Nov 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson (2) dribbles the ball against Dallas Mavericks point guard Rodrigue Beaubois (3) during the second half at the United Center. The Chicago Bulls defeat the Dallas Mavericks 101-78. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau Documents The Growth Of Nate Robinson, Not Literally

According to head coach Tom Thibodeau, the NBA’s shortest player, Nate Robinson is growing. Well, at least in some ways. Nate Robinson might not be the most consistent player in a Bulls uniform, but when asked about the Nate Robison that Thibbs coached on the Boston Celtics, here’s what he had to say via CSN Chicago:

[Compared to when he played for the Celtics, Robinson is] different. He’s got more experience now and he wasn’t playing this type of role in Boston, so this is a different role. I think he’s still growing,” the coach continued. “He’s had some really good games for us, some games that are sort of in the middle. But I want him to be consistent and I want him to try to concentrate on his improvement, and run our team well.

While Nate wasn’t exactly playing the same role here as he was when he was in his final year at Boston, it’s clear from a statistical point that he’s become a less erratic player  than he was three seasons ago. Even in his final year in Boston, before he was traded to the Thunder as part of a let’s-completely-destroy-our chances-of winning-a-championship-this-season-because-we’re-thinking-about-the-future-even-though-our-core-is-about-49-years-old-on-average trade by the Celtics, he was just averaging over 7 points a game while shooting 40% from the floor. His next season with the Warriors saw rapid improvement, as he consistently scored in double-digits coming off the bench almost every night.

Fans may point to that season as a step forward for him, but it has to be noted that Kryptonate has always had that innate scoring ability. In fact, when he was the sixth man of the 2008-2009 we-really-suck-but-thats-okay-because-Lebron-James-is-definitely-100%-going-to-sign-with-us-except-not-really New York Knicks, he averaged 17 points per game, his career high. And no one’s about to forget his role on the Boston Celtics 2010 title run.

So maybe Nate Robison is improving his game, or maybe he’s just learning how to channel his game in a more consistent fashion… mastering himself, in a way. Here’s what Robinson himself had to say about it:

  I love a challenge and Coach tells me every night to go out and put guys in positions where they can be successful and help the team, and I took the challenge in doing that.

Look’s like he’s thinking the right way. If Nate can continue to play to his strengths while erasing some of his mistakes, like his fourth-quarter meltdown against Indiana, the Bulls might have more to look to on their bench than two late first-round picks and a bunch of foreigners. Perhaps fans might see… dare I say it? A repeat of the Shrek and Donkey show?

 

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