"It's just too bad. He was having such a great year, he had such a great influence on our team and the way our team was playing and I think the league," said Timberwolves head coach, Rick Adelman.
Most of us know by now that the "he" that Adelman was referring to was none other than Spanish rookie point-guard, Ricky Rubio, who suffered a torn ACL in the final moments of the T-wolves game against the Lakers this past Friday night. While you can't count the T-wolves out just yet, it is certainly a devastating blow to a team that is just about tied with Houston for the final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. The Timberwolves begin a seven-game road trip with a visit to the Suns tonight in Phoenix.
Before Rubio went down on Friday, he was having an impressive rookie season, averaging over 10 points, 8 assists and 4 rebound per game. He runs extremely well in transition, has a nice looking jump shot and he is tremendous when it comes to distributing the ball and getting his team involved. He reads the floor well and knows where to be at all times. He's an amazing defender and the most exciting passer that I've seen in some time in the NBA.
From everything I've read about him, and all of the times I've watched him play however; it has been the intangibles he's brought to the game and the T-wolves organization that seems to set him apart. He has a charisma about him that stays with him when he's on the court. He's flashy in a way that's almost fundamental. The way he interacts with his teammates, his coaches, the fans; it's almost charming. He has an inspiring aura about him. Kevin Love, the T-wolves starting power forward who's having an MVP caliber season, said of Rubio that his "personality, being around him, it's great for our team." I think Love's quote makes it very clear that sometimes it's not always what a player can do, but who they are that helps the team.
With JJ Barea sidelined with a sprained left ankle, Minnesota moved Luke Ridnour to the point guard spot for the time being. T-wolves Coach Rick Adelman has said however, that he will utilize both Barea and Ridnour at the 1-spot when Barea is cleared to play in the next few days.
Regardless of what personnel moves are made, the T-wolves need to dig deep in the latter half of the season if they want to make the playoffs without Rubio on the floor.
Do it for Ricky.
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