Feb 23, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Thomas Robinson (41) blocks Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Corey Brewer (13) in the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Robinson: Opportunity Knocks

You hear it all the time in life, “Man, all I need is the opportunity and I know I could do …” and then the answer can range from multiple things in life. I know I’ve personally thought that about job after job when I first graduated with my undergrad degree. Whether or not that sentiment felt by a lot of people is actually true is debatable, however the point remains the same — opportunity exposes us all.

We have seen “opportunity” play out in multiple ways this season in the NBA. Kendall Marshall is making the most of his chance in Lakerland, D.J. Augustin has certainly played above expectations for the Bulls and then you have a guy like Thomas Robinson who, to be fair, has not gotten that cherished opportunity since he entered the league last year.

Energy Monster

It’s clear when you watch the Blazers play that Thomas Robinson is a work in progress. By no means will someone say he should be starting or even be the first guy off the bench for Portland. However, the one thing that always sticks out to me is Robinson’s endless energy. He’s like a shorter, less-skilled Joakim Noah. The guy motors all over the court and for my money, I can handle some mistakes being made when you know a guy is giving you 100 percent every time out on the court.

Sunday night that energy came to a culmination of epic proportions.

Like some, I assumed that when LaMarcus Aldridge and Meyers Leonard were both announced as injured that Thomas Robinson would be the main beneficiary and would even crack the starting lineup at power forward. Instead Terry Stotts has chosen the last three games to go small and start Dorell Wright.

The first game without Aldridge, Robinson played 23 minutes in a reserve role notching 10 points and nine rebounds, albeit in a two-point loss to the Spurs — the 23 minutes were a season high. Friday night the Blazers beat the Jazz 102-94 but Robinson only managed 11 minutes and posted two points and three rebounds.

Sunday night started much of the same. Robinson didn’t start and the Blazers were really struggling down eight heading into halftime. Enter Thomas Robinson. Stotts decided to start Robinson for the second half and what followed was pure intensity.

Portland outscored Minnesota by 12 in the third quarter to take a 84-80 lead into the fourth. Then early in the fourth, my whole night changed and my adrenaline went through the roof. Take a look:

If that didn’t give you chills, you’re either A) a Wolves fan (sorry guys) or B) void of emotion. The whole sequence was a thing of beauty and involved my personal two favorite Blazers; Thomas Robinson and Will “The Thrill” Barton. Regardless of my personal feeling on the matter — the game might as well have been called after these two plays. The energy was palpable in the arena and all the energy that Minny had left — was sucked out of them.

Here’s another fun way to see it — still form from the Trail Blazers Twitter feed:

 

 


 

 

People (tons of them!) have been pining for Robinson to get minutes all season long. Sunday night he played 33 minutes (career high) and posted 14 points, 18 rebounds (career high), two assists and two blocks — one of which might just be the thing that gets Robinson his opportunity.

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Tags: Portland Trail Blazers Thomas Robinson Will Barton

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