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Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at 11:40 am  |  40 responses

Ricky Rubio Won’t Be Starting for the Timberwolves Just Yet


Ricky Rubio has impressed just about everyone so far in this young season, but head coach Rick Adelman says the time for him to join the Wolves’ starting lineup isn’t now. Reports the Star Tribune: “When’s Ricky Rubio going to start games rather than just finish them? ‘I think that’s something that’s still down the line,’ Wolves coach Rick Adelman said before Sunday’s game against defending NBA champion Dallas at Target Center. Rubio’s NBA career barely has begun, but the season’s opening week already has suggested the Wolves have a different kind of pulse when the ball is in his hands. On Sunday, he delivered a 14-point, seven-assist, four-rebound performance that included five consecutive points scored after the Mavs chopped a 15-point lead to just one. ‘We’re still evaluating the team, and he’s going to have his minutes, he’s going to get a chance to play,’ said Adelman, who played Rubio an average of 28.3 minutes in his first three games. ‘Those types of things will happen over time. You’ll know when it’s the right time to do it. Right now, we’re just trying to get a win.’ Many Wolves fans probably came to that conclusion after opening night, but for now Adelman continues to start Luke Ridnour and brings Rubio and J.J. Barea off the bench. Asked if he is bringing Rubio along slowly so the rookie doesn’t feel too much pressure, Adelman said: “It’s one thing I really admire about him: He’s got a lot of pressure on him. The expectations are so high for him. It’s there all the time. He doesn’t seem to buy into that at all. He’s just trying to play his game. I don’t see him pressing or anything like that. ‘Every rookie is going to go through ups and downs in this league, and he’s not going to be away from that. He’ll have to face that, too, but so far he’s done a nice job.’”

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  • http://slamonline.com jumpman22

    No rush

  • Jimbo

    What people don’t realise is that he is a rookie in the NBA but he has been a pro since he was 14, some7 years ago. You underestimate European basketball at your own peril, as Ricky is proving

  • AQWORD

    All G. Will get his anyways & be there in no time coz that’s where he belongs.

  • OTB

    Anyone who has watched the Wolves knows that they play MUCH MUCH better with Rubio on the floor, he just energizes everyone else because they know he’ll pass it to them if he sees the opportunity. The kid is also scoring to keep defenses honest. I really think he’ll be a star a la Nash.

  • T-Money

    nbacoaches are such control freaks. start him already.

  • Thor

    I hope those guys who questioned his jumper yesterday saw last nights game. He can shoot when he has to.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    the nba games suits him so much more than euro ball

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    ^game

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    what do we have to do to get this kid in NY?

  • T-Money

    thor: he was an awful shooter at all levels in his career, the criticism was warranted. let’s wait until the all-star break to see if it still holds. sample size is too small.

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    You know, I don’t care if he starts, but getting only 26 minutes against the f*cking Mavs is insane. He should be getting 35 minutes a game…

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    I mean, his competition isn’t Curry or Lawson. His competition is f*cking Luke Ridnour. It’s kind of crazy.

  • Thor

    I’m a shooter myself and I know a jumpshot when I see it. It ain’t perfect, never said so, but he sure is no Rajon Rondo. He just need to keep shooting and in a couple of years he’ll be a player you’ll have to get out and defend. Good free throw shooter too.

  • Myles Brown

    Blah, blah, blah. You do realize that Rubio has played every minute of every fourth quarter this season? Cliche as it may be, it’s not who starts, it’s who finishes.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    ^ can’t argue with that.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mavus15 Mavus15

    What happen to earning your starting spot? He is out-playing Ridnour in the season and in the pre-season.. the season is too short not to give him 32 minutes a game..

  • anen

    I don’t know his exact words but I remember reading an interview way back where Rubio said he doesn’t care if he starts but rather finish the game because that’s when you win.

  • RunNGun

    This kid’s the real deal. Love League Pass.

