Going back as far as Media Day, Thomas Robinson has said the same thing about his game: Give me minutes and I will be productive. "It's all about the minutes," he told NetsDaily the day before training camp opened.
Robinson has seen his minutes increase over the last week and he has rewarded the Nets with four straight double-doubles. He's likely to get more playing time over the last five games of the season now that Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young have been sat down. In post-game comments Sunday, TRob essentially said, 'I told you so," as he summed up his season.
"It’s about time I become a 20-plus minute player," Robinson said. "I haven’t played over 13 minutes my whole career. To me, it’s BS. But I’m trying to put that out there that it’s about time I become a 20-minute plus player...
"It’s the end of the season, and the minutes are there, but there’s not one (game) I played 20 minutes-plus and I not have a double-double," Robinson said with a bit of exaggeration. While that's true of his last four games, over the course of the season, he's played 20 plus minutes in eight games, had a double-double six times. Close enough.
Of course, there are other numbers as ESPN and The Brooklyn Game pointed out. Robinson ranks 95th out of 99 eligible power forwards in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus statistic, and Brooklyn has been outscored by 12.3 points per 100 possessions with Robinson on the floor, the worst of any Nets player with at least 400 minutes played this year.
Robinson did say he'd like to come back to Brooklyn, although he hinted that he will probably exercise his option on a $1 million, one year vets minimum deal.
"I just want to see what my options are. I want to stay in Brooklyn. I’ve been moving the last four years. I don’t want to go anywhere. I just want to be an established player here, and I want to play," he told reporters.
But will it matter when Sean Marks, Trajan Langdon and who they choose as head coach sit down to look at next year's roster. As of now, only Lopez, Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, Sean Kilpatrick and the two rookies -- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough -- have guarantees without options. Is Robinson the kind of player they think warrants a multi-year deal?
Robinson, of course, is one of two bigs who have made a plea for minutes lately. Willie Reed has made the same argument, that when given minutes, he's productive. Problem is he did it on Instagram and his minutes dropped further. In an interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, Reed said he's open to returning as well. Unlike TRob, Reed does not have an option, player or team, next season, although the Nets do hold his early Bird Rights and can make him a restricted free agent.
"I have to be ready to show around the league that I can help or show that I can help Brooklyn if they so desire to keep me here around next year," said Reed, who like Robinson and Henry Sims, is 25 years old.