Coming Out Party
Name: Thomas Robinson
Last Week’s Stats: 8.7 PPG, 10 RPG, 22.3 MPG
Damian Lillard was easily the team’s best player in Week 17, but it’s Thomas Robinson who has had the best stretch of his NBA career. Up to this point, the former Kansas Jayhawk has been a bit of a disappointment. He’s played in 48 of Portland’s 56 games, but his inconsistencies on both sides of the floor have forced Terry Stotts to move him in and out of the rotation.
Luckily for the second-year forward, Portland’s injury problems have forced Stotts’ hand, and the big man is making the most of his golden opportunity.
The week started off well for T-Rob, as he recorded 10 points and nine rebounds against the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. He played in 23 minutes — his most of the year at that juncture — and even more important was the fact that he was taking smart shots (and making them).
Robinson’s performance against the Utah Jazz was unmemorable (2 PTS, 3 REB, 1 BLK), but luckily for Rip City, it was also an aberration.
The power forward found a way to get back on track the next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he officially reminded us why he still has a high ceiling despite struggles early in his career.
Against Minnesota, Robinson went wild. He scored 14 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and shot well in his 33 minutes — the most minutes played in his young career.
Thomas’ role is sure to fluctuate down the stretch of the season, as the team will get healthy with the playoffs around the corner.
That said, he’s proving he can be an integral part of the rotation when needed, and that’s all Portland can ask for once the postseason arrives.