The Clippers are 3-0 in the preseason, and while it’s great to watch Tobias, Gallo, and Shai in seemingly mid-season form, the play of Jerome Robinson is a little troublesome. In 3 preseason games he is averaging 14 minutes, 4 points, 1 assist, and 1 rebound while shooting 30% from the field. These are not numbers you want from one of your lottery picks. Jerome Robinson’s selection surprised and concerned not only Clippers fans but the entire NBA as well, and currently it seems like those concerns are founded.
Photo Credit: FOX Sports
The most minutes Robinson’ logged we’re in the second game of the preseason with 24, in those 24 minutes he managed 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. It is important to realize this game was a full on blowout that the Clippers won by 27 points. During play Robinson looked like he was trying to do *just* a little too much: his shots were rushed and he had some sloppy passes that if maybe were thrown a little more under control would have translated to assists. He was not able to get into a rhythm with anyone else on the court and his points came almost in spite of his play.
In the third preseason game on October 6th Robinson played 16 minutes putting up 3 points, 0 rebound, and 1 assist going 1-5 from the field. It was another rushed, uncomfortable looking performance from the lottery pick who is clearly not ready to run with the second unit and might be in over his head on the third as well. Clippers fans were already surprised by the pick and have been uttering “Trust In Jerry” ever since but the lack of results from Jerome are starting to test the patience of even the most loyal Clippers fans.
Photo Credit: ESPN
Doc Rivers is a “earn your minutes” kind of coach and right now Jerome Robinson is not earning his minutes. With the surplus of guards and the need to get up to NBA speed it seems very likely he will spend some time in the G League. Getting comfortable with his shot and learning to slow down his decision making process will go a long way for Jerome Robinson this season, he improved every year in college so fans will hope that translates to his rookie season.
While these recent performances are troubling, it still is preseason after all. The Clippers obviously saw something no other team did in Jerome Robinson, literally NO other team, and it could take a couple seasons for what they saw to translate to the NBA. The waiting game can be an uncomfortable one, especially when your team is going through a “soft rebuild”, but fans should be patient. Jerome Robinson likely won’t be getting meaningful minutes soon but the surplus of guards, and play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, makes giving him time to develop an easier pill to swallow.