Seven months ago, Duncan Robinson was a three-point specialist who couldn’t hit threes.
The criticism was fair. Coming off a 78-69 comeback win over UCLA last December, he was only connecting on 32 percent of his 71 threes to that point. His 1-on-1 defense exacerbated concerns.
Fast forward to today and no other former Wolverine is showing up better in the NBA Summer League. According to the Miami Herald, Robinson is a “strong candidate to earn a two-way roster spot with the Heat.”
Two-way contracts denote players can play for both an NBA team and a G-League affiliate simultaneously for a maximum of 45 days. If Robinson reaches 45 days with the Heat, they can choose to sign him to a standard contract or relegate him for a full G-League season.
He has unequivocally earned his shot. In the three California Classic games in Sacramento, he averaged 11.3 points a game while canning 58 percent of his threes.
He may have shined most brightly Saturday in a 110-84 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. He paced the Heat with 18 points on 10 shots, swishing four more from deep. He also snared six boards, dished an assist and even added a block and a steal.
Duncan Robinson is lighting up the 3rd quarter in Vegas! pic.twitter.com/mzLpacqESV— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) July 7, 2018
“I’m trying to show it on both ends, mix it up and break some labels, stereotypes,” he said yesterday to the Herald.
He chipped in 10 more points in a 94-90 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. His five-game Summer League totals are 12.4 points a game on 61 percent 3-point shooting.
What a difference a few months make.
- Derrick Walton Jr. put up 11 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Miami Heat in a 94-90 loss to the Hornets Sunday night. Unlike teammate Robinson, he was 0-of-6 on his 3-pointers.
- D.J. Wilson and the Bucks started their Summer League play. His first action came against the Pistons in a 90-63 rout Friday. He flexed a versatile offensive game, pouring in 17 points on 11 shots, including two deep bombs. He also put up seven points, seven rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes in the Bucks’ 81-78 loss to the Mavericks Sunday night.
- Caris Levert has been held out of his games with the Nets. He is on the roster, but it is unknown when he will suit up for the first time.
- Moritz Wagner continued his solid play in a 96-79 Laker triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday. He nearly reached his second straight double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight boards. His fouls woes continued, as he committed seven more. (In the Summer League, you are allowed up to 10 fouls.)
- Wagner cooled off in the scoring department Sunday night, nailing just 4-of-15 shots for eight points in a 69-60 win over Chicago. He did manage to collect 14 rebounds and three steals, but his shot was off against the Bulls.
- Levert may get his first chance tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves (8 p.m., ESPNU).