Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  22 responses

D’Antoni Puts Knicks’ Fate in Robinson’s Hands

by Marcel Mutoni

Nate Robinson only knows how to play basketball one way: with manic, sometimes totally out of control energy. It’s what makes him unique, and one of the reasons he’s been able to make a name (and a living) for himself in the NBA.

His coach, though, believes Robinson is hurting himself and the team.

Newsday caught up with Mike D’Antoni, who claims that Nate Robinson is the key to the Knicks’ success this season, and ultimately the one who will determine which direction the team takes next summer:

“That’s why we’re on a one-year contract. That’s why we’ve won 32 games,” D’Antoni said after practice. “If Nate gets it and we get it, we can get in the playoffs and the guys can find homes. I think that’s everyone’s goal.”

D’Antoni was asked what were some of the wrong things Robinson was doing. “There’s a lot of things like grabbing people, cutting down on technicals,” D’Antoni said. “He’s got to do a better job of keeping his mind right and focused on the game. “The guy could average a lot of points. If he concentrates and keeps his mind in the game, his numbers should go way up and he should make us a winner.”

D’Antoni may be putting a lot of pressure on one guy, but he’s also not wrong in doing so.

Everyone knows that the Knicks are basically sitting on their hands until next summer’s free agent bonanza, but in order to do anything meaningful this season, it’s Robinson who must lead the way.

Scary of a thought as that may be.

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  • Whit-ness

    haha this makes me laugh i love nate but hes not the guy to entrust a teams season with

  • ENDS

    I thought Nate Made a Name for himself by dunking while being a midget

  • Yesse

    Thats alot of weight on the little guys neck.Robinson is probably the best underdog i have ever seen in the league tough.I wish the best for him.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Nate and david lee would complement lebron PERFECTLY.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ I agree.
    From the boneheaded moves D’Antoni has influenced in his tenure in New York, I seriously doubt his winning abilities. Should have kept Larry Brown.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    You know what? If Nate could average at LEAST 5 assists per game, he could be a force along with his scoring. And he could probably replace Duhon for starting PG.

  • rog123

    In other words, keep up the dunk contests

  • Luciano Galasso

    He might as well blatantly say, we have no hope of winning this season. Nate’s good but he’s not “put the team on my back” good. No matter how dude plays.

  • Statik

    (end of title)…but he’s got such little hands…
    Hey Mike, maybe if you taught him to play defense he would be…o, wait

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    i couldn’t tell if Bryan was being sarcastic. i still can’t see why anyone would want to sign with the knicks.

  • http://www.bustabucket.com Seth

    This will end well.

  • don

    knicks trailing by 1, 5 seconds to go, here comes robinson…

  • la huey

    fans treat the dude with kid gloves because of highlight producing capabilities but it’s he transitions from sideshow to solid contributor.

  • la huey

    *it’s time he

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yeah, looks like Bryan was being sarcastic. But I actually think Nate can be just as good as Mo Williams and David Lee is definitely a better big man than Andy V (on offense at least. Defensively, not at all).

  • LeoneL

    Nate=Knicks’ Barbosa…At least according to Mike

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I was being 100% serious.

  • Shem

    Anyone notice that D’antoni is always saying stupid things to get the knicks some air time, galinari isnt the best shooter hes ever coached and duhon is better then nate so why is the season on nate?

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @Bryan: that was what i thought. but what about the rest of the team? you can’t really have a 3 man team.

  • Chris

    Umm, if I were the Knicks, I would take a dive this season. Get myself the number one draft pick next year.

    This season is a waste of time anyways. You’ll be able to get Lebron a lot easier with a number one pick on your hands.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Two things Chris – tanking doesn’t always guarantee the number one overall pick. Just ask Rick Pitino. Also, a superstar of LeBron’s talent wouldn’t jump to the Knicks just cause they possessed the number one pick. It sure wasn’t enough to convince T-Mac to stick around in Orlando even though he could’ve played with Dwight Howard. And as great as John Wall might be in the NBA, I don’t think he impresses LeBron enough to sign on with the Knicks if they get him.

  • http://www.basketballnonsense.com Melvin

    Nate’s performance would largely affect the Knicks and his extension. Good luck to him..