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Winderman’s view: Duncan Robinson expresses hope for quick return, with Heat in need of such hope

MIAMI – Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 111-88 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans:

– Considering the way the Heat shot 3-pointers in this one — or more to the point did not — the biggest news of the night came arguably before the game, with Heat guard Duncan Robinson expressing optimism about a rapid return, even as he missed his second game with a back issue diagnosed as left facet syndrome.

– “Thankful that it’s not too serious,” Robinson said pregame. “A big thing is making sure that just kind of calm it down. So I’m going to try to play as soon as I possibly can. I’m itching to get back out there. So as soon as I get the clear and OK, I’ll be back out there.”

– He said that could be as soon as Sunday’s visit by the Cavaliers.

– Which, based on how the Heat shot 3-pointers Friday, wouldn’t be soon enough.

– “Anything is possible,” Robinson said. “I’m not counting out anything. I mean, I want to play obviously as soon as I possibly can. So I don’t know for sure when that’ll be. You want to try to be smart about it, because I understand probably down the stretch there’s going to be some managing of it, just from a pain perspective, which I’m ready to embrace. But you don’t want to rush back to where it just flares up, where it’s starting back up to day one.”

– Still, optimism, with Friday’s Heat performance leaving them in dire need of any optimism.

– “It’s getting better,” Robinson said. “It’s improving a lot, just taking a couple of days has helped a lot. And then the recovery and treatment stuff has helped as well as other things.”

– Robinson admitted concern when sent to see a specialist, bypassing going to Cleveland with the team for Wednesday night’s game.

– “There’s always concern,” he said. “You never know. Whenever you get an image on something, you never know. So it was positive news, all things considered. I think the big thing about getting back was to see our people first, but also to start the rest clock. I know I wasn’t going to play in Cleveland.”

– Of whether he has experienced previous back problems in his career, Robinson said, “I had some in high school when I was growing so fast, but that was more of a puberty issue, just catching up to my body. But I’ve been pretty fortunate, so this is obviously a little setback, but we’ll be back soon.”

– Robinson had pulled himself from Monday night’s loss in Philadelphia.

– “Significantly better from Monday,” he said. “A lot better from Monday.”

– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday, “He’ll be day to day and we’ll see how his body responds to all the treatment he got today and tomorrow and we’ll see what’s going on.”

– After a one-game absence, Bam Adebayo was back and back in the starting lineup. But with Robinson out again with his back issue, the Heat moved to opening lineup No. 34, this time starting Adebayo, Nikola Jovic, Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Patty Mills.

– The franchise record for lineups had been 31 entering the season.

– With Friday the second Heat start of Mills, who also started Wednesday night’s victory in Cleveland.

– Based on how it went Friday for Mills, that opening mix could change again Sunday.

– The Heat remained without Robinson, Tyler Herro, Kevin Love and Josh Richardson.

– With Brandon Ingram sidelined, the Pelicans opened with a lineup of CJ McCollum, Herb Jones , Trey Murphy, Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas.

– Caleb Martin and Jaime Jaquez Jr. entered together in the Heat’s first substitution,

– Delon Wright followed.

– And then Haywood Highsmith.

– With Thomas Bryant and Cole Swider also seeing action.

– Martin’s second rebound was the 1,000th of his career.

– With the double-double, Adebayo moved into a tie for third in the franchise record book.

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