The Miami Heat cruised to their 47th win of the season on Friday night, beating the Thunder 120-108 at FTX Arena. And while a number of ballers played a role in the result — like Tyler Herro, who scored 26 points off the bench — the performance of Duncan Robinson warrants special mention.
The fourth-year sharpshooter helped set an early tone, hitting 4-of-6 shots during the opening frame and nailing three triples en route to an 11-point quarter. He went on to finish the game with 19 points and Miami outscored OKC by 13 when he was on the floor.
Unfortunately, this kind of performance has been more the exception than the rule for Robinson this season.
Entering the contest, he was a sub-40% shooter from the field on the campaign. Moreover, the Heat’s offensive rating has actually been better when he has been on the bench (by a difference of four points per 100 possessions).
Through all the ups and downs, Robinson has relied on his support system to keep him cool, collected and engaged in the process of rediscovering his mojo. Apparently, that group has included one of the finest marksmen ever to play the game in JJ Redick.
Redick Has Been There for Duncan
As relayed by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Redick has been in Robinson’s ear throughout the years, encouraging him to be the best possible version of himself.
“He’s always been in my corner,” Robinson revealed about the recently retired baller, who has 1,950 career three-point buckets to his credit.
“He’s seen it all in this league, offered me some words of encouragement,” Robinson added. “His advice stuck. I talked to Redick. I talked to a bunch of people. I’m fortunate to have a lot of people in my corner willing to lend a word and ear, whatever I need.”
Redick wasn’t always someone who Robinson could call upon when the chips were down, though. According to the 15-year NBA vet — who now works as an analyst for ESPN — he actually “blew the kid off” initially.
“[Heat assistant] Malik Allen was distracting me” Redick said of the incident. “I didn’t know the kid.”
Ultimately, real recognized real and Redick has come to regard Robinson as “one of the greatest shooters in the game today.” He also believes that the Heat star is trending in the right direction currently.
“He got off to such a slow start, but the percentage is creeping up toward 40, which is where every great shooter wants to be.”
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Robinson Has Looked More Like His Old Self Recently
Given the fact that the Heat have just 11 games left to play on their regular-season schedule, it’s time to concede that Robinson’s slump has evolved into a full-on down year. That said, he has nonetheless shown flashes of the player who earned a $90 million extension from the Heat during the offseason.
Since January 21, the 27-year-old has connected on 43.5% of his shot attempts and, more importantly, 41% of his triples on nearly eight attempts per game.