Blazers turn to Thomas Robinson, again

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

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It shouldn't have been much a surprise that after being traded twice in less than a year, it took Portland Trail Blazers forward Thomas Robinson time to get settled.

Robinson certainly had his moments, such as sparking a comeback to beat the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 13. However, slowly, Robinson started to find himself outside of the rotation.

And while Terry Stotts said he was happy with the play of Meyers Leonard, and there are numbers to back up the team's performance with Leonard on the court, he's turned to Robinson again.

As Stotts continues to adjust his rotation on a game-to-game basis, Robinson has found himself in the rotation again and he's taking fewer shots and has been more comfortable.

“A lot more comfortable,” Robinson said. “I feel comfortable playing with Joel (Freeland), especially RoLo (Robin Lopez), both of those guys. Being able to draw attention and make good passes to them.”

The last part is what Robinson said is a key to his development. He’s said he was benched because the coach felt that he wasn’t moving the ball.

Portland’s All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who plays the same position of Robinson has been key in helping the talented young forward become more patient.

“I’ve been talking to him because he’s a very confident player,” Aldridge said. “I’ve been telling him, don’t go out and be so eager to score. Just move the ball around, fit in a little bit and then take your shot.”

Robinson has certainly been more patient in finding his shot since finding his way back onto the court on Jan. 6 against the Kings.

After finding his way back onto the court, Robinson has taken 75 percent of his shots inside the restricted area (within four feet of the hoop), which has led to 65 percent shooting.

He’s essentially eliminated taking midrange jumpers unless necessary.

With a little help from an All-Star and some more time, it seems that Robinson is finally settling in to a role in the NBA.