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Harden thinks Thomas Robinson will be fit in with Portland

Jul 22, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Thomas Robinson had a nice Summer League in Las Vegas. He’s a plus rebounder that not only gets the balls in his position but also takes them away from other guys, and he averaged 12.8 rebounds a game. He also averaged 10.4 points and 1.2 blocks through five games.

However, the shooting woes were still there — he shot 37 percent. He struggled to either finish inside or consistently hit a midrange jumper.

Genuine concerns about if he could overcome those shooting woes and take care of the ball (he can be turnover prone) are why the No. 5 pick from the 2012 daft — a guy taken in front of Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes — was traded from Sacramento to Houston, then from Houston to Portland in a salary dump (so they could sign Dwight Howard).

I don’t know if you can actually make a comeback after just one year in the league, but Robinson is going to try to revive his career as the backup to LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland this season.

James Harden told Chris Haynes of that he thinks Robinson can do it.

“He’s a beast, man. The league better get ready,” Harden told “He knows what his job is, he knows what he’s great at and he does it to the best of his ability. T-Rob is a very hard worker, an excellent rebounder and he’s definitely skilled for someone of his size. I have no doubt about it that he’ll turn his career around in Portland.”

It’s going to take some time, Portland needs to focus on player development with him and let it play out for a couple years. The guy can rebound and the athleticism is not in question, but he just has to get more comfortable scoring at the NBA level and taking care of the ball. He has to value possessions more.

Harden thinks Robinson can do it.

“Oh he’ll definitely stick in this league,” Harden said. “He has a great chance. He has so much upside. That motivates him, other teams giving up on him. He has the chance to do something special and I believe he’ll get it done.”

  1. harshedmellow - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    PDX could use a little GOOD luck….

  2. hannsta - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I hope so too Harden.

  3. steelbydesign - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I’d say the Birdman showed how valuable a high energy, rebound/defense specialist can be to a team.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    That headline reads weird.

    • llfreedman - Jul 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      should be: “Harden thinks Thomas Robinson will fit in with Portland”

    • hannsta - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      Or is it “will be a good fit in Portland?”

  5. unxpexted1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    He’s always been overrated to me as a basketball talent. His game in college didn’t seem to translate to the NBA. I’m rooting for him because he has a phenomenal story but to me he’s nothing more than a rotation big man off the bench.

    • redbaronx - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      @unexpexted1 – Scoring stats aren’t everything. You think Wade or LeBron would want to give up Udonis Haslem just because he can’t score? The Knicks don’t make the championship in 1994 without Anthony Mason or Charles Oakley. Detroit and Chicago don’t get rings without Dennis Rodman. The Spurs don’t get rings without Bruce Bowen. Granted he could score too on occasion. Ditto for Metta World Peace.

      Maybe you should redefine what you consider valuable as a basketball talent. His offensive game COULD develop like Bruce Bowen who had D and then worked himself into being a three point shooter.

      The point Harden was making is that this guy brings D and energy, and he’s a hard worker whose game will keep developing.

  6. redbaronx - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Guys at the 3 and 4 spots that bring energy are really undervalued in this league. Does anyone care if Joakim Noah misses his share of shots? No! The guy is an energy dynamo that gets the whole team psyched up and willing to dive on the floor.

    I think it’s really great to see a guy like Harden supporting a former teammate like that. Sometimes in life you have to have some supporters in your profession that know your value and will back you to the hilt. The Bruce Bowen, Dennis Rodman’s, and other guys with that type of defensive energy are invaluable in this league, and it takes a certain kind of coach that sees your value.

    Way to show some love Harden!

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