Ricky Rubio 6’4 Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves
10.7 PTS 8.5 AST 4.5 REB 2.5 STL 38.6 FG% 37.1 3P% 3.3 TOS
Maybe besides LeBron James there really hasn’t been a player in the last ten years to come into the NBA with more of a reputation and hype than Ricky Rubio. He’s been playing at a very high pro level since he was 14 years old playing in the Spanish ACB Pro league. Almost imaginable to think a player at that young age can play minutes in the professional ranks at any level, but to play on a team at the highest level of Europe is pretty amazing. The Minnesota Timberwolves have invested a lot in Rubio to take them to the point of respectability. So far he’s shown that he not only belongs, but could be one of the league’s top point guards for years to come. I took some time to analyze and break down his strong points and weakness of his game and wanted to share it with our viewers.
Well his best attribute is Ricky’s ability to pass the ball. Point guards come in so many shapes and sizes, some can score, some distribute, and some are athletic freaks. I value point guards that can put the ball in teammate’s hands where they can be successful. Rubio’s ability to see open players on his team makes him one of the best passing point guards in the NBA. At 6’4 and very long Ricky can pass over, under, and around defenders to find open shooters, cutters, and post up players. He is extremely good on pick and roll finding open players as well as getting into the paint in scoring opportunities. With coach Adelman playing a lineup of two point guards with Rubio and Luke Ridnour it gives him the ability to play off the ball at the shooting guard pot as well. His shot , although not even close to a finished product hasn’t been terrible is shooting a respectable 37% from the 3 point line. With a very young team Ricky is tremendous in the open court with his ability to drive the ball deep and draw defenders to make a play for teammates. He has charisma and a swagger about him that shows that he’s used to playing in a big tim stage and isn’t too phased with any opponent that he will face. As far as a point guard that can organize his team and run an offense Ricky Rubio is one of the league’s best at doing that.
Here are some clips of Ricky’s Good Plays
The easy thing to go for here is Ricky’s inability to shoot the ball. That has been his knock since he was 14 years old. We will get into that in a bit, but one of his biggest flaws is his ability to guard the ball. Being a point guard you are the first level of your team’s defensive schemes. Stopping the ball is so important in the NBA game. With the amount of pick and rolls that are run it is so important for the point guard to be able to stay connected to his man and have the ability to get though screens. If you cant stay connected then your team will have to go into a number of rotations opening up holes in your defense. Watching Ricky, not only does he have issues staying in front of quick ball handlers, he has an issue getting through screens to stay connected to the ball handler. I will give him the benefit of the doubt this being his first year in the NBA he will get better at this. With the abbreviated camp and no summer league he hasn’t had the time given to usual rookies to make the transition. I think he’ll always struggle with this, but it wont be the end of the world. Players like Steve Nash, Tony Parker, even Rajon Rondo have had their issues with it. Ok so yes his shooting is not where it should be. I think with repetition he’ll get better at this. His stroke isn’t broken, he mostly shoots almost a set shot where he needs to raise up a little higher to get better arc on his shot. He also shoots with a low elbow where anyone that teaches shooting when you combine low elbow with low lift the ball doesn’t have much chance of going in unless you have perfect mechanics. Again repetition and some correction should improve his shooting. I don’t think he’ll ever be a great shooter, but in baseball terms I think you can get him to be a .275 hitter where he can be a serviceable shooter from 15-17 feet.
Here are some clips on his deficiencies to get you to understand what I am talking about:
I think Ricky Rubio will have a long future in the NBA. Like most young guards he will battle though his rookie campaign and play through his mistakes. The only way you will get better in this league is to get your ass kicked in practice and games. Any competitor will dust himself off come back the next day and make adjustments to lesson their mistake margins. He has great vision and knows how to win, that is what will keep him in the NBA. His ability to read defenders and put his teammates in position to be successful makes him a high level guard. He will be as good as his team around him. He doesn’t have the ability to automatically make your team good like a Steve Nash, Deron Williams, or a Chris Paul. But, what he does do is when you surround him with the horses needed to win games he will push you over the edge to go from a good team to a very good team or a very good team to a great team. I believe in his coaching staff and the players around him will improve. He has a little of Rajon Rondo in him where they can’t take a bad team and make them good, but they can organize and run your team when given the pieces around them. He has Kevin Love one of the smartest players in the league as well as a group of young, energetic, and hungry players that want to compete and win. He is not a perfect player, but I think he has the tools necessary to be a winner in this league.