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Examining Nate Robinson’s Fit With The Delaware 87ers

Contributor Francis Adu takes a look at how Nate Robinson will be able to fit in with the Delaware 87ers.

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Nate Robinson pitching himself to LeBron and the Cavs

Nate Robinson infamously has been on the self-marketing Instagram trail, making it known to the NBA, especially LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s ready to return. Robinson has been out of the NBA since getting cut by the New Orleans Pelicans two games into the 2015-16 NBA season. Robinson transitioned into a short 14 game stay at Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Israeli BSL. Now, Robinson has engaged in Stage 2 of his NBA bounceback plan as the Delaware 87ers claimed Robinson off waivers on February 7th.

Nate Robinson remains most famous for his three NBA Slam Dunk Contest victories in his bouncy 5’9” frame. For actual NBA games, the journeyman guard has proven throughout his career to be useful as a microwave scorer off the bench with a career high of 17.2 points per game in under 30 minutes per game for the 2008-09 New York Knicks.

Now, the 16-15 Delaware 87ers hope the 31 year old Robinson has enough left in the tank to replace the production of starting guard Dionte Christmas, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the February 7th loss to the Northern Arizona Suns. Robinson should theoretically fit in nicely into Christmas’s role as a steady source of efficient shooting to complement recently-named All-Star center Shawn Long’s interior scoring.

The 87ers will also hope Nate Robinson provides at least a slight upgrade in terms of passing and ball-movement over the injured Dionte Christmas. No one has ever mistaken Robinson for John Stockton in terms of facilitating shots for others, but his career NBA assist percentage of 22% would still lead all 87ers who have played at least 10 NBADL games this season. Delaware has had a rather effective offense, despite being dead-last in the league in assist percentage, but any extra good looks created by movement will bolster the offense’s consistency. Especially if Nate Rob’s arrival leads to more points in transition as well.

If the 87ers stint proves successful, Robinson will, no doubt, hope by the end of the season to fulfill the bench guard role many playoff contenders seem to want. Robinson has been the definition of a sparkplug both in playing style and personality for his career and a team may see his energy as a net plus in an intense playoff environment. If not, there’s at least the hope Robinson will show his dunking prowess and stellar shooting spurts have not run out yet.