Ricky Rubio: The Lasting Effects of His Knee Injury


Ricky Rubio has been back from his knee injury for a full month.  In his first nine games, coach Rick Adelman held Rubio to only 20 minutes/game.  With rookie shooting guard Alexey Shved going down this week with a sprained ankle, Rubio has joined Luke Ridnour in the starting backcourt.  The Prodigy played a season high 30 minutes in a win over the Rockets on Saturday night.  Rubio scored 7 points with 6 assists and 2 turnovers.

Rubio has been passive on offense.  His shots are down by 1/3 this year compared to his rookie season.  Perhaps Adelman is content with this as Rubio has shot a very poor 25% from the floor.  His assist/turnover rate has fallen from a stellar 2.6/1 last year to 2.1 in limited time this season.  On the positive side, Rubio is doing a good job getting to the foul line and knocking down his free throws.

We never expected him to be a great defender but opposing guards are eating up Rubio so far this short season.  According to 82games.comhis opponents are shooting 54% eFG while scoring 21 points/48 minutes.  If Adelman was trying to win today he would probably go small with Ridnour and J.J. Barea.  Together they average a 2.2 Ast/TO rate.  Barea has been terrific on defense this season holding opposing point guards to 44% eFG.

Of course with Kevin Love down for a big chunk of the remaining season, the T’Wolves should be focused on playing for the future.  Minnesota went 9-9 with Love in the lineup this year but after losing 7 of their last 8 games they are unlikely to make the playoffs (10th place in the Western Conference today).

We can give Rubio a pass for his poor play coming off the knee injury as he doesn’t have all his speed or his full legs under him.  The next three months provide a great opportunity for The Prodigy to get better and stretch out his game.  Adelman should take advantage of it.  It would also be super exciting if he showed the league why David Kahn picked him before Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings in the ’09 draft.

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