Apr 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) smiles after getting a foul called on him in the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 107-101. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Robinson Spiking the Market for J.J. Barea


Is Nate Robinson’s performance as a diminutive, dynamic scoring inferno of a backup point guard driving up the stock of the Wolves own Jose Juan Barea?

Recent comments on the redundancy in the Wolves lineup by Flip Saunders could give one the inclination he hopes so. Luke Ridnour and Barea certainly fit that redundant description — as do Derrick Williams, Kevin Love and to a lesser extent, Dante Cunningham — but Ridnour and Barea’s redundancies are of position rather than role, as Luke facilitates with a steady hand while Barea is a destroyer of a team’s rhythm, be it his opponent’s or his own.

The point of that tortured explanation is simply that Barea, Ridnour, Williams and Brandon Roy are currently on the books for 4.3, 4.6, 5 and 5.3 million next year. With Roy’s contract being a potentially valuable and waivable team-option and Ridnour’s also set to expire after next season, there are movable parts with value that could add up to a nicely paid, and hopefully skilled, shooting guard.

Barea’s change-of-pace role may be benefitting from a higher profile thanks to Robinson, but his contract also runs two more years at over $9 million. That, folks, is a Kahn-tract.

Nate Robinson was spitting blood in the first half, then delivered the deepest cuts of the night in the final moments. And the Chicago Bulls reminded the Miami Heat that no one in the NBA plays them any tougher.

Robinson scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler added 21 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, and the Bulls beat Miami 93-86 on Monday night in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series. The team that snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak in the regular season — the second-longest in NBA history — found a way to topple the champs again, this time ending a run of 12 straight Heat victories overall.

“I’ve played on some tough teams,” Robinson said. “But this one, there’s something a little different, something special about this group.”

“There’s no excuses,” said Spoelstra, whose team had not played in more than a week. “We’re not making any excuses for time off or anything else.”

If anyone could have made excuses, it was Robinson. He needed 10 stitches, five in his lip and five more inside his mouth, to close a nasty cut that came when he dove for a loose ball with James and struck his head on the court late in the first half.

And then not only did he play the whole second half, he scored 24 points in those 24 minutes, including the last seven points that finished the job for Chicago.

Tags: Chicago Bulls J.J. Barea Minnesota Timbewolves Nate Robinson Nba Offseason Nba Playoffs