Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves Impressed Derrick Rose

by January 11, 2012

Derrick Rose had his way with Ricky Rubio last night (31 points, 13 assists), as the Chicago Bulls pulled out a tough win in Minnesota, but the Spanish rookie point guard and his squad left an impression on the reigning MVP. From ESPN: “After his showdown with Rose on Tuesday night at the Target Center, it seems like he’s more than capable of holding his own. He had 13 points and 12 assists in Minnesota’s 111-100 loss to Chicago. The Bulls jumped out to an early lead, hammering the Wolves with swift defense and overwhelming shooting. Thanks to Rose’s 14 first-quarter points, they took advantage of a Wolves starting lineup that has been digging early deficits for the team to overcome. As the Bulls seemed ready to cruise to victory with their first-half lead reaching as much as 24 points, the rookie Spaniard helped his team rally and stage a furious comeback right before halftime. Minnesota ended the second quarter on a 20-2 run, fueled by Rubio’s six assists during this stretch. Once the Wolves appeared to be serious about giving Chicago a game, the spotlight shined on the showdown between Rubio and Rose. Rubio’s defense along with Rose’s decision to pace his scoring in the second and third quarters showed that the rookie is more than capable of handling the quickest of the elite on the defensive end. He harassed Rose defensively, forcing multiple turnovers and doing an admirable job of keeping him out of the paint for extended stretches. Between the first and fourth quarters, Rose tallied just three points on 1-for-7 shooting. However, once the fourth quarter began, Rubio learned just how terrorizing his counterpart can be on the offensive end. Rose knocked down five of his eight shots, including a 3-pointer disguised as a dagger with just more than a minute left, to saddle the Wolves with the defeat. While the final tallies for both players are heavily in favor of the Bulls’ franchise point guard, both players executed their roles to near perfection. Rose set the tone for Chicago early and then managed the game until it was time for him to take over in the fourth quarter. Rubio, on the other hand, came off the bench to galvanize a Wolves team in desperate need of execution and organization. ‘Rubio played a hell of a game,’ Rose said after the victory, in which he finished with 31 points and 11 assists. ‘All of their other players played well, knocking down shots when he was passing them the ball. They’re a different team. They play with a lot of energy. They all are on the same page. Everybody knows their own role.'”