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How can Kyle Lowry's signing by the Miami Heat help bring the best out of Duncan Robinson?

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game Five
Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game Five
Adam Taylor
EXPERT

Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat appear to be a match made in heaven; from team culture to the team's contention timeline, everything seems to fit seamlessly. But, when discussing the Kyle Lowry and Miami Heat marriage, there's seldom a mention of how the point guard's presence on the roster affects some of the team's premier role players.

Sure, we've all heard about the Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo trio and why that big-three will become a force in the Eastern Conference. However, what does Lowry's addition mean for the likes of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson?

For Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry's presence should allow him to take a step back in ball-handling duties and focus on re-discovering the level of play that saw him have a breakout rookie year.

But the Heat are faced with a bigger question.

How can Kyle Lowry's signing by the Miami Heat help bring the best out of Duncan Robinson?

Duncan Robinson is arguably the best movement shooter in the league. When lifting out of the corners, or curling around screens, Robinson rarely needs to set his feet before firing away from deep. A career 42.3% shooter from deep Duncan Robinson is already a handful for opposing NBA defenses every night.

Kyle Lowry's addition to the Miami Heat roster is only going to elevate Duncan Robinson's scoring opportunities. In Lowry, the Miami Heat have a point guard as capable from deep as Robinson himself. However, the 6'0'' guard's affinity towards driving middle and causing havoc on a defenses rotations are going to have Duncan Robinson licking his lips.

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is a master tactician, and consistently used Duncan Robinson as a decoy during half court sets to create lanes for the likes of Herro and Butler. This year, Duncan Robinson could find himself having his number called more often, especially as a play finisher.

Bam Adebayo is the team's defacto playmaker, often running the offense from the high-post in dribble hand-off scenarios or screen the screener give-and-go's.

Lowry's presence will ensure the Miami Heat don't fall into a trap within the mid-range, as they did for spurts throughout last season. Rather, the Miami Heat can now look to use Lowry above the break and run secondary offenses on the wings or the interior.

Duncan Robinson could possibly find himself running more plays out of Spoelstra's Iverson series, in large part due to his ability to shoot so reliably off the catch. Outside of basic cutting sets, Duncan Robinson will likely still continue to offer the Miami Heat an outlet on the break. He could also be tasked with being their sniper on plays such as hammer screens or when curling over stagger screens out of the corner.

So, how does Kyle Lowry's presence on the Miami Heat roster change things for Robinson, I hear you ask?

Currently, when the Miami Heat run the types of aforementioned plays designed to get Duncan Robinson a clean look at the basket, opposition defenses are keyed in and fighting over every screen to get a hand in his face. Kyle Lowry's presence can ease some of that defensive attention.

Spoelstra will likely use Duncan Robinson in secondary actions after Kyle Lowry has already bent the defense with his own scoring gravity. It's also not like a team only has to worry about Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson.

There's still Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to contend with, especially as both players are frighteningly good as both playmakers and play finishers - particularly in the mid-range and restricted area.

The Miami Heat now has a legitimate big three - one that is ready to battle for supremacy within the Eastern Conference. For Duncan Robinson that means he's going to find a lot more space on the perimeter when sharing the floor with the team's juggernaughts.

Usually, a single skill player has a highly defined role within an NBA roster. But for a player as awe-inspiringly good a shooter as Duncan Robertson, there's every reason to expect him to roam the perimeter and find shooting pockets as defenses scramble to contain what's happening around them.

Additional spacing, less defensive attention, possibly increased roles within the offensive schematics, and yet another shot creator on the roster: Duncan Robinson is going to find himself in sharpshooter heaven this year, and as a result, could drive his ridiculous scoring numbers even higher.

Of course, signing Kyle Lowry wasn't a decision based on how Duncan Robinson or any other role player would be impacted. The Miami Heat wanted to add a third star to their core, and chase some championship opportunities. But the way they project to setup their offense means that players like Duncan Robinson can easily find new ways to elevate their games thanks to Kyle Lowry's decision to move to South Beach.


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Edited by Parimal Dagdee
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