No Place Like Home? Not for This Struggling Heat Star

Duncan Robinson Heat

Getty Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson celebrates during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

If it had been Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson who had been whirled away to Oz by a tornado and not Dorothy Gale, he may have been wise to stay and set up shop in the Emerald City; maybe start a new podcast about the class struggle between flying monkeys and wicked witches.

While there may be no place like home for the latter, South Beach has been a surprisingly rough spot for Robinson this season.

During Miami’s latest home bout with the Sixers on Saturday, the fourth-year pro had a particularly bad outing. In a year full of less-than-spectacular performances, it may have been his worst to date. Over 17 minutes of play, Robinson scored just two points on 1-of-9 shooting and missed all eight of his three-point attempts.

Alas, that’s just the kind of year it has been for the Heat’s $90 million man.

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Robinson’s season-long slump has been well-documented at this point. However, the enormity of his struggles when playing on his own court, in front of a friendly crowd, has been an underreported aspect of his personal battle.

As of this writing, Robinson and the Heat have played 18 home games. In those contests, the 27-year-old is averaging just 9.3 points and shooting a paltry 33.3% from the field and 28.8% from three-point range. Along the way, the Heat have been 14.5 points per 100 possessions worse when he has been on the court.

In fact, Robinson is the only negative player on the team in home games this season with a net rating of minus-0.6.

So far, the Heat have managed to make do at home in spite of Robinson’s ineffectiveness, posting a 13-5 record at FTX Arena. And given the way the team’s back-end roster pieces have consistently stepped up throughout the campaign, that could continue to be the case going forward.

Once postseason play hits, though, the Heat probably need to have Robinson firing on all cylinders if they hope to get back to the NBA Finals.

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Bench Role Not Helping?

Although Heat coach Erik Spoelstra cited a number of factors when he moved Robinson to the bench five games ago, there’s little doubt that his shooting struggles played a part in the decision. In any case, the baller seemed to embrace the change-up.

“Whatever this team needs me to do, I’m happy to do,” he said, via Inside the Heat. “Starting, that’s great. Coming off the bench, that’s great. One thing you can count on is I’m going to come in and just let it fly.”

During his first two outings as a reserve, Robinson looked to be rounding back into form, too. In his second bench appearance, he dropped 27 points to help his team to a blowout win over the league-leading Phoenix Suns. Since then, though, it has been more of the same for Robinson.

Over his last three games, he has scored just 16 total points while shooting 22.7% from the floor and 15% from deep.


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