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5 Takeaways from the Duncan Robinson Interview About the Miami Heat

After the breakout season of Duncan Robinson this year, he looks forward to taking the next step in his game which is playoff experience. He discussed some things about his game and the state of the team with some local media today.

Here are five things discussed to take note of…

1. 

As talked about over and over, the Heat seem to have the most players that fit this no fans format. Between overseas, g-league, summer league, and small college play, they should be ready. And though Duncan Robinson says he played in games with around 300 people, it was no cakewalk. Duncan has repeatedly said that was some of the most competitive basketball he’s ever played. And as Duncan said himself, he’s equipped for this, which means he’s taking accountability to perform at a high level when or if the season returns.

2.

Duncan seems to have the utmost confidence in this Heat team in a playoff setting with the words, “that bodes well for us.” He talks about the type of games that are played in a playoff series according to people he’s talked to. Duncan says it come down to execution, which is something he has seemed to do pretty well all season.  He also talk about the game slowing down, which may lead to him getting even more touches on the offensive side of the ball with a slowed down setting.

3.

Duncan Robinson discusses the different players he has been watching film on lately including Ray Allen and Klay Thompson. He’s not watching the shooting part of it, he’s watching the ways they get open off of the ball. He uses the word creative, which he also used earlier in the interview discussing teams trying to eliminate him offensively. Duncan says teams started doing this as the season progressed and he expects it to continue in the playoffs. This could be a huge plus to Duncan’s game if he gets “creative” against savvy defensive match-ups.

4. 

Duncan seems to hear the talk about Miami’s road troubles, but he says the team wants to embrace it. This Heat team thrives on doubt which is usually what people do to them. The reason being that most of these guys have been doubted their whole lives. A bunch of these guys didn’t make it to the league the natural way. So as they continue to receive this doubt, they have the mentality and hunger to prove them all wrong.

5. 

There has been some questioning about the lack of defense in some of the Heat’s young players. Duncan addressed this saying that the only way they can make a deep playoff run is if they improve. He says this is something that will be their main focus on a nightly basis in both the playoffs and eight regular season games.

5 Toughest Games for Miami Heat on Updated Schedule

The new schedule is out….

And it’s no picnic.

All but one of the eight opponents is a playoff team, since many of what were supposed to be the Heat’s remaining games got wiped off the slate when those teams are not invited to Orlando.

Here they are, the top 5 toughest….

 

5. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Miami Heat will be playing the Oklahoma City Thunder on August 12th in the NBA’s resumed season. The Heat got the win against the Thunder in late January, but it wasn’t easy. They are sometimes referred to as the Heat of the west, since both teams were overlooked and a surprise to the league. Oklahoma City has the perfect blend of veterans and young players behind their leadership in Chris Paul and talented youth in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Their a tough match-up for the Heat because of the guard depth on the team. Miami’s weakness is not having a good defensive back-court. This will be a gritty and tough match-up for the Heat since they always seem to give it their all on the floor.

4. Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets got the win at the beginning of the season against Miami. It was one of the worst games for the Heat this season and was definitely one of Bam Adebayo’s worst games as well. Nikola Jokic is a player that seems to give trouble to almost anybody he faces, especially with his ability to stretch the floor. The depth of this team is something that not only could give the Heat major trouble, but also for whoever they face in the playoffs. They now have some experience under the belts, which may not be a big deal for the way these playoffs will be presented. Either way, the Miami Heat will have their hands full on the defensive side of the ball with the talented players that are on this roster.

3. Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will be the second game of Miami’s updated schedule and will definitely be a good one. Toronto is another one of those teams that were a surprise this season after the departure of their star Kawhi Leonard. The Heat played the Toronto Raptors twice this season and came away with the win in both. This doesn’t mean to take this team lightly. They have fire power across the whole roster and seem to give Miami trouble on the defensive side of the ball. When Miami played Toronto in early January, the leading scorer for the Heat was Bam Adebayo with 15 points. That could be a problem. On the other side of things, Bam Adebayo seemed to be the perfect player to stop Toronto’s star Paschal Siakam. They match-up pretty well, which makes for a tough regular season game heading into the playoffs.

2. Boston Celtics

The Heat will be playing the Boston Celtics on a back to back after the game against Toronto, which seems to always be the case. These games will be played on August 3rd and August 4th, and interesting enough the Heat played Toronto on December 3rd and Boston on December 4th this season. Just like in that instance, the Raptors give the Heat a tough game and leave them exhausted for a young Boston Celtics team. The Celtics beat the Heat in both games they played this season. But one thing should be noted, Jimmy Butler does not like losing. The idea of losing to this team three times in one season will not sit well with him. Be ready for an absolute display by Heat’s star Jimmy Butler on August 4th.

1. Milwaukee Bucks

And finally, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s always a tough assignment to slow down a leading MVP candidate and only one guy seemed to do it this season. Bam Adebayo. The Miami Heat seemed to play exceptionally well on both sides of the floor against this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This is because the way to stop this team is to make everyone other than Giannis beat you. Which is what they did. Once Bam fully locked up Giannis, they then looked to Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, who did not seem comfortable in those situations. If the Heat could mirror the way they played earlier in the season, they’ll have a chance to take down the Bucks and try and secure a top 4 seed.

NBA’s Final Four followed the path Heat taking

The Miami Heat, as currently constituted, are nowhere near the NBA’s Conference Finals.

They weren’t as good as any of the bottom four teams in the East’s playoff bracket — and none of those teams, after Victor Oladipo was injured for Indiana, were all that good.  But, at the very least, there is some validation of Miami’s recent approach, which has been to build from the middle rather than break it all down and sink to the bottom.

Toronto, Milwaukee, Portland and even Golden State rose to prominence with picks outside the top 5.

The Raptors started their rise with the drafting of DeMar DeRozan ninth overall in 2009; eventually DeRozan was flipped for Kawhi Leonard, taken 15th by San Antonio. New star Pascal Siakam was taken 27th.

The Bucks? Giannis was 15th also. Khris Middleton, scrapped by Detroit, was a second rounder. Brook Lopez went 10th to the Nets. Eric Bledsoe was 24th.

The Blazers? Their excellent backcourt came into the league at No. 6 (Dame Lillard) and No. 10 (CJ McCollum).

Then there are the Warriors. And we know it’s unfair now, as long as former No. 2 overall pick Kevin Durant is healthy. But the original base of the squad was constructed with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, all of whom should have been drafted higher than they were, with Curry (7) the highest.

The point is, you can build through the middle. Denver, which nearly got to the West Final, has done it as well as anyone. Philadelphia, which was a shot from the East Final, has done it the other way — but Phoenix has tried that way and its only elite player is a guy the Suns took 11th (Devin Booker). None of the other players, picked higher than the players in the posted tweet, are as good at the moment as anyone on that list.

And Miami has done well in the middle with three picks, all of which have outperformed their draft slots as compared to the other players in that draft, whether Justise Winslow at 10, or Bam Adebayo at 14, or especially Josh Richardson at 40 — Richardson has been the third most productive player in his draft so far.

So even if our Lottery Draft Party (at Tap 42 in Midtown Miami) is a spectacular failure, and Miami slips from No. 13 to No. 14 rather than moving up, it still can land a quality player. And get the narrative of team-building back in its favor.