It seems sadly fitting that Danielle Robinson may watch the rest of the 2013 season from the sidelines. A season and a team that she nearly single-handedly saved from being a total disaster may have to finish without her as she sits on the bench with a sprained knee.
San Antonio fans have to be wondering whether the Silver Stars can draft players without knees – or perhaps players with robotic knees – so they never have to go through this sort of ordeal again. Let’s take a quick look at this year’s knee hit list.
Sophia Young: Torn ACL since day one. Only time I wrote about her this year was when she decided to take a controversial political stance. Cool.
Becky Hammon: Broke her finger in training camp, then tears her ACL in second quarter of first game back from injury. Cool.
Danielle Robinson: Aforementioned sprain. OH SCREW THIS.
In spite of knee-gate 2013, Robinson carried herself and her team all through the 25 games she played this season. She increased her minutes to 32.5 per game from 28.9, points from 9.9 to 11.2 per game and assists from 4.3 to 6.7 a contest. She made an all-star team for the first time in her career, and she will likely pick up some form of an All-WNBA player award in 2013 for the second time in her career after picking up All-Defensive honors in 2012.
Robinson was good in her first season off the bench in 2011 (started nine games and made the All-Rookie team) and she has progressed in minutes played in both years since. She is one of the quickest, and by extension most exciting players in the WNBA.
Her efficiency (13.8) is the sixth-highest in the WNBA amongst guards, falling below Diana Taurasi, Dewanna Bonner, Lindsay Whalen, Katie Douglas and Seimone Augustus — in other words, amongst good company. Robinson took over this San Antonio squad in 2013 and caused them to perform well above the level a team missing its two biggest stars should have this season.
She is second on the Stars only to Jayne Appel in efficiency, in part because Robinson will never be a rebound threat at 5’9”. Even without a height advantage, Robinson has great basketball IQ and will snatch a handful a game just from her positioning prowess alone. When she does get her hands on a loose ball, man is she fun to watch.
This season has not been great for the Silver Stars; their long-running playoff streak seems poised to end and they lost two of their star players, one in her prime and the other near the end of her career. Despite a disappointing 2013 campaign, Robinson gives San Antonio fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic for next season. Her playmaking and ability to step up when the team needed her most makes Robinson the MVP of the 2013 Silver Stars without much debate.
I also posted this piece on Swish Appeal where I asked fans of other WNBA teams to offer up their team’s MVP.