Bulls player review: Nate Robinson

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
3:04
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Nate Robinson Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesNate Robinson averaged 16.3 points and 4.4 assists a game during the playoffs.

Nate Robinson


2012-13 salary: $854,389 | Age: 28 | Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 4.4 apg

Season recap: Robinson couldn't have had a much better season for the Bulls -- especially given the fact that he didn't even have a fully guaranteed contract until the first of the year. He provided a major scoring punch for the Bulls off the bench and filled in admirably for Kirk Hinrich every time the veteran point guard went down with another injury. Robinson played the role of Derrick Rose for the Bulls in the playoffs. He was able to create his own shot and led them to victory several times. Tom Thibodeau got frustrated with Robinson plenty of times because of his shot selection but the Bulls know they couldn't have advanced to the second round without him.

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Season highlight: Robinson went off for 34 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter, to carry the Bulls past the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. It was a performance that will live in Bulls' postseason lore forever.

Season lowlight: Playing in pain through a left shoulder injury, Robinson went 0-for-12 in Game 4 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Final grades: Regular season: B Postseason: B

Notes: Robinson admitted after the playoffs that he would love to be back with the Bulls next year but that doesn't appear to be a realistic possibility given the fact that Robinson will be looking for a multi-year deal for more money than the Bulls are willing to offer.

Quotes: "I always think I'm on fire," Robinson said after his Game 4 performance against the Nets. "Like the old school game, 'NBA Jam,' you make a couple and the rim's on fire and when you shoot the ball, the ball's on fire. I feel like that at times. Well, all the time. When I'm in the game, I play with a lot of confidence and you kind of got to lie to yourself that you can't miss."

What's next?: With Rose coming back and Hinrich and Marquis Teague already locked up, Robinson sounded after Game 5 against the Heat like a guy who knew he wouldn't be coming back to play for the Bulls. But he definitely left an impression on Chicago in his one season.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 3.3 1.5 40.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.4
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0