Abiding by the commitment to make one final push at an eighteenth banner with the current squad, the Boston Celtics resigned Nate Robinson over the weekend.
Robinson is yet another piece to the puzzle that depicted the 2010 Eastern Conference Champions. His return to the green means a couple of things:
1. The Celtics will have representation in the slam dunk contest.
2. I will continue to follow him on twitter, and continue to ponder what wordaap means. (Check out http://twitter.com/nate_robinson and you’ll know what I mean. Also check out http://twitter.com/srstone71 while you’re at it, but I digress…)
3. Graphic designers with too much time on their hands will have all year to create more “Shrek and Donkey” pictures with Robinson and Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
But most importantly, the Celtics will have their dynamic scorer with positive energy off the bench.
Last week, I wrote that Boston’s loss of Tony Allen was going to hurt the team. They were losing a valuable member of their rotation, and an athletic guy who could bring energy into any ball game. Bringing back Nate Robinson goes a long way towards filling that void.
Although Allen’s specialty was defense, Robinson brings offensive firepower to the table, and lots of it. He is never afraid to take the open shot, and when he gets hot he can score in bunches.
In game four of the NBA Finals, he scored 12 points off the bench, in a victory that helped Boston push the Lakers to an epic seven games. He was also a key player in the Celtics conference clinching victory over the Magic, by scoring 13 points in 13 minutes in game six.
While Robinson had a great postseason, he was a forgotten man through most of his time in Boston, when the games weren’t as important.
After trading former playoff hero Eddie House for Robinson at the trade deadline, coach Doc Rivers pushed him to the end of the bench and he became a forgotten man. But as May rolled around and the Celtics found their spirit for the first time in months, Robinson found his as well. His minutes went up, and he contributed nearly every time he stepped on the court.
Next season, he looks to be a major player in the regular season.
Although both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are back for another ring, they will need to rest their legs for the first 82 stages of the marathon, and Robinson is just the guy to carry the load. He will never be able to match the physical defense that left in the form of Tony Allen, but he will more than make up for the scoring. And as rookie guard Avery Bradley fills Allen’s shoes, Robinson will help get him adjusted.
I am proud to be a fan of a Celtics team that has such a strong commitment to each other, and who believe in loyalty. While the ultimate example of selfishness and disloyalty has dominated headlines over the past few weeks, displayed in a way that resembled professional wrestling more than basketball, the Celtics have quietly rebuilt their army.
The Heat showcased their "Big Three" with smoke and lasers, and the Celtics brought back Pierce and Allen with little to no fanfare.
Now the pieces are in place and they are ready to defend their conference title with every fiber in their bodies.
Everyone involved with the Celtics are convinced that they have enough gas in the tank for one more shot at this, and that includes the fans.
Last season’s squad were one bad quarter and a Kendrick Perkins injury away from a championship. They were a Kevin Garnett knee away from looking to three-peat last month. With almost everyone back, you have to buy what they’re selling.