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A Breakdown of Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent

Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent are two interesting players to look at following the two match-ups against the Philadelphia 76ers. Duncan had an increased role in the offense, since he was forced to put the ball on the floor more than usual. And Gabe just had a huge increase in playing time, and it allowed him to showcase his overall game.

Here’s a look at the parts of their game that shined…

Duncan Robinson:

– One Dribble Pull-Up

Now, this is the one attribute in Duncan Robinson’s game that I’ve been discussing since the beginning of the off-season. It’s known that Duncan is on the top of scouting reports now, which leads to defenses chasing him off the three. But to open up the perimeter for him, the mid-range will need to be utilized. It doesn’t need to be a huge change though, as seen here, a one dribble pull-up seems to be in his offensive package. And that one move can change his entire game.

– Confident Attacker

Duncan doesn’t get associated with the word attacker much, but it was needed in a game with no Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. On this play, Robinson gave a quick jab step and attacked right off the dribble. Dwight Howard came down to help, but Duncan gave a quick scoop layup with the off-hand. He may not take others off the dribble much, but he seems to be creative at the basket when he does.

– Creative Play-Making off the Drive

After Duncan got to the basket a few times, as seen in the last clip, it causes the defense to collapse down low. On this play, three Philly defenders crash once Duncan gets to the basket, and he seems to get caught in the air. He then has to make a quick decision to pass the ball to the corner or the wing, since there was only one defender on the perimeter. Robinson looked at the corner which caused Mike Scott to drop down, and he threw it out to an open Kelly Olynyk for a three.

– Great Feel Leads to Separation 

Once again, Duncan doesn’t get discussed from these perspectives on offense due to his elite shooting, but it needs to be acknowledged. Here, Duncan comes off of a curl to cause a 2 on 1 with Precious Achiuwa. He has Danny Green right on his hip, which is exactly where he wants him. He sees Joel Embiid on his heels, so it’s obvious he’s taking the shot. But instead of shooting it as a jumper, with the chance of it getting blocker since Green is on his left, he puts up a one-hand floater. This mirrors his overall offensive feel in spots other than the catch and shoot.

Gabe Vincent:

– Pull-Up Three in Transition

This attribute of Gabe Vincent can be displayed all day due to the amount of times he shoots on the move in transition. As seen here, he is very comfortable when shooting a pull-up three, mostly since he can shoot over the top of people, even at 6’3. This was an example of the catch and shoot, but he also pulls up in transition off the dribble. This is very hard for a defense to maintain, especially since he continues to showcase his ability to attack. The reason he is able to shoot this way while running up, is because of his lower body frame. He is one of the most balanced shooters you can watch, since he can stop on an absolute dime to get into his normal shooting motion.

– Off-Hand at the Rim

I’ve alluded to Gabe’s ability to score at the rim lately, but what stands out more is the way he scores at the rim. He’s very comfortable using his off-hand on layups, and even floaters. As shown here, he drives to the basket and kisses it off the top of the backboard with his left hand. A few minutes later, he goes right at Joel Embiid to lay it in with a left handed finger role. People describe Tyler Herro with the word confidence frequently, but Gabe fits that description just as well.

– Reading what the Defense Gives Him

One of the biggest things that stands out to me when watching Gabe Vincent is his ability to read a defense, which is even more intriguing when facing a top defender in Ben Simmons. There are four minutes left in the 4th quarter, and Simmons is guarding Vincent. Gabe gives him a pump-fake which freezes him, and drives right to the basket for a layup. And yes, it was another off-hand layup. Shortly after, he comes off of a screen with Joel Embiid in front of him and Ben Simmons trailing, so he stops on a dime knowing Ben will run right into him. It’s the small things that are seen in Gabe’s offensive game that are so intriguing.

– Fundamental Offensive Game

One of the areas that Gabe has surprised me the most was his passing. He seems to know the offense very well, which has a lot to do with the absence of the G-League, since he’s been in every practice with this Heat team. On this play, he notices Joel Embiid sliding over to him, which puts him out of position to stop Kelly Olynyk. He throws a perfect bounce pass for an easy layup. This has a lot to do with the previous clip about reading a defense. He can see the court very well, which is impressive considering the fact that he hasn’t had major floor time.

Who Is Gabe Vincent Trying to Learn From?

Gabe Vincent is one of the more interesting names on this Heat team right now, since they’re currently down to eight players due to the Covid protocols.

And he had a very promising performance on Tuesday night, scoring 24 points while showcasing his overall offensive package.

But who has been the biggest contributor to the development of Gabe Vincent on this Heat team?

Well, that would be Heat’s veteran guard Goran Dragic.

Before the season started, Gabe said, “I’ve learned a lot from Goran…I hang out with Goran off the court at times and I look up to him.”

A couple days later, Goran discussed his time spent with Vincent, saying “He’s a great player…I’m expecting good things from him.”

Now, Goran taking Gabe under his wing speaks major volume. That’s because Goran would not just mentor a random G-League player if he didn’t actually see something in him.

I asked Gabe Vincent following Tuesday’s game about Goran’s message to him heading into this match-up where he would be seeing the floor a lot.

He mentioned that he had a text from him on his phone that he hadn’t checked yet. He followed that saying “Me and Goran have gotten really close. I’m picking his brain any chance I can get.”

