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Monday, February 22, 2010
Can Nate make C's bench even better?

By Chris Forsberg

The Celtics' bench has been phenomenal the past six games -- not surprisingly, that coincides with the return of Marquis Daniels -- so today we wrote on how exactly Nate Robinson can make the bench better. Dare we suggest he could bring a Jamal Crawford-like quality to this team?

As good as the Boston bench has been recently, the game-by-game point totals are not staggering. The 44 bench points scored against the Kings last week was the largest output since the team scored that same number against Chicago on Dec. 12. Only twice has Boston's bench gone above that number (62 points versus Philadelphia on Nov. 3, and 49 points versus New Orleans on Oct. 30).

With a group featuring Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, Glen Davis, Tony Allen and now Nate Robinson, you simply expect more.

Maybe the Celtics learned from their own struggles. After watching Atlanta's Jamal Crawford torch the team as the Hawks produced a four-game season sweep, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge likely identified that a Crawford-like presence was exactly what this team needed, particularly as Eddie House struggled with his own shot this season.

Since the Celtics couldn't get Crawford, they got a guy of similar abilities and roots (both players attended Rainier Beach High School in Seattle).

Two seasons ago, Robinson's 16.5 points per game were the second best of any player coming off the bench in the NBA. This season he ranks seventh at 12.8 points per game, putting him in company with San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, Denver's J.R. Smith (who scored 19 points versus Boston Sunday), and even Crawford.


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One programming note: The Celtics will formally introduce both Robinson and Marcus Landry to the media at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening before battling the Knicks . With Eddie House, Bill Walker, and (maybe the rehabbing) J.R. Giddens back in the TD Garden, just days after being traded away, it's sure to be a wild pregame scene (dare we suggest maybe more exciting than the actual game -- then again, nothing has come easy for the Celtics at home).