Periodically an NBA coach implements a change in strategy that negatively impacts an otherwise valuable fantasy player. Such men must be dealt with harshly. The white hot spotlight currently belongs on New York Knicks’ coach Mike D’Antoni.
Listen, everyone understands Nate Robinson isn’t the most fundamentally sound player in the NBA. And we all know who does some dumb things, like taking mock shots at the opponent’s basket and trying to bounce a ball and catch for a dunk.
But Robinson also proved last season that he’s a legit NBA player and, arguably, the fourth-best player on the Knicks roster. After all, I DON’T RANK NBA SCRUBS IN MY PRESEASON TOP 75!!!
Chris Duhon is shooting 28 percent from the floor this season and Larry Hughes is under .400 (and that’s AFTER a great start to the season). In no way does Robinson playing 11 total minutes in two games make the Knicks a better team.
Robinson may be inconsistent and a knucklehead, but he also averaged 17.2 points per game on a team that won 32 games last season and then the Knicks RE-SIGNED him! He was hurt earlier this season and now D’Antoni apparently dropped him from the rotation for unspecified reasons.
The Knicks are on pace to win 22 games. So it would seem not playing their possibly-fourth-best player isn’t quite working out. Maybe D’Antoni should stop clinging to the hope that Duhon will somehow morph into Steve Nash.
A regular lineup of Robinson, Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington, David Lee and Wilson Chandler is the Knicks best chance to complete by flat-out outscoring other teams. D’Antoni high-powered offensive “genius” doesn’t quite work with a point guard who can’t score.
The worst part of the situation is Nate is still producing while on the floor, averaging 17.9 points, 2.6 3-pointers, 5.2 assists and 1.0 steal per 36 minutes.
And yet his coach doesn’t see why playing him might a) give his team a better chance to win and b) potentially showcase the guy for a trade, since his contract expires after the season.
I still feel confident that Robinson will regain his fantasy value. The Knicks will fail even more miserably than usual giving major minutes to rookie Toney Douglas. Robinson will get major minutes again soon and make the most of them.
But for now, seriously D’Antoni, F@#! You.