ASK IRA: Could Duncan Robinson take Heat’s improved 3-point shooting to another level?

Q: Now that our shooting has come around, why not another shot for Duncan Robinson? When our shooters are at their best, Robinson is our best shooter. That has been shown over the test of time. – Delroy.

A: Because the shooting has come around without Duncan Robinson? Not to be unfair to Duncan, but it has taken this long into the season to finally establish productivity with the 3-point game, so why change what’s working? That said, with Kyle Lowry back, the Heat again have a nine deep that not only does not include Duncan, but also did not include Victor Oladipo in Wednesday night’s victory over Memphis or include Max Strus in Monday’s second half against Utah. So, for now, with the starting lineup of Bam Adebayo, Kevin Love, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent, and with Lowry, Caleb Martin and a backup center off the bench, there is just one spot left in a nine-man rotation. Oladipo? Strus? Or Robinson? And the rotation only gets tighter in the playoffs. Duncan’s best shot seemingly only would come if Love and Vincent for some reason were moved out of the rotation. That doesn’t appear likely or warranted at the moment.

Q: Ira, if you had the choice, would you rather play Philly or Boston in the first round? – Marc.

A: First, neither I nor the Heat have a choice. Such is the desperation of potentially starting the postseason in the play-in round. And if the play-in round does come into play for the Heat, then Milwaukee would be another first-round possibility. But since you asked, it would appear Philadelphia would be the preferred path, just because of all of the drama that comes along with the 76ers, including Joel Embiid never making the conference finals. These 76ers still have to prove it in the playoffs. The Celtics already have.

Q: Jimmy Butler has been honestly amazing since he arrived. He does take breaks during the season but when it’s go time, he always finds a way to not only dominate but dominate efficiently, all the more amazing because he barely shoots threes. I’m really hoping we find a way to get a ring when he’s here, I don’t think he’s ever been fully appreciated by the league except for the Bubble Run (Jimmy will probably say he really doesn’t care what the league thinks), and even that gets discounted. I have rarely seen someone be able to take over games as effectively, especially with a mid-perimeter game, the last was really Dwyane Wade. – Phillip, San Francisco.

A: Jimmy Butler has been everything the Heat have asked for and beyond since his arrival, save perhaps for the 2021 playoffs showing against the Bucks. Yes, he has missed time. But what star in the league hasn’t these days? While some might question what his contract might look like down the road, considering it runs through his 38th birthday. he continually has displayed the ability to live in the moment.


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