Has anyone seen Nate Robinson‘s shooting stroke? It’s currently missing and about to be plastered on every milk carton this side of I-495. Okay, so maybe that is a bit premature. The season is only 3 games old, the Celtics are 2-1, and they have 79 more games to go. There is plenty of time for Nate Robinson to get it together.
Right now, Robinson is last in the league in three point percentage for players who play at least ten minutes a game. Dead last shooting a meager 1-for-9 from distance. Luckily for Robinson, he’s in good company. Joining him on that list is are such high profile players in Brandon Jennings (2-for12), Baron Davis (1-for-6), and Chris Paul (1-for-5) (HoopData.com). Of that little list of early under-achievers, Nate Robinson ranks first (or last. Whichever means worst) in True Shooting Percentage (TS%, a field field goal percentage that takes into consideration the weighted values of free throws and three pointers).
The season is young but the backup point guard position is going to be under a pretty intense microscope. The Celtics have not had a solid backup point guard since they acquired Tony Delk to backup Kenny Anderson for the 2001-2002 season. That’s a long time. The list of players the Celtics used or attempted to use since that season include Marcus Banks, Delonte West, Dan Dickau, Orien Greene, Tony Allen, Stephon Marbury, Allan Ray, Sebastian Telfair, Sam Cassell, Gabe Pruitt, Lester Hudson, and Oliver Lafayette.* Needless to say, the Celtics have not had a reason to be excited about the backup point guard position until this season.
While Robinson’s shooting is the biggest early season surprise, his decision-making is also a cause for concern. He is playing much freer than he did to finish last season which is a good thing for this Celtics bench. Coach Doc Rivers has made it known that he feels the Celtics are at their best when they get out and run and the bench unit has the personnel to do just that. However, getting out and running does not mean driving coast-to-coast and trying to finger-roll a contested layup at full speed when you have a ready and waiting Marquis Daniels underneath the hoop.
In the preseason, Robinson was 13-for-38 from three and 30-67 overall. Three games is three games and I have no doubt that Robinson will be fine. Still, I find this slow start very interesting. In the Celtics lone loss this season, Nate was 1-for-6 from the field and 1-for-3 from distance. Here’s hoping he gets back on track with a big game against the Pistons tomorrow night.
*I purposely left off Eddie House as for all intents and purposes, he was a shooting guard.