to do with their stagnant offense yesterday, which many players noted post-game. Another reason for that was the fact that Jimmy Butler waited a little too long to get in a rhythm with the ball in his hands, which then it was too late. Spo also mentioned that they are now preparing for the Bucks with and without Giannis. This was a big reason Miami struggled on defense. Miami had to adjust mid-game from a Giannis centric defense scheme to a Khris Middleton and perimeter stopping defense. Now that Miami has time to prepare, they should be in much better shape either way.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Tyler Herro did a bunch of Tyler Herro things late in yesterday’s game, hitting big shot after big shot. Erik Spoelstra discussed Tyler for a little bit, saying “His game continues to grow, and we’re going to ask more of him as the series goes on.” It truly is amazing that they are putting so much trust in a 20 year old rookie in the playoffs, but Tyler truly is built for this. One of his main attributes with his scoring that puts him over the top is his high level confidence. He wasn’t having the best game early, but still had the mental toughness to shoot those shots in stride in overtime. This is why Tyler Herro plays so many fourth quarter minutes. The coaches believe in him. His teammates believe in him. And most importantly he believes in himself.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Milwaukee Bucks head coach, Mike Budenholzer, talked about the current status of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury. He said that he’s “getting treatment around the clock.” It was also reported that Giannis was seen at practice today with a boot on, and was walking with a hint of a limp, which is much expected. Budenholzer also mentioned that Giannis is doing “everything he can to make himself available.” Andre Iguodala mentioned today that Miami expects Giannis to play. Either way, Miami is now prepared for the Bucks with or without Giannis as Spo mentioned earlier, but this status will be something to keep an eye on over the next 24 hours.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

After Coach Erik Spoelstra touched on Tyler Herro’s play, Duncan expanded on it a little more. He said, “His confidence is special for sure, but the are he’s grown a lot is his feel.” He mentioned that the game is beginning to slow down a lot for him, and his decision making continues to stand out. He says that although he’s made a bunch of big shots throughout this series, some of his passes he’s made have been much more impressive. He finishes the conversation with “The best is yet to come with him.” And that’s indeed the truth. This team knows the upside that he has, which is why they trust him with the ball in his hands at the end of games.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Duncan Robinson talked about the aggression he must bring on the offensive side of the ball every game. He said, “They’ve made adjustments to take away certain things that I like to do, but you must make adjustments to the adjustments.” He follows that saying that the most important thing for him is to continue to search for open shots. He also credited Milwaukee’s defense on him, but he knows he is still able to do what he has done all season. He finishes saying that he’s been very focused on trying to improve in that area, which is why he won’t get away from it. Duncan hit six threes in yesterday’s game against Milwaukee, which means he will be watched closely yet again in game five tomorrow.