24/05/2024

Duncan Robinson back with Heat, but at what speed?; Spoelstra addresses Rozier’s absence

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Duncan Robinson back with Heat, but at what speed?; Spoelstra addresses Rozier’s absence

Duncan Robinson is back for the Miami Heat. The question now is at what percentage of the 3-point specialist is back.

Duncan Robinson is back for the Miami Heat. The question now is at what percentage of the 3-point specialist is back.

PHILADELPHIA — Duncan Robinson is back for the Miami Heat. The question now is at what percentage is the 3-point specialist back.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s play-in game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was somewhat vague about where Robinson stands with the back issue that had him out the final four games of the regular season, and well as nine of the final 14.

“All hands on deck,” Spoelstra said of Robinson. “Everybody’s putting themselves out there even if they’re not 100 percent.

“He has been making a lot of progress. It’s just good to see him back in the fold and we’ll utilize him however we need to.”

Spoelstra was similarly vague when asked about Robinson’s work during the morning shootaround at Temple University.

“It was more of a working walkthrough, I would say,” Spoelstra said. “He’s able to do that kind of stuff.”

The Heat confirmed 90 minutes prior to tipoff that Robinson was available.

“He’s ready to go,” Spoelstra said at Wells Fargo Center, when asked if the staff would be monitoring Robinson’s back or his playing time. “It definitely won’t be what he was doing earlier in the season, that’s for sure. But it’s pretty simple right now – the rotation is the rotation. It’s all hands on deck.”

Back up to speed at the shootaround was forward Kevin Love, who sat out the second half of Sunday’s season-ending victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors with an arm contusion.

“Arm’s not an issue, ankle’s not an issue,” he said of a previous injury that had him on the injury report. “I’m ready to go. So turn the page on the regular season and now we’ve got some work to do.”

Love said he sat out Sunday’s second half as a precaution.

“We were up 21 at half, so it just made sense for me to focus on this,” he said. “But I feel good and I think that extra day helped.”

Unlike Robinson and Love, guard Terry Rozier did not make the trip, still being treated for what the team is listing as a neck spasm.

“I just feel for Terry,” Spoelstra said, with Rozier also sidelined the final four games of the regular season. “He’s been making a lot of progress. He’s not ready to play in an NBA playoff-level game right now. But I’m encouraged, we’re encouraged.

“I feel for him. He’s such a competitor. I know how badly he wants to be out here for these kind of moments that I’m talking about. But we’ll continue to treat him and see how he feels.”

Spoelstra declined to forecast whether Rozier could return during the postseason.

“I’m always hopeful,” Spoelstra said. But his body will let us know.”

Moving forward

Spoelstra said his team arrived to Philadelphia accepting of the play-in fate and already caught up in the intensity of such a moment.

“We watched the games last night,” he said of the first night of the Western Conference play-in round, which saw the Los Angeles Lakers advance and the Golden State Warriors eliminated. “It’s the best of what this Association is about, is when you get everybody playing for something and there’s a competitive spirit to it.

“You can’t cram for the test right now. This is about just falling back on our habits and being our best version. I just want our guys to really embrace the competition and enjoy competing for each other and do what we have to do.”

Still working

Despite being ineligible for the postseason roster, Heat two-ways players Jamal Cain, Cole Swider and Alondes Williams went through extensive training during and after the morning shootaround at Temple. All three will be free agents in the offseason.

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