In several games during the postseason, Nate Robinson has been the Bulls’ savior.
The diminutive instant-offense scorer has carried the short-handed team with his flurries of offensive firepower, lifting them to victory or at least staying in contention.
But in Monday night’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Robinson’s luck ran out.
The scoring point guard was scoreless, shooting 0-for-12 from the field, including five misses from 3-point range and four turnovers, in the Bulls’ 88-65 shellacking at the hands of Miami.
“They were very aggressive and Nate had a tough game. Nate’s a tough guy, he’ll bounce back,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau explained. “He didn’t make shots tonight, but he’s a shot-maker and our team didn’t shoot well. We were 2-for-17 from three. You’ve got to make shots against these guys. So we’ll regroup, watch film and get ready for the next one.”
One possible reason Robinson struggled was a left-shoulder injury that he didn’t want to discuss, but clearly bothered him, which was evident by the large wrap he had around it in the locker room.
“Who knows, man? I don’t know. I don’t care,” Robinson said, when asked specifics about the injury. “It just happened today. But that doesn’t matter.
“I’ve got to keep pushing, man,” he continued. “Play through it.”
Robinson downplayed the injury to reporters, but he could be heard exclaiming, “It hurts. It’s like a dagger. It’s like somebody stabbed me in the back.”
When asked when it occurred, he responded, “I can’t really remember. One of the trapped pick-and-rolls.”
Regardless, the fiery competitor expects both himself and the Bulls to bounce back in Wednesday’s Game 5 in Miami, an elimination game.
“It’s another game, man. You get to live to fight another day, man. That’s the beauty of it,” he said. “There’s a lot left in the tank. My thing about it is you never know when that beautiful story is going to happen. down 3-1, you never know. Take them to Game 7, we end up winning. It’s going to be a beautiful story to tell my kids one day, so we don’t count ourselves out. Never that. We’re going to bounce back and get ready for the next game.”