Why We Shouldn’t Give Up on Nate

In his first full season for the Celtics, backup point guard Nate Robinson has been somewhat of a disappointment this year with his erratic shot selection, lack of assists, and costly turnovers that have made many people question whether the Celtics really want him around for the post season. While Nate has seemed to revert back to some of his unpredictable tendencies on the court, many of which helped make him famous as a member of the New York Knicks, he absolutely can be integrated into Boston’s offense to be a great asset and valuable weapon off the bench. Doc Rivers recognized this from the start, and gave Robinson hardly any minutes last season until the playoff series against Orlando, when he finally unleashed his secret weapon of energy, charisma, and scoring ability that he had been working to incorporate into Boston’s offense for months. Robinson needs to re-find this stride within the Celtics’ offense once again in order to become a valuable threat off the bench, and play organized basketball like the Celtics’ Big Nate from last season instead of the erratic Knicks’ little Nate from the seasons prior.

Robinson has grown to be a significant piece of Boston’s roster, and his presence both on the court and when he is pumping up his teammates on the sidelines are incredibly valuable to the Celtics. When he is making his shots, which he has proved he can do in big playoff games, the guy brings a ton of energy which can spark big runs for the C’s, especially when he and Big Baby Davis start feeding off each other’s energy and play. Nate wants him team to win, and will provide them with extra energy whether or not he is on the court, and that makes him very important to have around. As long as he isn’t chucking up dozens of three pointers in transition, his ability to knock down big shots really helps stretch out defenses, and unprepared opposing point guards who typically leave Rondo room to shoot have to drastically change their mindset when guarding Robinson. For this same reason, Eddie House become incredibly valuable for Boston as their backup point guard during their championship season, solely because he did not make unnecessary turnovers and could consistently knock down his three pointers.

Doc Rivers is a great coach and will find a way to get Nate back to Celtics’ form, but if for some reason he keeps playing erratically, then Doc will absolutely not let Robinson’s play cost the Celtics any playoff games. Robinson did score 11 points in 14 minutes today against the Lakers, and looked better than he has for most of the season, and I think he will start looking more and more like the true member of this team that he was last postseason as we draw closer to this year’s postseason. With Delonte West also returning from his wrist injury soon, Nate will be determined to show he can play Boston basketball, and use his minutes on the court to backup Rondo, play organized basketball, make open shots, and contribute to big wins instead of costing them any. We should not be ready to give up on Nate.