Yes, it would be too easy to just say Nate Robinson not playing has been ultimately beneficial, although a tighter rotation has given players more consistent minutes, and with constant comes consistency.
Take it back a week earlier and the team did have good efforts against Boston at home and Denver on the road.
Mike D'Antoni's system, as we've said, is predicated on ball movement and space. Whether it be open jump shots or pretty pick and rolls, the offense is clicking because the team is making opposing defenses guard the perimeter.
Consider over their last 5 games (4-1) Wilson Chandler, Larry Hughes and Danilo Gallinari, three perimeter players, are shooting a combined 29-60 from three. Gallinari, as we know, has little difficulty getting off the 3, in fact he's shooting a higher percentage than he is inside the arc. But the key has to be the hot streaks of Hughes and Chandler.
Again, to me, the key to this offense is making the defense defend the perimeter, and in order for that to happen the team has to prove it can make open looks. Say what you want about the offense, but it does create open opportunities.
So if Hughes cools off, you'd have to hope that Al Harrington or maybe Chris Duhon can get hot. I would think that the team can continue to be effective if they have 3 perimeter players making shots from downtown. That is NOT to say the team needs to RELY on the 3-ball, but it definitely is key they make a good percentage of the one's that are open.
When you stretch the defense out to the perimeter it opens up the floor for drives and pick and rolls. Then the offense, as we've seen over the last week or so, can really start clicking.