Should Heat rest Duncan Robinson beyond remainder of regular season?

Heat start
Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson is currently dealing with a tricky back injury. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

There’s no question that Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson is one of the most crucial pieces to the team.

Robinson is the best shooter in Miami Heat history, but his development as a better overall shot-creator has opened up the Heat offense and made it more dynamic, despite it still being a bottom-third unit in the league due to various other struggles. He was averaging 12.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 45.0 percent shooting, including 39.5 percent from beyond the arc on 7.0 3-point attempts per game.

Though he was diagnosed with left facet syndrome–a back injury–in mid-March. Robinson missed five games, returned for five more and clearly was not the same.

“Obviously, just wasn’t able to fully feel like myself, to be myself,” he said earlier this week, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “And that kind of also exacerbated it a little bit, which we kind of knew going in was a potential risk, but wanted to at least go down swinging to some extent.

“Obviously I’m not the most athletic player out there, so I need … the majority of my ability to be able to move and be explosive within my capabilities and was not able to do that. I think that was probably apparent to anybody that was watching the game.”

Robinson was sidelined Tuesday in its double-overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks and will miss Wednesday’s back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks. By now, even though there is no current timetable for his return, it looks like Robinson will miss the rest of the regular season.


Barring anything unforeseen, the Heat are all but likely to make the play-in game for the second consecutive year, They would need to win out against Dallas–who’s competing for seeding in the Western Conference–and Toronto, a non-competitive tanking team while additional help. Since he’s not playing Wednesday, there’s no point in playing him on Friday or Sunday.

Assuming he doesn’t play in either of those two games, that begs the question: Should the Heat rest Robinson beyond the regular season?

He wasn’t nearly as effective after returning on March 31 against the Washington Wizards. Robinson, who’s been durable throughout his six-year career, having appeared in 86.1 percent of available regular season games since the start of 2019-20, converted on just six of his 26 3-point attempts (23.1 percent) over his last five games with 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals. He wasn’t getting as many attempts up, nor was he bending defenses off the bounce to the frequency he was at the start of the season.

Risking another injury over these final days of the regular season could be detrimental to Robinson’s short- and long-term health. Back injuries are very tricky–especially one without a full cure.

Who knows, perhaps Robinson’s held out for even longer. Five games wasn’t enough recovery time previously–so five games (the final four reg. season games plus its play-in game next week) may also not be enough time to fully recover.

Robinson knows his body better than anyone else, and the Heat training staff are second up on that list; they know how to treat Robinson’s injury and manage his health–whether they’re protecting him from himself or not–better than any of us do.

At this point, if Miami were to advance past the play-in, I wouldn’t be surprised if Robinson missed the first round or longer, should they move up the ladder. Miami’s offense doesn’t flow well without Robinson, but it may be best for him long-term to get as much rest and treatment as possible.

The Heat have been the NBA’s fifth-most injured team this year–strictly in terms of games missed–but are now navigating tricky waters with one of their most important players as we enter the final stretch of the season.

“Anything is possible,” Robinson said, when asked if he’ll return before the end of the regular season, per Chiang. “Like I said, I’m doing everything I can in the 24 hours every day to just to try to be available. I don’t have a definitive answer for you in terms of that. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but we’ll see what it feels like.”


To check out our other content, click here.

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Twitter/X here!

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Instagram here!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well if his back is not ok, there is no point playing him..he would look like in those few recent games when he wasn’t ok and could not make a single shot.
It is a pity he hurt his back, he was so good. Not just shooting, but cutting and smart plays.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top