The Boston Celtics lead the Eastern Conference despite a slew of injuries that have threatened to derail them since the start of the season. Six Celts have missed over six-dozen games, with All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo being the latest casualty. It looks like Rondo will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a sprained left ankle, and backup guard Delonte West is out with a broken right wrist. So Nate Robinson has moved into the Celtics’ starting lineup and will get major minutes because they need him out on the floor to facilitate the offense.
A dynamic athlete, Nate Robinson not only led the Huskies to two straight NCAA basketball tournament appearances during his collegiate career, but he also played football at the University of Washington. Among the shortest players in the NBA, the three-time Slam Dunk Contest champ is a high flyer who can ignite his team’s offense off the bench and set the scoreboard on fire.
Boston acquired Robinson in a five-player trade with the Knicks last season. Though Nate logged a lot of time on the bench, he stayed positive and patiently waited for his opportunity to shine, which eventually arrived during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Robinson put up 13 second-quarter points against the Magic while subbing for Rondo, giving Boston a boost that ultimately helped cement their victory and clinch the series. Robinson followed up with 12 points in 17 minutes to help the Celtics win Game 4 of the Finals at home.
Armed with a football player’s mentality, Robinson is confident, tough and fearless. The 5’9″ dynamo brings energy to the court and intensity on defense. Robinson is one of those guys who is capable of putting 30 points on the board on a given night because he’s an explosive scorer who can penetrate the defense and hit 3-point shots.
A supportive teammate, Robinson knows his role with the C’s and enjoys being part of a championship-caliber squad that wins. Usually his job is to spark the offense off the bench and score points, but now he must help run the offense so Allen, Pierce and Garnett can do their jobs. So far Robinson has been effective in his starting role: He delivered 14 points in Boston’s Rondo-less win over Atlanta and followed up with 18 points against the Pacers on Sunday to help stretch Boston’s win streak to 13. Though inconsistent, Robinson should boost your PPG if he earns a spot on your roster while Rondo recovers. Robinson is available in 70% of fantasy leagues and the Celtics play six games over the next two weeks.