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    Well it’s less about finishing (of course he’ll finish, he’s the logical choice) and more about optimizing the lineup. Giving Luke Ridnor ten extra minutes seems a bit odd, considering the Wolves score +13 more points per 100 possessions with Rubio on the floor…

  • Mike from Spain

    Maybe it’s a good thing to have Ricky Rubio get limited minutes, all rookies get burned with the high load of matches in the NBA and hit the ‘rookie wall’… I get the feeling that having Ricky has energized the Wolves. I saw their last match and even Darko looked better.

  • robb

    he’s proving me wrong and I’m glad because I’m having a great time watching the kid.

  • MikeC.

    @Mike from Spain – if Rubio can make Darko look better over an entire season, better get his spot on the HOF ready. If he can make Darko look better over the course of 2 full seasons, it’s time to move Magic out of the “Best PG Ever” conversation and replace him with Rubio.

  • AQWORD

    calm your pantyhose

  • Mike from Spain

    Well, Darko looked good with Ridnour on the court the other day… I mean that everyone in the T wolves looks more motivated this season, not sure if it is all because of Ricky or not

  • Myles Brown

    If he’s playing the entire fourth quarter at a league leading pace, maybe it’s best to keep him fresh for productivity. And just maybe a 900+ win NBA coach knows better than you?

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    Myles Brown: Ah, cool, Mr. Always Critical is telling me not to have an opinion. I’ll remind you of that whenever you disagree with a player/coach/GM.
    But, nice to see you around here.

  • Myles Brown

    The sh*t aint broke and youre trying to fix it. As usual, your ‘opinions’ are boisterous and ill informed. Nice to see you too.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    He’ll be starting soon enough. I don’t think Minny would just throw him into the deep end a la Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.

  • Myles Brown

    Ridnour 17 & 9 (+7) in 28 minutes victory over Spurs. Back to back wins. Again, the sh*t aint broke.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    The kid should be starting pretty soon imo.

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    Myle: All those years of sub 30 wins makes you believe that starting off 2-3 is “not broke?”
    Please post more, btw.

  • dahon

    adelman is doing a good job. rubio is still adjusting to physical play of NBA. let him earn his minutes. hes a great addition to the NBA. thank you spain.

  • Myles Brown

    Its a new team and more importantly the new coach. This isnt Kurt Rambis inexplicably denying Love minutes. Ridnour deserves minutes and Id rather theyre early than late. Allows Rubio to finish the half and the 4th. Thats when hes needed.

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    ahh myles, always a pleasure to read your comments. that wolves team looks very promising. lots of young talent, great coach, and now rubio

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    No matter hoe long he’s been a pro, a 66 game, compacted NBA season is going to knock the hell out of him. I doubt anybody would hit the rookie wall faster than Rubio if he were starting. Under 30 minutes a game sounds like a good plan to me.

  • T-Money

    Myles: your arguments are so weak, I’m shocked. An NBA coach knows more than Jukai? If it ain’t broke… really? / So I’m assuming you’ve never questioned any decisions by Phil Jax the past few years? And that you were OK with D-Fish doing whatever because the Lakers kept winning?. If dude is playing the whole 4th quarter, that’s a clear indication he should be your starting point guard.

  • T-Money

    And when he’ll eventually start, would that mean that he is not as needed in the 4th?!

  • NATTY DREAD38 i HATE DERON WILLIAMS

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7sytahs can i get opinions on my trade??

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Beasley doesn’t fit what the Nuggets are trying to do. I don’t think they’d take a flyer on Michael Beasley not even 4 months after JR Smith finally left town. And I’d bet the Wolves would ask for more then just Gallinari.

  • gillythekid

    Rubio has been impressive so far. Anyone who watched him tear it up at age 17 against Jason Kidd and Chris Paul in the Olympic gold medal game won’t be too surprised.

    The United States basketball community is skeptical of foreign-born players today in the same way that American thinkers never envisioned China competing with us economically 40+ years ago. That’s globalization holmes.

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