Orlando Robinson praises Cody Zeller’s pick-and-roll defense

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Miami Heat big man Orlando Robinson is entering his second season with the team and his first as a player on a standard contract.

As such, he’s looking to prove that he has what it takes to become a key player at the NBA level. One area where he’s looking to improve is his pick-and-roll defense.

Last season, Robinson got a good look at veteran big man Cody Zeller, who appeared in 15 games for the Heat in the regular season and 21 in the playoffs. During a one-on-one interview with Heat Nation, Robinson had nothing but good things to say about Zeller’s pick-and-roll defense.

He explained he needs to add some of Zeller’s abilities as a pick-and-roll defender to his own game.

Zeller, who signed with the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason, won’t be around to mentor Robinson in the 2023-24 campaign, but it’s clear that the 30-year-old left a strong impression on the 23-year-old.

When Zeller signed with the Heat in the middle of the 2022-23 season, some fans probably didn’t think much of the addition. What those folks didn’t realize was that the former first-round pick was ultimately going to play in almost all of Miami’s playoff games en route to the NBA Finals.

Robinson didn’t get to appear in the 2023 playoffs due to his status as a two-way player. However, it’s clear that he paid close attention to his team’s magical run, including the contributions Zeller made.

As a rookie, Robinson saw limited playing time, but he finished the season with averages of 9.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per 36 minutes. The youngster certainly put his potential on display, and he’ll look to earn more playing time in the upcoming campaign.

Minutes can be hard to come by on a team that is trying to compete for an NBA title, but the fact that the Heat gave Robinson a standard deal shows that they believe in him. If the dominoes fall the right way for Robinson and his squad, he’ll be an important player for the Heat as they try to make another run to the NBA Finals this season.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.