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The Robinson mirage
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Chicago Bulls' guard Nate Robinson is playing some of the best basketball he's ever produced and you may be tempted to adjust your team to get him into your starting lineup, but don't be blinded by the numbers and make a wrong move. It's just a short-term reality.

Robinson is playing very good ball, averaging 16.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 8.6 apg through five February games. He's playing almost 39 minutes per game.

But that's about to change - significantly.

The only reason Robinson is receiving so much playing time is injuries to Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich.

Rose has yet to play a game this season, while recovering from May ACL surgery. Original estimates had recovery time from eight to 12 months. Though there is still no official word from the team, Rose has been in full participation mode during practices over the past week and many expect him to return to the court just after the Feb. 17 All-Star game.

In the past Rose has been a 35-37 mpg player and while that isn't likely until next season, fantasy owners should expect him to gobble up about 20 minutes of playing time at the point guard spot.

Hinrich is also about to return from an injured elbow after starting 40 games at the point guard spot. He's not as explosive offensively as Robinson, but he doesn't turn the ball over as much. He's averaged 23 mpg in the 50 games he's played this season.

So it's likely that within a week to 10 days, the Bulls will have both Rose and Hinrich back on the basketball court.

The result being that Robinson will have to get most of his playing time out of the shooting guard slot where he'll share time with Richard Hamilton and Marco Belinelli. He's better than either of them at this time in their careers, but even if both see just 12-15 minutes on the floor, they will severely limit Robinson's playing time and ability to produce at his current level.

Robinson figures to generate two more games of excellent fantasy value and then is likely to return to the 10-point, two-rebound, two-assist type efforts he was offering fantasy owners for the first four months of the season.

The bottom line is we're about to see the bottom drop out for Robinson and you don't want to be left holding the bag. If you own him, trade him. If you were thinking of adding him to your roster - re-evaluate.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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