Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Can't Sleep On Nate Any Longer

Over at the Worldwide Leader, basketball number cruncher John Hollinger has put together an All-Sleeper Team, composed of the 15 players who are having break-out seasons and deserve the attention of the NBA-watching public. And, our very own Nate Robinson made the list:

Nate Robinson, Knicks
In our zest to chronicle the assorted sideshows at Madison Square Garden these days, we perhaps have missed a story right in front of our faces -- Robinson's development into a real, live NBA player. It doesn't seem possible that a 5-foot-9 shooting guard can cut the mustard, but in his third pro season, Robinson is pumping in 20.6 points per 40 minutes and, even more shockingly, snaring 5.0 rebounds.
Of late, Stephon Marbury's absence has given Robinson a bigger opportunity to shine, and he's taken full advantage. In 14 January games, Robinson has averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 assists and shot 47.1 percent; in fact, he and Jamal Crawford form a far more effective backcourt than anything else the Knicks have tried over the past couple of years, which is one reason the team's play has improved of late.

As Hollinger notes, the rush to document the madness and malaise at the Garden has led to positive developments, either with Nate or even with the team's good play lately, being overlooked. It is refreshing to hear a pro writer admit this. Hollinger is a stand-up guy and as smart a basketball scribe as exists today.

The other sleepers on his list were David West, Brendan Haywood, Josh Childress, Devin Harris, Andrew Bogut, Louis Williams, Rashad McCants, Thadeus Young, Ryan Gomes, Dorell Wright, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries, Francisco Garcia and Ronny Turiaf.

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