The Chicago Bulls are looking to stay in contention while Derrick Rose recovers from a torn ACL, but are extremely thin at the guard position. With Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague all vying for minutes while Rose is out, Chicago should turn to the former dunk champion to provide the spark the team needs to replace the 2010-11 MVP.
Hinrich is a favorite of the organization, and has a gritty attitude that is sure be appreciated by coach Tom Thibodeau. However, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng will be handling the scoring load with Rose out, and both are primarily spot up shooters. Hinrich is solid defensively, but lacks the athleticism to create his own shot and create penetration in the lane.
On the other hand, Teague is young and unproven, which aren’t two qualities likely to get minutes in Thibodeau’s system. The rookie also looked dreadful in summer league (although that isn’t always an accurate portrayal). Teague will likely get limited minutes in his first season in the NBA.
With the other two options leaving something to be desired, there is one player in the mix that can help score and facilitate the offense. Enter: Nate Robinson.
Robinson may lack the skills that Hinrich has defensively, but makes up for that with his volume scoring and penetration that could create more open shots for the other Bulls shooters. Robinson thrived in 2007 with the New York Knicks in starters minutes, averaging 17 points and 4 assists. Last season the 28-year-old was a sparkplug for the Golden State Warriors, putting up 11 points and 4.5 assists in only 23 minutes per game. When Robinson gets the minutes, he produces.
Since the Bulls are supposedly on the “2014 plan” anyway, why not give Robinson a chance to rejuvenate his career and spark the offense with their centerpiece out? Give him the reigns and let him run, and the outcome may be better than most Bulls fans expect.
Zach Mink covers the Chicago Bulls for Rant Sports, and is a proud member of the Nate Robinson bandwagon. Follow him on twitter @zachmink12 for more news and analysis.