Knicks won a game last night, but its too late for them, I'm already thinking of next year and the future of the franchise.
No, not Nate Robinson.
Robinson is good, but hes a novelty act. Hes a small guard who can get a good shot off at will, but they don't always go in. With his jumping ability, his step back moves create enough space to get off a shot anywhere on the floor. He is quick enough off the dribble to get to the hoop almost at will. While Robinson's ability to make a good shot out of nothing is a skill that few have, he is separated from the NBAs great scoring guards (Kobe, Lebron, Ray Allen, among others) by the fact that he lacks the size and strength to make those shots look routine. But thats not Robinson's problem.
Robinson's problem is that big ass head of his. He might be one of the worst decision makers among NBA guards. Over the course of the last few weeks, he has had the ball in his hands often during the final seconds of a big game, and why shouldn't he? His handle is good enough to play keep away for a good amount of the shot clock. Robinson, however, forces himself into turnovers and wasted possessions. He is the sort of player who hits two shots in a row and then jacks up a 25 footer because he can. He dribbles into two defenders, jumps, and then tries to pass, rather than using his ball handling ability to dribble in and then out. (Incidentally, Steve Nash does the opposite and it is my favorite thing about Steve Nash's game, if he penetrates and doesn't have a good angle to make a pass, rather than jumping to pass, he takes a dribble or two backwards to get the angle he needs) Robinson makes bad passes in transition as well, did anyone else see his pass to nobody on a break during the fourth quarter last night? It was bad.
Robinson reminds me of a smaller Nick Van Exel, a great scoring, quick pointguard with a wicked jumper, a temper, and an uncanny ability to make the wrong decision. Maybe ten years from now Robinson will pull a Van Exel, wise up to how to be a point guard and sign with a contender like Nick did with Dallas a few years back. Until then, however, he's a novelty act.
So whose the future of the Knicks? Mardy Collins
Between his thinning hair line and his strong fundimentals, its hard to believe that Collins is still a rookie. Though it makes sense considering he was coached by the great Coach Chaney at Temple U. He is strong like bull, pulling down rebounds. He is not as quick as Robinson, not as athletic, and his jump shot is two years away from being viable, but god damn can this young man run the point. Hopefully next year, Thomas will have the sense to keep him in late game situations, if only for his decisions making skills. This is a guy who gets the ball where it needs to go.
Also, he made Carmelo look like a punk.