The main takeaway from Vincent’s performance was that he’s not just the typical shooter. He had a chance to showcase his defensive abilities, as well as an advanced way to navigate to the basket. And when discussing creativity when attacking the rim, it almost seems as if Goran could’ve played a role in that development.

Gabe also said that he was looking forward to talking to Goran after the game, so he can get his opinion on the things he saw, and things he can get better at.

I think everybody is aware that the consensus of this team is accountability. And that begins with relationships in the locker room with mentor-ship.

It’s great that Vincent can use these games to continue to develop, since there’s a good chance he can end up playing a legitimate role on this Heat team going forward.

Gabe Vincent: Possibly The Next Man Up

One thing about the Miami Heat is that they don’t lack an ounce of shooting. But luckily in today’s NBA, there can never be too many shooters on a roster.

Something I’ve mentioned as of late is that depth will be huge this upcoming season, for many different reasons. And having Gabe Vincent at the end of the bench is more than ideal.

In the G-League this past year, Vincent averaged 23.7 points, while knocking down 4.4 threes a game.

Shooting is the first thing that sticks out in his game, since he’s not afraid to put shots up. His confidence is clear when on the floor, since he came out firing in the first game he played for the Miami Heat.

He checked in when Miami faced the Los Angeles Clippers back in February, and hit three triples right when he got out there. Although it can be streaky at times, it’s always good to have a shot maker like him on the roster.

He’s also an underrated attacker, which is what he showed in some of the regular season bubble games. Although he had limited minutes and didn’t jump out in the stat sheet, he made some intriguing plays offensively that showed he can get some bench minutes if need be.

He also won the G-League Most Improved Player Award this past season, and he seems eager to continue to improve and round out the rest of his game.

While I can point out some things that Gabe may need to tweak to get minutes in this league, there’s no way of actually knowing until he gets some minutes this next season. One of the reasons he didn’t stick out in most of the games he has played, seems to be due to a certain level of comfort. Some guys like Tyler Herro are able to blend in quick, while others need some time to get ready.

Duncan Robinson took a year to prepare in the G-League, and look where he is now. Vincent is also about the same age as Duncan was when he went through this process.

It’s definitely not insane to think that Vincent can potentially get playing time next season, especially since there’s a good chance Spo goes deeper into his bench. Some of it may be predicated on who Miami drafts, since if they draft a point guard, it’ll be clear they aren’t planning on his development.

Miami always enjoys grabbing un-drafted players who have something to prove, and it’s obvious that Gabe Vincent is determined to prove himself.

5 Key Moments from Interviews with Spoelstra, Vincent, Leonard

The Miami Heat had another intense practice in the Orlando bubble late Sunday night. They got to do a lot more 5 on 5 work tonight, since they’re getting closer and closer to the return of play. Well, here’s some things that were said after practice…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

There has been a lot of talk this week from Spoelstra about the different defenses that may be used heading into the postseason. Well, he took a different approach tonight saying that they “created an identity and found some success with that.” He’s not worried about forming new defensive schemes as much as he’s worried about improving the current ones. One of the main defensive changes we may see will be the different defensive lineups that Coach Spoelstra tends to lean to. Will it be a veteran in Andre Iguodala or a young guy in Derrick Jones Jr? Only time will tell.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

The Miami Heat’s first scrimmage game is this Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. Spoelstra seems to be very eager for this match-up saying, “I have to tell my staff to tell me to calm down.” He says before he jumps into it, he needs to see who will be available. Then adds, “Everyone available will probably play.” This game will be taken as a pre-season game, which is essentially what it is. But the Heat will be taking this game as serious as any other, since Spoelstra says he has a bunch of things to accomplish.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Gabe Vincent got to talk to some media after practice tonight and seemed pretty confident in his role with this team. He first discusses the amount of elite level shooting in the NBA, which lead to him watching a lot of film on some of the best spot up shooters. He also says that he thinks he can be utilized the same way that Duncan Robinson is now and Wayne Ellington in the past. He also considers himself a major threat to pull up or create on the perimeter. Be ready to see a lot of minutes from Gabe Vincent in both the scrimmages and regular season games, especially since he has the capability of getting hot. Very hot.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Meyers Leonard was asked how to define the Most Improved Player award. He responded, “It’s Bam.” He also adds, “You talk about a young guy developing into a superstar right before our eyes.” Meyers continues to rave about how great Bam is, but I’d like to think Meyers may have a little something to do with his improvement. The assistance of Meyers on and off the court this season for Bam has been absolutely tremendous. His ability to stretch the floor for Bam and give Bam the ball where he is most comfortable has been a huge part in the growth of this developing “superstar.”

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Meyers talks about the amount of versatility there is across the board on this team. He says, “Imagine a lineup of Jimmy-DJJ-Jae-Andre-Bam.” The pure excitement that Meyers shows when he talks about his teammates is absolutely unmatched. It shows the amount of confidence they have in each other every single night. This statement also refers back to the Erik Spoelstra comment on improving their current defensive schemes. Playing around with these types of lineups in a playoff setting will be key since there are some vulnerabilities on the floor at times on defense. Either way, this entire team will be ready for their name to be called on any given night.