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Duncan Robinson has put the MIA in Miami against Philly



Duncan hasn't taken that warmup off in a while

Image: Getty (Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers tied their semifinals series 2-2 with the Miami Heat on Sunday night, defeating them 116-108. The momentum in this series has completely swung in Philly’s favor, and it’s no mystery why. Joel Embiid’s return, coupled with Miami missing 51 threes in the last two games, has made this a series. One aspect of the matchup, however that is a mystery, is the disappearance of Duncan Robinson from the Heat’s rotation.

Robinson hasn’t been great lately. Sure, it sounds simple enough. But Robinson was never a “great player.” However, he’s been a good role player who can hit timely shots. In Game 1 of the Heat’s first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, Robinson scored 27 points, hitting eight of nine threes. Since then, his minutes have diminished to the point where against the Sixers, Robinson’s barely taken off his warm up gear. Talk about a swift fall.

In that big Game 1 against the Hawks, Robinson played 23 minutes. He never eclipsed 15 minutes again in that series. Through four games of this series against Philly, Duncan’s played a whopping 55 seconds, which came during Game 2 in garbage time. That isn’t even enough time to get a good sweat on the court. It’s one thing to be in the doghouse, but this is ridiculous. And let’s not forget, Robinson signed a five-year, $90 million deal last summer. Less than a year later, he’s getting no playing time in the postseason.

The way the Heat have struggled shooting the ball in consecutive games would lead one to think we might be seeing Robinson soon. But in a tight Game 4 where only Jimmy Butler could seemingly get a bucket, Robinson never came close to entering the game. Toward the end of the fourth quarter, Robinson was shown on the sideline still wearing his white long-sleeved Heat shirt over his uniform. I kept thinking, “These guys can’t hit a three, so Erik Spoelstra might as well throw him out there.” But it never happened.

Miami has a roster capable of going nine deep in a game. But in the postseason, many coaches shorten their rotations. Yet for the Heat, most of the players who are taking those minutes that had previously gone to Robinson aren’t exactly showing out. Victor Oladipo returned to the team in March, but he’s been inconsistent, at best, during these playoffs. Max Strus played 30 minutes in Game 4 and scored six points. Kyle Lowry can’t seem to stay healthy and looks out of shape altogether.

Gabe Vincent has played 25 minutes over the last two games and scored two-points total.

It’s mind-boggling to watch Robinson not even get an opportunity. The Heat couldn’t hit the ocean from South Beach in games three and four. I know Duncan isn’t a star, but coach Spo and the Heat need a spark right now, and I wouldn’t care where it came from. Miami led this series 2-0, and now it’s tied, and it looks like Butler is the only player putting up a fight.

I know coaches don’t like forming their rotations based on how much money players make. But when you’ve got a $90 million guy riding the bench, and your team is in a shooting slump, it might be time to go against your own philosophy. Robinson shot 37.2% from behind the arc in the regular season. Miami could’ve used that in the last two games, where they shot a combined 21.5%.

Robinson isn’t going to win this series alone for the Heat, but for him to be entirely out of their rotation is absurd. Game 5 is Wednesday, and it’s a must-win for Miami. Robinson’s reps even chimed in on Twitter today, posting about a game during the 2020 NBA Finals where their client made seven 3-pointers. Hopefully, for Robinson, Spoelstra sees this and takes the hint. Put Duncan in and see if he can get loose. After all this, I have a feeling we’ll see Robinson in Game 5 back in Miami. The Heat don’t have much else to lose after missing 51 threes in two games.

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“Never seen a team like Liverpool in my life” – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola showers Reds with high praise after Premier League win



Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on rivals Liverpool after winning the 2021-22 Premier League title.

An exhilarating game at the Etihad ended 3-2 in City’s favour following the defending champions’ stunning late comeback to retain their crown, scoring thrice in the last 14 minutes.

The Reds huffed and puffed too against Wolves before securing a 3-1 win, but that wasn’t enough, as they finished a point behind their rivals.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has heaped praise on the Reds for pushing the Cityzens to play at their best. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the Spaniard said:

“I have never seen a team like Liverpool in my life. I know it’s tough but big congratulations. They help us be a better team season by season. They push us!”

Until the 76th minute, the Sky Blues trailed 2-0 against Villa, while their Merseyside rivals were locked at 1-1 against Wolves as a spectacular twist seemed to be on the cards.

🗣 “I’ve never seen a team like Liverpool in my life.”Pep Guardiola is in high praise of Liverpool after pushing the to the last minute of the title raise 👏

However, three goals in the space of five minutes – a double from Ilkay Gundogan either side of a Rodri strike – put the holders in control as they sealed a fourth title in five years. Liverpool also struck two goals late on, but alas, that was a case of too little too late.

Manchester City’s season might be over, but Liverpool’s isn’t

Having lost out in all cup competitions this season, Manchester City were minutes away from ending their season without a trophy. However, an incredible comeback helped them salvage their campaign as they retained their Premier League crown.

Liverpool, meanwhile, were left to rue another close miss. However, their season isn’t over yet. The Reds will be in action against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on May 28.

🗣 “If you want to win big, you have to be ready to lose big.”Jurgen Klopp reflects on securing 2 trophies, being in a Champions League final and losing the league by 1 point

With the Carabao Cup and FA Cup already in the bag, Klopp’s team will to pull off a ‘cup treble’ as they turn their attention towards the all-important showdown next Saturday.

It’s a rematch of the 2018 Kiev final, where they endured a disappointing 3-1 loss. They had redemption the next year by going all the way in Madrid, but there’s a sense of unfinished business in the Reds’ camp.

This Article was first live here.

