Nate Robinson In Starting Lineup For First Time This Season

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Nate Robinson In Starting Lineup For First Time This Season After being benched for 14 games earlier in the season, Nate Robinson never complained publicly. Now, he's finally getting rewarded.

According to the New York Post, Robinson will start at point guard for the Knicks on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks in place of Chris Duhon. Robinson started 11 games in the 2008-09 season but has come off the Knicks' bench all season.

When coach Mike D'Antoni decided to go with a strict eight-man rotation (which did not include Robinson) after a dismal 4-14 start, the team as a whole responded and improved their play, posting an 8-6 record with Robinson on the bench.

After a Dec. 30 loss to New Jersey — a team contending for the title of worst team in NBA history — D'Antoni decided to return Robinson to the rotation. The reigning slam-dunk champion responded in a big way, scoring 41 points off the bench to lead the Knicks past the Atlanta Hawks in overtime on New Year's Day.

Robinson has been in the rotation ever since.

With Duhon struggling (the Knicks have given up 89 more points than they've scored with Duhon on the floor), D'Antoni decided to give Robison the call at the point. Despite his small size (generously listed at 5-foot-9), Robinson has never been regarded as a great point guard, usually being deployed as more of a scorer in the offense. D'Antoni, however, is less concerned with Robison’s offense than his defense.

"The biggest thing [for Robinson] is energy on defense, attention to detail and being himself on offense," D'Antoni told the Post. "And that means making some mistakes, and that's OK. As long as you're aggressive, and especially if on the defensive end you're doing the things it takes to win, then he'll be fine."

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