There’s no denying the Boston Celtics have fallen short in a plethora of areas this season. This would explain why despite having two of the league’s brightest 25-and-under stars at their disposal they continue to float around mediocrity, currently owning a 26-25 record.
One area, in particular, that has seen a steep decline from a season ago is their consistency from beyond the arc. In 2020-21, the Cs finished with a 37.2% 3-point percentage, 11th-best in the NBA. Yet, through 51 games this season, Boston has plummeted down 12 spots in those ranks, connecting on just 34.0% of their 3-point attempts (eighth-worst in the NBA).
With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching, improving Boston’s collective shooting stroke could be a prime priority for president Brad Stevens. Which could potentially mean swinging a trade for Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson.
“Robinson is in a bit of a shooting slump this season, but he’s still among the NBA’s leaders in made threes per game (3.2, ninth),” wrote Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “The New England native and Williams College alum is one of the league’s premier 3-point threats and has made great strides as a defender, lowering his defensive rating from 108.3 to 106.8 this season.”
Forsberg added, “It seems unlikely a contender like Miami would move on from Robinson, but his recent dip in playing time has led to some rumblings that the Celtics may want to monitor.”
Robinson’s Time in Miami Coming to an End?
As Forsberg alluded to, there’s been some speculation that the Heat could look to unload Robinson at this year’s deadline. On January 19 Matt Moore of Action Network reported that “there’s a belief around the league that Robinson is a player Miami is open to talks about” in regards to a potential trade.
In the first year of a five-year, $90 million contract, Robinson has started 42 of 47 games for the Heat this season. His statistical output has slipped across the board — although not massively (for the most part). His 12.0 points per game are down 1.1 points from a year ago, while his total rebounds average has taken a 0.4 dip. The biggest concern is his slumping percentage from deep. A career 40.9% 3-point shooter, the 27-year-old is knocking down 36.5% of his 3-point shots in 2021-22. His lowest mark since 2018.
With fellow wing Max Strus connecting on 39.8% of his threes, it’s plausible to think Miami may be willing to move off Robinson’s contract. Although actually doing so would likely prove to be easier said than done.
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Time Lord Making a Difference in the Passing Game
From one player who’s made a career out of knocking down threes, to a player who’s attempted just three such shots over the entirety of his career, no one would ever mistake Robert Williams as a sharpshooter.
Still, the 24-year-old’s versatile skillset continues to make a positive impact on the Celtics roster. Mostly known for his highly-flying dunks and ferocious blocks on the defensive end, Williams is eager for people to start taking notice of his passing game.
“Oh assist, for sure,” Williams told reporters on January 31 when asked which of the two plays he prefers, dunking the basketball or assisting a teammate per Celtics.com. “I’m kind of like pass first, kick the ball out, especially pushing off rebounds.”
Williams has now registered at least four assists in four of his last six games heading into Monday’s contest with the Heat.