LOS ANGELES - Thomas Robinson sees the numbers just as easily as 76ers fans do. He just looks at them a little differently. While Sixers fans wonder why the 6-9, 240-pound bruiser from Kansas isn't getting more than the 17.1 minutes he's gotten in his 13 games with the team, Robinson is just happy he's getting that much. It is the most time he's averaged on any of the four teams he's played on in his 3 years in the NBA, and he's certainly making the most of them, with averages of 8.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.
He had another typical line in Sunday's 101-87 loss against the Lakers, going for 14 points (on 7-for-8 shooting) and grabbing eight rebounds, while playing just over 16 minutes.
His time has been limited in part because he uses so much energy when he plays that he tires, so his stints on the floor get limited. Also, coach Brett Brown is sort of stacked at power forward, with Luc Mbah a Moute getting most of the minutes and Jerami Grant, Henry Sims and Furkan Aldemir also in the mix. Sims has been the odd man out lately, as Brown has been giving more time to Aldemir, who had three points and five rebounds in 15 minutes against the Lakers.
Robinson arrived in Philadelphia just after the All-Star break with a chip on his shoulder at the way he thinks he's been treated in the league after being taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft. That bitterness has fueled his play on the floor, as he has made a real case for himself to be a member of the team next season as a backup to Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, should that be the starting frontcourt.
"I've never played this much before and never played this consistently, so this is my first time getting an opportunity," Thomas said, about whether he thinks he should be getting more time. He is happy to have the chance that he's gotten so far with the Sixers and now allows himself to look a little bit into the future, one that might include staying in Philly.
"You always want momentum. This time of the year, it's hard mentally when you know you're not playing for anything," Robinson said. "Us, in this locker room, we want to go out with momentum and know that we are getting better, and we'll go into the summer where we'll know that we've got a platform to start on. That's all that really matters right now. We want to finish out strong and go into the summer with that platform."
He has started building a nice one in his 13 games with the club.
It was a pretty hard hand that came across the face and into the eye of Nerlens Noel from Lakers big man Tarik Black on Sunday.
Noel went to the floor holding his face and was there for quite a while before making it back to the bench in the middle of the third quarter. He applied ice to the eye and returned to play most of the fourth quarter.
Once, near the end of the game, Noel was lined up under the basket during a foul shot, bent over at the waist, completely facing away from the basket. He continuously blinked and shook his head as if trying to collect himself.
"I was dizzy for a little bit, but I feel better now," Noel said after the game. The Sixers did not practice yesterday, as they traveled to Sacramento to face the Kings tonight.