People outside of the Miami Heat fanbase likely had no idea who Duncan Robinson was at the beginning of last season but the sharpshooter had just about everyone on notice by the time the Heat completed their run to the NBA Finals.
A lot of the Heat’s success came from Robinson’s ability to stroke it from beyond the arc but both the team and player are struggling this term and they believe it’s because coaches are now including methods on loading up on the undrafted star in their defensive strategy.
“They’re trying to take Duncan out the game,” Bam Adebayo said after the Heat lost to the Utah Jazz on Saturday, per HeatNation.com. “The stuff we were doing with Duncan last year, we can’t do this year.”
“It’s similar coverages to what we saw in the playoffs last year,” Robinson added. “A lot of the stuff that I was able to get away with during the regular season last year isn’t working anymore. [They’re] just more tuned in, trying to limit my catches and limiting my ability to come off stuff freely.”
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reckons Robinson – who became the fastest NBA player to reach 300 made threes this year – has earned his respect from around the league.
“He’s earned this respect from around the league,” Spo told reporters before Miami’s showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. “He’s being game planned [for] every single night as a priority where probably the first few months of the season last year, he might’ve been further down on a scouting report.”
Robinson is averaging 12.3 points a game this season and his three-point shooting is down from 44.4% to 39.3%. His stellar shooting from long range last campaign has made him a marked man, but the Heat will need to find a way to get him better looks.