Grading the Bulls: Nate Robinson

A look at the player performances of the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls roster

Not a whole lot was expected of Nate Robinson when he first signed with the Bulls last summer. The Bulls would be the eight-year veteran’s fifth team of his career and he came in with a reputation for being all style and very little substance.

So when the 5-9 guard turned the United Center into his playground this season, it came as a shock to those familiar with his game and a pleasant surprise for those who perhaps only knew him from jumping over Dwight Howard in the dunk contest.

During the season, Robinson averaged 13.1 points per game (second highest scoring average of his career) and 4.4 assists on 43 percent shooting from the field, 41 percent from the three-point line and 80 percent from the free-throw line. He appeared in all 82 regular season contests and started in 23 games.

But it was in the playoffs where Robinson really made his mark.

During the Brooklyn Nets series, Nate Robinson was virtually unstoppable. His performance in Game 4 may go down in NBA history (not just Bulls history) as one of the greatest individual performances of all time. The smallest guy on the court with the biggest heart willed his team to one of the biggest victories of the season and also gave the Bulls a 3-1 series lead.

His postseason averages of 16.3 points, 4.4 assists on 44 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent shooting from beyond the arc are the highest of his career.

Unfortunately, Nate Robinson will probably be a one-hit-wonder in Chicago as the business of basketball and the economics of the new collective bargaining agreement will almost assuredly hinder the Bulls from keeping him around beyond this season. Robinson has steadfastly maintained that Chicago is where he’d like to be and Bulls fans would certainly love to have him stick around for a while longer.

But even if he doesn’t come back, this basketball crazed city will never forget the little man who gave his all for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.

Grade: A+

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