Ricky Rubio’s exciting rookie season has come to an abrupt end, and quite possibly so has the Timberwolves drive for the playoffs. Rubio has torn his left ALC and will sit out for the rest of the season, and will not play in the Olympics for Spain.
He was a key role in his home country’s goal to win the gold medal. Rubio’s injury occurred in the closing seconds when they lost to the Lakers on Friday night. His knee buckled as he tried to help out on defense against Kobe Bryant. An MRI on Saturday confirmed everyone’s fears, and there were plenty of sad faces in the crowd when the news hit before the Wolves hosted the New Orleans Hornets. Not only are the Wolves fans feeling the loss, the players and coaches alike are taking the news hard.
“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 Wolves head coach Rick Adelman. “It’s too bad any time you see a young player go down like that with an injury like that. You feel for him more than anyone else.”
In Rubio’s first year since coming from Spain he was averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 assists, but his impact on the Wolves has been more important than his numbers. Rubio has changed the dynamic of this team and has played an important role in rebuilding the Wolves from the ground up almost from the moment he set foot in Minnesota.
His flashy and unselfish plays has inspired his teammates, and his fun loving nature of the game has been a immediate draw for the fans back to the Target Center, where the Timberwolves have already sold out seven games this season, their most since 2006-07. But it isn’t just the Wolves and the fans that have noticed.
“He just has great anticipation defensively. He reads the floor extremely well, he’s extremely patient.” said Kobe Bryant, “He’s developing more and more confidence with his jump shot. I don’t know what…they’re doing in Spain to develop their individual talent, but they’re doing something right.”
Some of the NBA’s biggest stars, including Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Chris Paul tweeted well wishes to Rubio on Saturday. Hopefully this will not deter the Wolves and they can stay focused on winning and going to the playoffs. Adelman said it best, “We’re still in it. I don’t see any reason to back away from that. There’s no reason we can’t win games.”
Rip Hamilton Continues to Sit
Richard Hamilton left the game against the Indiana Pacers with a right shoulder injury. He left about 90 seconds after the Bulls tip off. Hamilton went directly into the locker room holding his shoulder; he was replaced by Ronnie Brewer. This is his first season as a Bull and was the possible final piece to the Bulls quest for an NBA Title. But he has been limited to 16 games because of nagging injuries. He averages 12.1 points and is 4th best on the team. His status has now been updated to day by day.
Kidd’s Costly Jab
Mavericks Jason Kidd has been fined for public criticism of officials, he was fined $25,000. Kidd made the comments to the media after the Mavs lost to Oklahoma City Thunder 95-91 March 5th. Kidd had said to the press, “We don’t get the benefit of the whistle, I don’t think we’re looked upon as champions, but that’s a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it’s supposed to be. But he doesn’t.” He also added, “He didn’t foul him. It was a bad call. Clean block. I just said [to the official] it wasn’t a foul. He blocked the ball and after the play he said he bumped him with his body. I don’t think so. It was a bad night for the officials. It happens.” This has not been the first the Mavs have been in trouble for criticism of the officials, Mark Cuban was fined $75,000 for comments made after the Mavs Feb. 1 home loss to the Thunder. Cuban said then that he hadn’t seen officiating “this bad in a long, long time.”
And speaking of bad officiating Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended one game without pay for making “contact” with an official. Turkoglu went over to the ref to talk to him after a call and put his hands his shoulders. The incident occurred 3:47 remaining in the 4th quarter. The magic won over the Bulls 99-94. He will serve his suspension when the Magic host the Pacers.
Other News & Notables
- Toronto Raptors Jose Calderon was helped off the floor in the 2nd quarter of Saturday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. The Raptors were behind 51-27 when Calderon was sprinting down the court when he stepped on Brandon Knights foot and fell, badly spraining his right ankle. Calderon was helped to the locker room by two of teammates without putting any weight on the ankle. Moments later, the team announced that he would not return to the game.