If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. In Thomas Robinson’s case, it might be “try, try, try, try, try, try again.” After being claimed off waivers last weekend by the Maine Red Claws, Robinson hopes that his stint in the G-League clears a path for an NBA return with the Celtics.
The Sacramento Kings made Robinson the 5th overall pick back in 2012, but the former Kansas Jayhawk struggled to find a home. In five seasons in the NBA, he also made stops in Houston, Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. After spending a year in the Russian United League, he surfaced with the Atlanta Hawks at the beginning of the pre-season and was eventually cut. He has spent the year in China where he averaged nearly 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Beikong Fly Dragons.
Robinson’s rugged energy could be a welcome addition to the team as it heads into the playoffs. Despite Danny Ainge’s confidence that Aron Baynes is “day-to-day” with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain, Boston could use another big body on the front line. With Al Horford scheduled to rest 3-4 times over the final stretch of the regular season, the 6’10, 240-pound Robinson could serve as a valuable backup 4 or 5. When given a chance, he’s produced in the NBA. His per-36 numbers suggest that he could be a double-double machine, but it just hasn’t happened for the former New Hampshire Brewster Academy Bobcat.
In his first game with the Red Claws, Robinson scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots. Through three games, he’s averaging an efficient 14 and 14.
Robinson seems to be fitting in with Celtics’ culture already. In a recent tweet, he referenced the “slow grind,” a phrase popularized by Isaiah Thomas. His former teammate at KU, Marcus Morris, has also given him a ringing endorsement, saying, “I think he’d be perfect, honestly. He’d bring that energy [and] bring more size. He’s a guy that can defend the rim, got a lot of energy, you know, just being a dog. Every team could use a dog.”