|Inside the Game: Nate Robinson and the art of high energy basketball||03.24.10 at 12:54 am ET|
Growing up, Nate Robinson was supposed to stay away from sweets. All that sugar would keep him awake, his mother told him. He found a way to get into it anyways.
But Robinson never needed sweets and sugar to get going. He has been high-powered for as long as he can remember. The 25-year-old is the oldest of nine siblings (the youngest is 4 years old), and being a ringleader of energy was something he says fell into his lap.
“It just came naturally, I guess,” he said. “I was always energized and always wanted to have fun and mess with people. I always wanted people to have as much fun as I’m having. I think that’s what it was for me. I feel like if other people are not having fun or not being energized, I think that I didn’t do my job that day. So I always have to bring that energy.”
Robinson has made a career out of channeling that energy on to the basketball court. The former University of Washington standout was selected by the Suns with the 21st pick in the 2005 draft. He spent past 4½ seasons providing an instant spark for the Knicks in a backup role before being traded to the Celtics in February.
Robinson’s “ready whenever” mentality was showcased this season in his return from being benched for 14 straight games with the Knicks. On Jan. 1, he exploded for 41 points in just 38 minutes off the bench. He scored 11 of the Knicks’ 13 overtime points in a victory over the Hawks. To Robinson, he was just doing his job.
“It’s funny,” he said. “I felt the same like I always do.”
Robinson instant energy has enhanced the C’s second unit in the second half of the season. While the Celtics lost one sharpshooter in Eddie House, they gained another confident offensive player who has the potential to make an impact in the postseason. After less than two months on the team, Doc Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, “Nate is a guy who has the chance to be a one-game sensation. He’s going to win a playoff game for us.”
Robinson may not know when Rivers is going to call his name, when he does, he’ll be ready to go.
“For them, they don’t need much because they’re a smart team,” Robinson said of the Celtics. “They’re a fun team. Baby [Glen Davis], he brings the energy as well, so they have guys that do that. Me, I’m just adding a little more fuel so they can go a little faster.”
As part of WEEI.com’s “Inside the Game” series with the Celtics, Robinson explains what it means to be a high-energy player:
Call him ‘Garbage Man’: Providing a spark off the bench may not be appealing to every player, but Robinson enjoys doing the dirty work on the court.
“It’s kind of like, it’s a job that has to be done. It’s kind of like a garbage man, that’s how I look at it, kind of like a garbage man. Everybody needs their garbage picked up and I’m that guy to do it. I’m the energy guy. I’ve got to bring enough energy for everybody, enough for the whole building.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Fast Break: Celtics 122, Pacers 103||03.12.10 at 10:00 pm ET|
After losing by 20 to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, the Celtics bounced back and were up by as many points at halftime over the Pacers en route to a convincing 122-103 victory over the Pacers on Friday at TD Garden. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points. Roy Hibbert led all players with 23.
The Celtics bench outscored the Pacers reserves, 54-38. They had a 26-12 advantage in the first half alone.
Turning Point: There were seven lead changes in the first quarter before Nate Robinson picked off a bad pass with 45 seconds left and nailed a three. It gave the Celtics a six-point lead that they never surrendered.
Player of the Game: Robinson shot 5-for-6 from behind the arc and finished the game with 15 points. His energy sparked the Celtics late in the first quarter and carried into the second quarter, where they led by as many as 21 points. Robinson scored more points in seven minutes than he had in the past four games combined.
- The Celtics scored 38 points in the second quarter to top their previous season-high of 37, set on December 10 against the Wizards. They tied their season-high in any quarter, having previously scoring 38 points on three other occasions (most recently in the first quarter on February 23 against the Knicks).
- Glen Davis scored 15 points in 20 minutes. He had not scored more than seven points in any of the last three games.
- Gino made an appearance with 2:25 left in the game and the Celtics up 120-99. Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace watched the video together.
- The Celtics won the regular season series with the Pacers, 2-1. They previously won on December 22 (103-94) and lost on November 14 (113-104).
- Over 600 tickets were donated for Seats for Soldiers night at TD Garden. Earlier in the day, the Celtics and OmniPresence hosted a video conference for local families with loved ones stationed in Baghdad, Iraq and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.
|Second quarter wrap: Celtics vs. Pacers||at 8:47 pm ET|
So, this is why the Celtics traded for Nate Robinson.
He was Vinny Johnson, Vinny DelNegro and Vinny from New York all in one action-packed second quarter. Robinson, playing his most dominant minutes since being acquired from the Knicks at the trading deadline, filled it up in the second quarter with nine of his 12 points as the Celtics outscored Indiana by 14 to take a 67-47 halftime lead. Their 38 points were the most in the second quarter this season.
Robinson drilled all three of his 3-point attempts and has four for the game. Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 13 on 5-of-7 shooting and Rajon Rondo has 10. No wonder, the fans gave the C’s a standing ovation as they headed to the locker room. No boos tonight.
