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Originally published Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Ankle slows New York's Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson was subdued Monday. Not because Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni told him to be, but because of a twisted left ankle that made Robinson a spectator at practice.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Nate Robinson was subdued Monday. Not because Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni told him to be, but because of a twisted left ankle that made Robinson a spectator at practice.

Robinson isn't sure he'll be able to play when the Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. When he does take the floor, D'Antoni would like to see him play a little more team-first ball than he did with the bum ankle in the second half of Saturday's 120-115 loss to the Heat in Miami.

And it probably wouldn't hurt Robinson, the former Washington Husky, to save a little of the "look-at-me" showmanship for the next slam dunk contest. It's a fine line, and Robinson may have been on the wrong side of it in Miami.

"Those are things that we have to get better at as a team," D'Antoni said, "and Nate has his own personal program that he has to get better at, as does Chris Duhon, as does David Lee and everybody else. [Playing under control] is one thing that's hard for him because he can get a shot anytime he wants, he can be explosive anytime he wants, but at the same time, he has to play within a team concept. It's a fine line and I have no problem with that. Sometimes he goes too far one way or too far the other way.

"It's definitely something that he needs to get better at, but there's a lot of other things we've got to do better."

The popular Robinson, who scored 25 points in the first half and four in the second in Miami, said he relies on D'Antoni to give him a heads up for when it's time to dial back the uber-enthusiasm.

"Coach is going to let me know when I'm out of control," Robinson said. "For that part of the game, I really wasn't myself with the ankle. I really couldn't get any oomph to my jump shot and running."

Notes

• Dallas forward Josh Howard aggravated his problematic left ankle and left the game.

Carmelo Anthony will miss Denver's game at Detroit tonight because of a personal matter.

• Former Bremerton High star Marvin Williams scored 28 in Atlanta's 98-89 win in Washington.

LeBron James scored 42, Mo Williams got 17 of his 30 in the fourth quarter, and the Cavaliers rallied from an 11-point deficit to defeat host Miami 107-100. Dwyane Wade had 41 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Miami.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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