The young and prosperous Big Sully shot me a vital text message this afternoon, in regard to the relationship between Nate Robinson and Mike D'Antoni. The relationship, never a strong one, has frayed over a number of disputes.
Now, Robinson is uncomfortably nestled in D'Antoni's Doghouse.
The point Big Sully was trying to illustrate is that D'Antoni seems to have it out for Nate. He's after Nate Rob like Mr. Hand was after Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
Coach D'Antoni is beginning to use Robinson as a scapegoat for the team's doormat, porous defense.
I agree with Sully. D'Antoni needs to loosen up his leash on Robinson. While Robinson has been chastised for a few boneheaded mistakes. But despite what the outside world may think, Robinson is more than a never-saw-a-shot-he-didn't-like gunner who cares more about individual totals and scoring in bunches than winning.
That couldn't be farther from the truth. Nate pours his soul into the game. He ratchets up the intensity every time he steps on the floor and instigates critical scoring splurges and drains big shots.
The Knicks can't afford to give a scoring guard of Nate's caliber a DNP-Coaches Decision.
You simply can't keep a potent scorer of this type on the pine, especially with a pulse-lacking team that tends to give up bundles of points and surrender to rediculous runs with their lackluster defense. Keeping Robinson on the knot wastes his scoring and eye-popping athletic gifts.
The Knicks need Nate's offensive presence to give them a boost. He's a half-pint, pitbull guard who will scratch, claw and withstand an opponent's run.
During spurts and sudden point-swings, the trigger-happy Nate could be a game changer. You have to play him.
A high-motor guard, Nate can score the ball in a bevy of ways. The numbers don't lie.
The 5-foot-8 kid from Washington had 24 points (11-for-17 FG) in the loss to Orlando. His minutes were then sliced, considerably, in the Knicks' signature win (more like their win of the century) against Mike D's former team in Phoenix.
Maybe D'Antoni wanted to show his former club, one which made his speedball approach famous, that he doesn't play anything but first-class players.
It goes back to the Knicks choosing image over talent, a reason they passed up the opportunity to net Allen Iverson.
Please Mike, remove Nate from the doghouse. Rip the straightjacket off his back, and let the man do his thing.