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For such a little guy, he can make a lot of noise. Last week when Nate Robinson was traded from the New York Knicks to the Boston Celtics, there was a lot of criticism on both parts of the trade. The first is that Celtics GM Danny Ainge traded away fan favorite Eddie House along with two other young talents in J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker and didn’t get enough back in return. Whether or not Giddens and Walker make any sort of impact in the NBA is a question within itself, but they could be strong players down the road.
Robinson, on the other hand, should make an immediate impact on the Celtics, at least that is the reason why they brought him here in the first place. Now I didn’t want to send House away at all and I do think that he could’ve done all the things that Robinson does (except win slam dunk contests). Robinson, as we all know by now, is a scorer and will always be a scorer. House was a scorer as well, just a different type. Will Robinson really be a better point guard than House? That is the question that will fall on Ainge if Lil’ Nate doesn’t produce as expected.
Robinson is one of the smallest players in the NBA standing at a mere 5-foot-9 inches. House stands at 6-foot-1 and is able to play shooting guard as well as point guard. Robinson can only play the point. Now I’m not going to go through the lives of each player and dissect who is actually better or who is the best fit in Boston because none of that matters. Robinson is in Boston and House is in New York. That’s it, and that is all you have to know.
On the other side, many people say that Danny Ainge made this deal in order to just make a deal, but other people do believe that this trade made the Celtics better. Well, I can make an obvious statement when I say that it definitely made the Celtics bench shorter. Maybe Giddens and Walker were expendable because they hardly played and the rest of the team seemed to be getting healthier, but you never know. For right now though, the Celtics are a better team because of the trade.
When the Celtics brought in Rasheed Wallace they expected him to be the big scorer off the bench, and so far he has been one of the most inconsistent players on the team. Marquis Daniels can also score but he is more of the play-maker off the bench and he, as well, has been hampered with injuries. Statistically House’s numbers were down this year in Boston, but they are nothing out of the ordinary for him. Sure his 3-point shooting percentage was 38.3% this year after he shot 44.4% last season, but his first year in Boston he only shot 39.3%. Robinson’s highest 3-point percentage was his rookie year four seasons ago when he shot 39.7% and his lowest was actually last year, when he shot 32.5% from beyond the arc.
So, the Celtics never really had a scorer off the bench this season, but have they ever really? Would you say Sam Cassell was? I wouldn’t. I wanted to throw the remote at the TV every time he chucked up some of ugliest shots I’ve ever seen. We all know what happened to Stephon Marbury last year and who isn’t even playing in the United States anymore. Oh yeah, you could include James Posey as well, but his role was similar to what Daniels is doing this year so I would cut his scoring out too. So that begs me to ask the question as to whether or not the Celts really need a scorer off the bench?
That is a question only Nate Robinson can answer. If he can deliver like we all hope he can, then this will easily go down as a rather big trade that will make Ainge look like a genius.
Robinson has already come off the bench and he will continue to do so. He will run the point, because there is no one else, and hopefully he will pass the ball. He takes a lot of shots in a game as he is only averaging 2.8 assists per game for his career. No, that is not a typo: 2.8 assists per game! I know, I know, House only averages 1.6 in his career, but he is more of a shooting guard and has been his entire career, while Robinson is solely a point guard.
I give Robinson the benefit of the doubt because he was in New York and had to do everything himself if he wanted to win, but they never won and he never got his teammates involved. Hopefully Doc Rivers will tell him to pass the ball more and to make smarter shots, otherwise this will look like a terrible trade.
Robinson will be a free agent after the season as he was only signed to a one-year contract. So, will he be back? I think that is another question that only he can answer. It’d be nice to have him back if he does well in the Celtics system, but if he struggles, then it’s likely he won’t be back. If he gets in trouble as well he might not be back either.
The Celtics have invested so much money in The Big Three, and with Ray Allen being a free agent after the season it’s hard to see the Celtics want Robinson back more than they would want Allen. I look for the Celtics to try and get Ray Ray to sign a cheaper deal so that they are also able to retain Robinson (pending his performance) next year as well.
Robinson recently said he hopes to show everyone in Boston that there is much more to him than what people know.
“I’m known for dunking,” he said. “But there’s more to Nate Robinson than just that.”
Well, we know now that he is able to talk in the third person. Let’s hope he produces on the court and brings Boston another championship.