The other notable result of the quarter featured one of the better performances by the second unit in recent memory. The Celtics led 24-23 when the second unit came on late in the first quarter. They left the starters with a 45-32 advantage.
|Nate’s learning curve||03.01.10 at 2:48 pm ET|
The initial fanfare over Nate Robinson’s arrival in Boston has simmered down and now the newest Celtic is simply trying to dig in and digest everything, especially the team’s defensive scheme.
“It’s getting there,” Robinson said. “I’m trying to figure out this defensive playbook that’s pretty crazy. The offense is going to come easy. For me and Marcus [Landry] everything is coming at us fast. It’s like in baseball, they put you other and say, ‘Hit a 100 miles an hour fastball.’ It’s like, How do I do that? You just got to keep playing and keep working.”
While Robinson adjusts to Tom Thibodeau’s scheme, with its emphasis on fighting over screens, help defense and constant communication, Doc Rivers had tried to help Robinson feel more comfortable offensively by incorporating a handful of plays from Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks offense.
“It’s kind of cool, because I’ve got to be out there trying to coach it,” Robinson said. “They like the offense that we showed them and we’re trying to run with it. I know when I’m in I’m going to be calling that play 99.9 percent of the time. I’m going to be real comfortable with that.”
Rivers has also utilized Robinson in a backcourt tandem with Rajon Rondo at times. That is something of a league-wide trend to have teams play two quick point guards together to take advantage of the NBA’s rules changes outlawing hand-checks on the perimeter.
It’s an intriguing lineup, but Rivers isn’t quite sold on it yet because of the size aspect, but in limited bursts a Rondo-Robinson backcourt could be a game-changer once both players get comfortable. “It’s a good combination,” Rivers said. “It’s not one I love because it makes us really small, obviously.”
Robinson himself noted that he is treading lightly. “You can’t really rush things like this.”
Like everything else with the Celtics these days, it’s just going to take time for them to get things right.
|How C’s-Cavs are different now||02.25.10 at 1:00 pm ET|
WALTHAM — It seems much longer than four months when last the Celtics played the Cavaliers on opening night in Cleveland.
And for both teams – who meet tonight at TD Garden at 8 p.m. – the perspective has changed.
The Celtics went into Quicken Loans Arena on Oct. 27 and came away with a 95-89 win and served notice that they were intent on reclaiming their perch atop the Eastern Conference with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen back in full stride.
That night Pierce led a balanced attack with 23 points, overcoming a game-high 38 from LeBron James. But C’s coach Doc Rivers said beyond the final score, there’s not much to take from the result that night.
“Nah, they’re not the same team,” Rivers said. “We’re not the same team. We won. We can take that away from it but other than that, I think both teams have forgotten about that.”
Indeed. Since then, the two teams have taken different paths. The Cavs, after losing their first two and starting the season 3-3, have rebounded to claim the top spot in the East and the NBA at 44-14, despite a recent three-game skid.
[Click here to listen to Rivers explain how Cavaliers are different than opening night.]
The Celtics, who stood 23-5 following a Christmas Day win over Orlando, have battled injuries and inconsistency and stand 36-19, just ahead of fourth-place Atlanta by a game in the loss column.
Both teams made moves at the trading deadline to strengthen themselves. While the Celtics added firepower with Nate Robinson, Cleveland acquired more front court athleticism in Antawn Jamisoin, dealing away Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Cavs lost their first three games following the trade with Jamison in the starting lineup before he scored 18 in Tuesday’s win over New Orleans.
“They are different, watching them on tape the last two games,” Rivers said. “The Jamison thing has changed them a little bit. It definitely makes it more difficult to guard them so we have to get ready for that.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Nate: Celtics ‘want you to be loud’||02.24.10 at 5:12 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Communicating would seem to come very naturally for Nate Robinson. But what the three-time NBA dunk champ learned Wednesday on the first full day of Celtics practice for him and Marcus Landry was a bit of a surprise.
The Celtics coaches told him they want him to “talk” and “be loud” – specifically when he’s on the court.
“Talking on defense,” Robinson said. “They want you to be loud and talking. I’m a loud person but sometimes in basketball some of the guys that talk a lot are not the ones who talk on defense. But they bring out the best in me and I’m looking forward to this.”
|Nate: Willing to help ‘by any means’||02.23.10 at 6:11 pm ET|
Nate Robinson promised his new teammates and fans that they are going to see a determined player as he begins his Celtics career in Boston. “It’s a brand new start,” said Robinson, who was seated next to Marcus Landry, the other player acquired in the trade with the Knicks.
“I’m just looking to keep my mind free and no detours. I’m on track and not looking for any detours. I’m just going to have my mind focused on the prize and that’s to win games in the playoffs and win a championship and help this team to that by any means, whether I play one minute or 30 minutes, I’m going to be here whenever my number is called, I’ll be ready to play.”
[Click here to hear some audio highlights of Nate Robinson's press conference before Tuesday's game.]
Robinson, after missing his first two games with an illness, will make his debut against his former Knicks team at TD Garden.
[Click here to hear Nate Robinson's opening remarks followed by Marcus Landry's remarks.]
Here are the highlights of Robinson’s press conference before members of the New York and Boston media. Read the rest of this entry »