Last night saw a matchup of the two shortest players in the NBA. Earl Boykins of the Washington Wizards met Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks. Although it didn't last long, it was a pleasure to watch.
Robinson only played 25 minutes; Boykins just 16. The Knicks defense was atrocious, so, for some of the time they were out on the floor, the Knicks went with a zone. The Knicks also shifted on picks liberally. But the two did guard each other and it was fun to watch them chase each other. Robinson clearly isn't used to playing against someone shorter than himself. Boykins, in his 11th season, scored 9 points, including a powerful drive right to the basket.
Robinson, however, had the better of the dual. Nate the Great scored 16 points and added 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Robinson, in his 5th season, was able to drive around the older Boykins on a couple of occasions. One of Robinson's steals was a defensive back-like interception of a Boykins cross-court pass. At one point, in the backcourt, Robinson jumped up to catch a pass. Boykins was waiting just below him. Virtually every other player in the league would have had the ball stolen by Boykins. But Robinson has tried that defensive approach himself and avoided Boykins.
They meet again on Wednesday in New York. Keep your eye out for that matchup.