April 18, 2024

After falling out of the rotation, Duncan Robinson is now playing some of the best basketball of his career.

It seems like just yesterday Duncan Robinson was the undrafted rookie free agent darling that came from nowhere, lighting it up from three-point range.

It seems as though Robinson is back after a two-year slide. In the victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, he recorded 21 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. This season, he is averaging a career-high 15 points.

Robinson was a true weapon from 2019 to 2021, shooting over 40% from the arc, but he fell out of the rotation after that. He averaged thirty minutes and signed a ninety million dollar, five-year contract.

Then the following season Robinson’s minutes, points, and three-point percentage dropped.

What changed so quickly?

The league keeps changing. Everyone wanted switchable athletic wings to counter the new swarm of elite point forwards. Being able to switch everything was the key. It didn’t matter if you could just shoot anymore. Teams needed tall wings to guard multiple positions, rebound, and defend in space.

You had to be able to affect the game in more than one way because “positionless” basketball keeps evolving. Matchups matter more than ever.

This led to Robinson falling entirely out of the Heat rotation. Just like that, $90 million was on the bench. Fans were outraged. They wanted him gone. Most would’ve traded him for anything to get out of that contract.

Robinson didn’t let that stop him from working on his game. He obviously will never successfully guard Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jayson Tatum, but he continued to improve on controllable things.

“It has been a challenge,” Robinson said last season while falling out of the rotation. “But it comes with the territory. It’s part of being a professional.”

Robinson feels far more at ease now when he puts the ball on the floor, gets into the paint, and finishes near the rim. Together with Bam Adebayo, he is running the pick and roll and getting the right reads. He’s finishing up and cutting back the door.

Robinson became a much better playmaker, according to bball-index.com. After receiving a D- in 2019, he is currently grading at his highest career level of a B+.

He’s also returned to shooting three points. Both his field goal percentage and assist averages are career highs for Robinson.

Robinson continued to work, even though most would have pouted at being left off the rotation. He remained prepared and made the most of his chance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *