May 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson (right) talks with referee Tony Brothers (left) during the first half against the Miami Heat in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Statistics: 25.4 minutes, 13.1 points, 4.4 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals per game
When he was needed, he stepped up. While the Bulls were plagued with injuries, Nate Robinson turned his game up a notch. He was able to seamlessly fill in for Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich when they were out, especially in the playoffs. Like Quincy Pondexter, Robinson made a name for himself this season in the playoffs.
Nate Rob averaged 16.3 points in 12 playoff games, while averaging 33.7 minutes per game. After his breakout game in game four versus Brooklyn, Robinson didn’t play less than 32 minutes in any of the Bulls’ playoffs games. Eventually, the depleted Bulls squad was defeated by the Miami Heat, but Robinson continued his impressive play throughout the series, minus his scoreless game four.
Robinson proved to be more than a bench warmer once again this season. Multiple times he scored in double figures more than 12 straight games, with smaller streaks of four or five mixed in between as well. He was able to step in and make the Bulls hardly miss their MVP point guard.
While Robinson was nearly a lock to sign somewhere this offseason, his play in the postseason and down the stretch should earn him a big contract in a starting role. That would be the first time in his career that he’s had a starting job locked up going into the season. Even when he averaged 17.2 points for the Knicks in 2008-2009, he only started 11 games.
He turns 29 at the end of this month, so this is the perfect time for him to break out, just in time for a long term deal going into his thirties.