(J Alexander Diaz/Lakers.com)
2017 Player Capsule: Thomas Robinson
Robinson had a positive impact on the Lakers in his limited minutes. He did well to focus on his strengths – rebounding, athleticism – while still developing some other areas of his game, like on-ball defense and ball handling. For a guy that was worried about whether he’d even be able to make a team despite being the No. 5 overall pick in 2012, Robinson showed that he still has a place in the NBA. He was able to hold up at either the power forward or center position off the bench. Lakers management told him that his defensive awareness needs to improve, but he does have the physical tools necessary to defend bigs on the perimeter and in the paint, versatility that’s valuable in the current NBA. In many a game, Robinson’s energy lifted the bench unit, which is definitely of value on its own.
By the Numbers
6: NBA teams Robinson has played for in his five-year career, including two stints with Portland.
17.4: Robinson’s PER on the season, which ranked first on the Lakers at season’s end*. While the stat is incomplete, it shows off Robinson’s value as a high FG (53.6 percent), strong rebounding (14.3 per 36 minutes) player.
*Lou Williams led the team with a 24.0 PER before being traded to Houston.
84: Offensive rebounds grabbed by Robinson (1.8 per game) despite playing just 11.7 minutes per game in 48 total games played.
A free agent, Robinson hopes that either the Lakers or another team noticed his improvement this season, and was listening when he explained during his exit interviews that he wants to be a “star in my role,” and not try to do too much as he did early in his career. In other words, he’s made a lot of progress in figuring out what kind of player he is, and now knows how to channel his efforts to best help his team.
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