Duncan Robinson has really struggled this first half of the first of the five seasons he is signed for with the Miami Heat.
He’s struggling to get some shots in, and we’re struggling to understand what’s really going on and how he went from one of the most lethal shooters in the NBA to a less than average shooter in this season so far.
40 games in for him (The Heat has played 43), we can’t talk about a short slump anymore. We have to talk about a bad season!
But, wait a minute. Is Duncan Robinson’s season that far away from what he’s done in the past?
His general stats don’t really show that. Or at least, not to the extent that Heat Twitter, and most of our analysts in Five Reasons think.
After only two full seasons in the NBA with the Miami Heat, his numbers per game, in average, have only dropped a little bit. If you look at it in four or five years, you may not even notice it.
Yes, numbers don’t say everything, and I agree: Duncan Robinson is missing shots he was making in the past, and maybe just a bunch of good games helped him bump his averages up, but here’s the simple math (in a general scale):
Only taking into consideration his two full seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), Duncan Robinson this season is averaging just two minutes less than his first full year, and less than four minutes less than his second full year. Spoelstra has lost some of his confidence on Robinson, but he’s still getting plenty of playing time.
His three-point attempts per game are almost the same. 8.6 per game this year, versus 8.5 and 8.3 in the years before. He’s actually shooting more (just slightly), and he’s definitively making less shots.
So far this season, Robinson has 119 threes in 343 attempts, for a 34.7%, way under his 40.8% from last season, and the 44.6% he had a couple of seasons ago. A 10% drop in two years (more or less, since we’ve had three seasons played in a very short time).
If he continues on this same path, it means Duncan Robinson would finish the season within the NBA average (for this season at 34.9% so far), but way under his average when he
Like Nekias Duncan stated in his article The Curious Case Of Duncan Robinson’s Shooting, what has surprised us the most is that, “oddly enough, it’s the easier shots — catch-and-shoot jumpers — the ones that aren’t falling”. The entire league, in average, is having a down year for multiple reasons.
It’s not just a Duncan Robinson issue, but it’s the issue we see every time we watch the Heat. Or not every time. Be fair with Duncan Robinson. He’s just being average, and you’re not used to it. “Average” Duncan Robinson should be better than the rest. That’s why he got paid…
With Bam Adebayo coming back tonight, as ESPN reported a couple of days ago, we’ll see if Duncan gets a necessary spark. Teams have adjusted to Bam’s dribble handoff to Robinson in the past, and with Robinson having less gravity to get Adebayo open on a pick and roll, I am not sure we should expect Duncan Robinson’s numbers to go up just because of this particular play, but hopefully I am wrong.
If you’re tired of my optimism based in cold numbers, you better go ahead and listen to what Ethan Skolnick, Greg Sylvander and Brady Hawk had to say about Adebayo’s return to the team (whenever it finally happens this week):
And also, check Brady Hawk’s Five Takeaways of the Loss against the Sixers here.