Pull-up 3-pointers. Acrobatic drives to the basket. Raw emotion. At 5-foot-9, Nate Robinson will be a fan favorite wherever he lands, and with another season comes another team for the NBA journeyman.
After helping fill in for the injured Derrick Rose in Chicago last season, Robinson will take his exciting high-energy game to altitude for the Denver Nuggets. With Robinson, the Nuggets will get what they paid for (2 years, $4 million) – an Energizer Bunny that can explode for points and take over games. Remember J.R. Smith, Nuggets fans? The two have obvious differences (Smith stands 6-foot-6), but both can fill up the basket at a rapid rate. Similar to Smith, Robinson’s offensive efficiency has been questioned, and his shot selection can make fans and coaches cringe.
On a Nuggets team that has a crowded backcourt, it’s fair to question where exactly Robinson will fit into the Nuggets plans. Without question, Ty Lawson is the Nuggets starting point guard. With Andre Miller still on the roster, Evan Fornier showing sings of being a reliable guard, the offseason acquisition of Randy Foye and a hidden gem that is Jordan Hamilton, head coach Brian Shaw will have the tough task of divvying playing time.
In order for Robinson to make an impact, like anyone else on the team, he will need minutes. Will Brian Shaw be reluctant to give him minutes due to his occasional erratic style of play and questionable efficiency? Or will his knack to transform into “Kryptonate” and win his team a game be too hard to pass up?
Last season we saw flashes of “Kryptonate” with the Bulls, especially in the playoffs. The Nuggets must have a purpose for Robinson in its immediate future if they were willing to go ahead and snag him off the market. Robinson will likely get most of his time playing alongside Andre Miller on the second unit. This will allow Miller to be the primary conductor of the offense and make Robinson’s responsibilities primarily as a shooter and as a guard that is capable of finding his own shot off the dribble. Robinson will come off the bench for sure, and his energy and aggression will bode well for the Nuggets who have a tendency to tire opponents that can’t keep pace at high altitude.
At the very least Robinson will provide an extra dose of excitement off the bench for the Nuggs, and for any fan base that’s a plus. Just look out for him and his sticky handle at Denver International Airport.