Don't be surprised if you see a few more of your friends and family rocking No. 4 Nate Robinson jerseys tomorrow; his ranking in the top ten most popular NBA jerseys (amidst names like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James etc.) may come as a shock, but if he continues to perform as he did against the Hawks last night, soon no one will raise an eyebrow at the former slam dunk champion getting his shine with the other bright lights in the NBA universe.
Mr. Robinson was all up in the Hawks neighborhood, scoring 20 points in the final ten minutes to help New York beat Atlanta 112-104, earning their twentieth win of the season. In the process hitting a benchmark they didn't reach until well after the All Star break last season. With only four more wins they will have surpassed last year's total (23).
Aside from Nate's fourth quarter explosion, the other cogs in the D'Antoni engine did their usual thing: David Lee, second only to superfreak Dwight Howard in double-doubles, posted a -- wait for it -- double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds. Offensive orchestrator Chris Duhon, aka the Anti-Marbury, continued his Steve Nash-light performance and threw up a double-double of his own with 16 points and 11 assists.
But the star of the show was Nate, and his jersey. And to think those sales could rise even more if the Knicks stay competitive, and he manages to win the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest. If LeBron James ever comes to New York, it might be the one department he plays second fiddle.