I love you, Ricky Rubio. In the same way that Jermaine Clement sang to Bret McKenzie that he’s got it going on; just replace references to women with shooting. Instead of finding shortcuts around New York, Rubio is great at finding shortcuts to the hoop. Your beard is still good, it’s always good. I could fill this post with meaningless things like ‘stats’ and ‘qualified opinions’ but it’d betray the true nature of my love.Embed from Getty Images
This post is currently being written on a sofa next to Chief Editor and genesis of this site (Darren) a day after we watched Minnesota’s victory, despite their best efforts to lose, against Golden State. Throughout the match, Darren would mention how Rubio’s lack of shooting was a huge detriment to Minnesota, which it is. However within seconds of Darren mentioning said shooting Rubio would pull off a move that shut him up. Rubio’s first example of this came in the 1st quarter when, after dribbling past Curry and Pachulia, Rubio threw a behind the back pass into Dieng’s hands for one of the easiest buckets of his career. Plays like that are why I enjoy watching Rubio so much and so any rumours of trading Rubio fill me with a sense of dread.
When deadline day rolled around there had been strong rumblings that Rubio would be traded. Tom Thibodeau has always been a fan of shoot first point guards and Rubio couldn’t be any farther from that. It’s said that you miss every shot you don’t take but unfortunately, Rubio tends to miss roughly 60% of the ones he does take; thus in Thibodeau’s eyes, it was time to look for someone that could shoot. Thibodeau looked to a point guard he was familiar with, Derrick Rose. The trade would be a straight swap of the two, nothing else added, much to my despair. The Derrick Rose of today is not the same Derrick Rose of 2011; a man who tore to the hoop with such frequency that he claimed League MVP in a season where Dwight Howard and LeBron James split East Conference Player of the Month five out of a possible six times. The Derrick Rose of 2017 is a whole mess of injuries and lacks the raw athleticism that made most of his offensive game possible. My first thought when it was confirmed that Rubio was being traded for Rose was that Thibodeau merely wanted to finish off Derrick Rose and claim his other ACL for his trophy cabinet.Embed from Getty Images
To finish this I need a moment to reflect upon myself and the reality of the situation; Rubio will not be in Minnesota for much longer. In a league that prizes shooting and spreading the floor more so than ever a team that wants to be competitive and get the best out of its young talent cannot afford to have a player that fits so poorly in the modern NBA. Whatever Minnesota gets for Rubio will hopefully push them into solid playoff contention and allow the franchise to boom. Will Minnesota be able to get a point guard as good as Rubio? Probably not, otherwise there’d be more teams willing to do a deal. Will Minnesota ever win a championship with Rubio as the starting guard? Again, probably not. However, for as long as he plays, I will forever be fascinated by his ability to pick a man out with a pass that makes me gasp and stop what I’m doing to admire.Embed from Getty Images