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Blog Entry

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Posted on: December 26, 2011 11:36 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 11:39 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young



THE THEORY: Ricky Rubio won't make a big NBA impact

THE PROOF: Rubio dazzles in NBA debut against Oklahoma City

Once people got past the fact that they were actually looking at Ricky Rubio in the flesh in the NBA, which I'm still not entirely sure I believe, Rubio showed off why people were so fascinated by him.

First game for Rubio: Six points, six assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers in 26 minutes. Keep in mind, this was his first NBA game ever, against an All-Star point guard in Russell Westbrook. And he dazzled. He dominated the game offensively every second he was in. When the ball was in his hands, he had complete control of everything and presented a threat no matter where he was.

His team lost 104-100 to a great Oklahoma City team, but Rubio proved a point: He can play.

I’ve been a big doubter of his, but Monday's game was a great example of how dynamic he can be. He was a truly dangerous offensive weapon despite not being much of a threat to score. When he had the ball, it was terrifying for Thunder fans because you could just feel a perfectly threaded bounce pass coming at any second. Honestly, I'm guessing here but I think probably 80 percent of his passes were bounced. Nobody does it that much, not even Steve Nash. It's unconventional and something NBA defenders aren't ready for.

He’s truly a passing virtuoso. He no-looks everything, which keeps the defense guessing and gives the guy he’s passing it to just an extra second of space. Even the most simple pass -- a little flip to an open Wesley Johnson on the wing -- is done with a necessary flair. He's not being fancy for the sake of it. It's nuanced, so that it gives his teammate a little more freedom on the catch. That's what can make a point guard great. He sets up his teammates to score. You know how people always said Nash inflated stats? I can see Rubio doing the same thing as he goes along for Kevin Love and Derrick Williams.

You hear all about "the vision" but he's next level with it. It's like watching a great midfielder in soccer seek out a perfect through-ball. Rubio's like Barcelona's Xavi -- he passes people open. They run on to the end of an on-time bounce pass and just find themselves open under the rim. Proof: Via Hoopdata, five of Rubio's six assists led to a basket at the rim. He creates points.

One thing about Rubio though is you have to wonder how teams will adapt to him being reluctant to scoring and shooting. He went 2-3 from the floor which included a nice free throw line jumper in the fourth quarter, but he clearly wanted to pass. He needs to watch so much Rajon Rondo it makes him sick. Rondo lacks a jumper, but can score 30 by getting to the paint and finishing. With teams fearing his passing and vision, Rubio should be afforded those lanes as well. And I think he can develop the jumper too. If he does, you're looking at one of the Western Conference's top point guards. Seriously.

(Snap take on the Wolves: I think this team could win 30 games. And yes, I realize the season doesn't have 82 games in it anymore. You can tell the difference Rick Adelman makes and once Williams figures out how to use all his talents and ability to score, the Wolves will be tough to stop.)

I know it's way early. It's one game. Teams will adjust. Nobody has had a chance to look at an advance scouting report on him or the Wolves yet. Rubio will have some bad games and people will wonder. You're reading this and saying, "Geez, did he have six assists or sixty assists?" That's the thing: The box score isn't a good way to judge Rubio. He'll have a lot of nights that are 1-4, four points and five assists. But he'll have had a large impact on the Minnesota offense. Hockey assists, opening space, loosening the defense -- the little things that a simple assist doesn't measure.

My point is he's capable of really great things. Monday's performance against the Thunder wasn't a fluke. He did it as the third point guard off the bench and eventually, Luke Ridnour will be benched or traded and the Wolves will be completely handed to Rubio.

And once that happens, Minnesota will be a must-watch team. Heck, they already are.
Comments

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:58 pm
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

The kid reminds of Steve Nash...right now! I was quite impressed. Certainly he'll learn to go to the basket more. After all, this was only his first NBA game ever. And yes, like it's been said already, there were quite a few brilliant passes to open shooters that were clanged or he'd have had a lot more assists. This kid is going to be fun to watch over his career. He's as good as any of the young point guards that have come into the league recently and has a much higher upside. Impressive!



Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:57 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Using the first game of the season as proof of any theory is ridiculous.  About as ridiculous as:

The Theory: The Colts are better than the Packers.

The Proof: The Colts are 2-0 and Packers 1-1 over the last 2 weeks.

All of you writers keep saying "I know it's one game", but yet CBS continues to let you guys keep writing these ridiculous articles. Absolutely ridiculous format for a series of articles after one game in the NBA season that only had 2 weeks of practice and 2 preseason games.


bingmook
Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:37 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:24 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Ole' (Rubio), is a true passing virtuoso. I saw him put a spin on the ball that made it go around corners. He is going to redefine the term open and i couldn't be happier for him.




Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:23 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Ole' (Rubio), is a true passing virtuoso. I saw him put a spin on the ball that made it go around corners. He is going to redefine the term open and i couldn't be happier for him.



Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:22 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Ole' (Rubio), is a true passing virtuoso. I saw him put a spin on the ball that made it go around corners. He is going to redefine the term open and i couldn't be happier for him.



Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:20 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Ole' (Rubio), is a true passing virtuoso. I saw him put a spin on the ball that made it go around corners. He is going to redefine the term open and i couldn't be happier for him.



Since: Aug 1, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:24 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

The thing he didn't mention too was the Wolves missed a ton of wide open shots that should have been Rubio assists. Rubio could have easily had 10 assists or more if the guys didn't shoot so poorly. He looked way more comfortable than any other rookie I've seen in his first game.



Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:14 am
 

Theory and Proof: Rubio shines in NBA debut

Soooooooo not a Wolves fan, but this article makes me want to watch them....as long as they still lose to the Jazz. Please?


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