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Mito Pereria’s final hole meltdown!



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Mito Pereira was one hole away from winning the PGA Championship before a final hole meltdown after his first shot ended up in the water.

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Lightning exposing Panthers’ lack of playoff experience with series sweep in sight



It’s the National Hockey League’s regular-season champions versus the Stanley Cup champions, and it’s not even close. Playoff hockey wins every time.

After winning 58 games in the regular season, the Florida Panthers lost their third straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and are another loss away from being swept by their less-skilled but more-capable rivals in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Even after the mystifying Panthers’ power play finally manufactured its first playoff goal in the opening period, it was the Lightning’s penalty killing, as well as Tampa’s experience, guile and intensity, that was a key factor in a 5-1 victory in Game 3.

Game 4 is Monday evening in Tampa with puck drop at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

Through three games and an aggregate score of 11-3, the Lightning have exposed the Panthers’ playoff inexperience and inability to match Tampa’s battle level.

“They’re Stanley Cup champions and the best team in hockey probably over the last five years, so they know what they’re doing and they are willing themselves,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said of the Lightning. “They have more will and more desire than we do. It shows probably, if you watch the game, shift after shift right now. We have to find a way. We need to dial it in deeper and harder and want it more.”

Later in his media conference, Brunette added: “They’ve just got a little more will. When there’s a loose puck, they’re kind of outbattling us. They want it a little bit more. They’re small margins, but they’re still margins. And small margins over a course of 60-minute game makes a little bit of a bigger margin. We have to find a way to be above the margins, not behind.”

But it’s already too late.

Teams that have trailed 3-0 in a seven-game series are 4-197 in NHL history. The Panthers have about a one-on-50 chance of surviving the Lightning, who are handling their opponent while dressing just 11 forwards because Brayden Point, possibly Tampa’s best player, has been injured since his team eliminated another playoff lightweight in the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

The NHL’s highest-scoring team in 26 years, the Panthers have managed just a single goal in each of this series’ first three games. The Lightning have blocked 59 shots, outscored Florida 4-1 on special teams and Tampa star Nikita Kucherov, after a four-point game on Sunday, has more points in this series (seven) than Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, Claude Giroux, Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad combined.

The Lightning can earn some vital recovery time for Point and rest for themselves by winning Game 4 and earning a third straight trip to the Eastern Conference Final. They’re trying to become the first team since the early-1980s New York Islanders to win three straight Stanley Cups.

“We realize the challenge ahead,” Tampa captain Steven Stamkos said. “These guys are back against the wall. We’ve had this opportunity before and it’s the hardest (win) to get. So we understand that challenge, but we’ll be ready. We have an opportunity to do it in front of our home fans, feed off that. We know they’re going to give us their best effort, so we’ve got to match that and then some and just keep executing. I have confidence in this group that if we play the right way, good things are going to continue to happen.”


The Lightning were up 2-1 when Tampa’s Victor Hedman was penalized for interference at 6:37 of the second period. The Panther power play, which in the first period ended an unfathomable 0-for-25 playoff meltdown, had a chance to tie the game.

Instead, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made four saves, his teammates blocked four other shots and, seconds after Hedman’s penalty expired, Tampa defenceman Ryan McDonagh made the play of the game by getting the shaft of his stick in front of Huberdeau’s shot when most of the net was open.

And less than two minutes later, Stamkos made it 3-1 on a one-timer off the rush at 10:23.

“Our group’s great about understanding situations within the game,” McDonagh said after a plus-four game in which he led the Lightning with 23:21 of ice time. “Big moment there, a big opportunity for them. We kill it off and. . . shortly after that we put the puck in the net. So huge swing there. I think our group on the PK as a whole wants to thrive on being difference-makers for us.”


Vasilevskiy, McDonagh and the penalty-killers got the glory, but no one should underestimate the world-class skill involved in Stamkos’ dagger to the Panther’s heart.

Hedman made a perfect stretch, bank pass to Kucherov, who took the puck effortlessly, then quickly relayed it across the Florida zone for a streaking Stamkos to one-time from his off-wing. All three elements were sublimely executed.

Stamkos said he was inspired by the penalty kill that preceded it.

“As a guy that, you know, doesn’t get out on the PK and watches those guys, I mean, it really is inspiring,” he said. “You watch those guys, they’re battling, they’re blocking shots, doing whatever it takes. Those aren’t easy minutes in a game. You see guys coming back to the bench just gassed, gasping for air, and then they’ve got to go right back out there.

“This group, it’s just. . . whatever guys are on the ice, we have full trust in that. Some of that comes with experience at this time of the year, some of that comes with going out and getting the right (guys) at the deadline and knowing the big roles that they’re going to play, and it’s just trusting in each other that you’re going to get the job done. And when you have trust in your teammates, that creates a lot of confidence and it just progresses and it snowballs and you usually get good results.”


The Lightning were lucky not to lose another forward when Brandon Hagel dangerously cross-checked Panther Eetu Luostarinen into the end boards at high speed late in the first period. Referees Dan O’Rourke and Frederick L’Ecuyer initially called a major penalty on Hagel but downgraded it to a minor upon a video review. It sure looked like a major penalty and potential game misconduct.

Despite hitting his head on the boards, Luostarinen finished the game.


Where is Aaron Ekblad? Florida’s frozen scorers are getting much of the blame for this series, but Ekblad, who was supposed to be in the Norris Trophy discussion this season, has been almost invisible beyond his share of culpability for Florida’s power-play problems.


Brunette: “We’re losing a little bit of our — which has been our strength of our team — a little bit of our resilience. Frustration has taken over passion, and we need to erase that.”

This Article was first live here.

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