I have no idea, Tom Thibodeau muttered, when asked about backup point guard Nate Robinsons post-basket celebrations. Im just glad he put the ball in the basket.
But in light of the diminutive scorers performance in Tuesday nights win over Thibodeaus former employer, the Celtics, even the Bulls head coach couldnt keep up the faade of annoyance.
HIGHLIGHTS: Noah, Robinson lead Bulls over Celtics
He competed hard. He was a catalyst. He made a lot of good things happen for us, Thibodeau went on to say about Robinson, whom was briefly utilized off the ball with rookie point guard Marquis Teague against a Boston small-ball lineup. His threes were timely. He made some hustle plays for us. He played very well overall.
Robinson scored 18 points, knocked down five of his seven three-point attempts, dished out four assists and only committed one turnover in nearly 22 minutes of action against Boston. More significantly, he electrified the United Center crowd with his energetic play, including one spectacular, but ultimately failed, dunk attempt.
If he had got that dunk, said teammate Carlos Boozer before taking a long pause and emitting a slow whistle. That might have been the play of the year.
Robinson himself opined: I dont want to say I got fouled, because I really dont get those type of calls, but its basketball, man. Hopefully Ill get a dunk soon. I know all the fans are waiting, so I was really hoping to get that one tonight, but maybe next game.
The former NBA Slam Dunk champions aerial exploits aside, Robinson has struggled as of late and he credited again playing with passion to his success Tuesday.
Its something that I had to get back to. The last couple of games, I havent really been shooting the ball well, so I just told myself that I had to go back to my whole Peter Pan theory, he explained. You cant fly without happy thoughts, so Ive just got to find that little niche and continue to be happy, and play the game the way I know how, and thats just free and just being myself, and I did that tonight.
Joakim Noah chimed in, first talking about the motor-mouthed guards tendency to talk even in the showers, Robinson could be heard, clear as day, recapping the game for his teammates behind closed doors before mentioning his game: He doesnt stop, man. Non-stop energy, but he looked like he was having fun out there tonight and when Nates having fun out there on the court, his energys contagious. It was a lot of fun.
Fellow reserve Taj Gibson added: Nate was getting up and down, just pushing the tone. Before the game, he told me he wanted to push the tone and get us back to having fun, and tonight it showed.