Last night the Celtics won their second straight since the All-Star break, edging the LA Lakers last night 87-86. But, realistically, this was a Kobe-less LA, and doesn’t mean the Celts problems are fixed.
In an effort to fix them, the Celtics gained a jolt of energy before yesterdays trade deadline. But how big of a jolt exactly?
Boston received three-time Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry from the New York Knicks in exchange for Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and Bill Walker.
Landry, Giddens, and Walker are throw-ins essentially. The centerpieces are House and Robinson.
The extremely athletic Robinson gives the Celtics six more points a game, one more rebound (even though he’s only 5’9” and four inches shorter than House), almost three more assists, and shoots better from the field.
There’s also the chance Robinson can really go wild like the time he put up 41 against the Atlanta Hawks this season.
Yet, even with those improvements, the Robinson trade is questionable.
For starters, House is a much better three-point shooter both this season and in his career than Robinson and has hit a number of clutch shots for the Celts in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Robinson’s offensive numbers could also be a product of Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive scheme that encourages lots of shots and opportunities.
Will Robinson be as effective in a more structured offense?
Robinson’s attitude has also been widely criticized. He was benched for nearly an entire month earlier this season by D’Antoni because he felt Robinson was concerned with only himself and not the team.
The Celtics are hoping that strong veteran leadership from guys like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen will steer Robinson in the right direction.
But that leadership has been absent thus far this season and is part of the reason why they are slipping in the standings.
When you’re a team having leadership and discipline issues, is it smart to trade for a player whose attitude has been questioned so frequently?
Robinson can be a sparkplug off the bench and will bring a renewed enthusiasm to a Celtics team sleep-walking through the season. However, another reason to question the trade is because it doesn’t push the Celtics over the edge or past their two main competitors.
The trade for Robinson means nothing compared to the Cavaliers, the Eastern Conference leader, getting Antawn Jamison from Washington. Adding a 20-point-10-rebound threat to add to the starting lineup really upgrades the entire Cleveland team, especially improving their ability to finally match up with forwards that play on the perimeter, like Boston’s Rasheed Wallace and Orlando’s Rashard Lewis.
The trade for Robinson also doesn’t even make Boston better than the Orlando Magic. The Magic didn’t make a move at the deadline, but they made their splash in the offseason getting Vince Carter and looks like they have finally found a good chemistry, winning 11 of their last 14 games.
So can Robinson really inject enough energy and enthusiasm into the Celtics to really be a meaningful addition, or was it a trade that shook the team up just for the sake of doing something different?