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  1. #1

    Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio is shooting well, and no, he doesn’t want to talk about it

    Q: Is this about as confident as you’ve felt in that shot?

    RR: “Yeah, I feel pretty confident.”

    Q: What’s been the difference lately?

    RR: “I don’t know. The ball goes in. I’ve been working on that shot, and it just feels good now.”

    Q: You’ve been one of the better midrange shooters in the league this year, too, is that just a product of the work you’ve put in with that shot?

    RR: “Yeah.”

    Rubio is shooting three-pointers at a 42 percent clip over the Wolves’ past 12 games – an impressive number by any standard. He’s shooting the midrange jumper at 44 percent this season – again, very good.

    More:

    http://www.twincities.com/2017/02/13...talk-about-it/


  2. #2
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    It looks like Ricky has found a couple spots that he's comfortable shooting from. Especially that pull-up near the top of the lane. He's wide open most of the time with the defenders covering KAT and Gorgui. That shot also seems to suit his flat trajectory. As far as his 3-point shot, it still looks like he shoots it flat-footed, but then so does KAT. I have less confidence that's going to last but he's had a pretty good stretch going.


  3. #3
    I don't have the stats handy, but it seems like Rubio is finishing near the rim better as well. The improved outside shooting is great, but as has been discussed many times, improved finishing (sustained) would really benefit Ricky.


  4. #4
    Ricky is just being a lot more aggressive. He's shooting and even driving with far less hesitation. I'm glad to see it.

    We need him to step up. We have lost 11 games this year by 4 points or less. 13 games by 6 or less. In most of them Ricky scored 7 or fewer points.

    Our record is 18-31 with Ricky overall. We're 10-8 over the last 18 with Ricky's increased overall scoring. Revealing numbers indeed.

    The winning teams are getting around 46 points per game from the backcourt alone. If Zach gets his 20 and Ricky gets his 7 that's too much to make up as a rule of thumb.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    Ricky is just being a lot more aggressive. He's shooting and even driving with far less hesitation. I'm glad to see it.

    We need him to step up. We have lost 11 games this year by 4 points or less. 13 games by 6 or less. In most of them Ricky scored 7 or fewer points.

    Our record is 18-31 with Ricky overall. We're 10-8 over the last 18 with Ricky's increased overall scoring. Revealing numbers indeed.

    The winning teams are getting around 46 points per game from the backcourt alone. If Zach gets his 20 and Ricky gets his 7 that's too much to make up as a rule of thumb.
    I'll never understand this logic.

    It doesn't matter where the points come from, nor do they need to be evenly distributed.

    Portland gets 50 points from its starting backcourt. They're 2 games ahead of us. Our starting 5 outcores their starting 5 by 7 PPG.

    How many teams get 46 points out of two frontcourt players like we do?

    Actually very few winning teams get that much out of their backcourt.

    The Spurs get 20 points total from their starting backcourt.

    Atlanta gets 25 PPG from their starting backcourt.

    Pacers get 23 PPG from their starting backcourt.

    Memphis gets 30 PPG from their starting backcourt.

    Utah gets 31 PPG from their starting backcourt.

    Clippers get 32 PPG from their starting backcourt.

    Houston's starting PG scores 9.7 PPG.

    Cleveland's starting SG scores 7.8 PPG.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    Ricky is just being a lot more aggressive. He's shooting and even driving with far less hesitation. I'm glad to see it.

    We need him to step up. We have lost 11 games this year by 4 points or less. 13 games by 6 or less. In most of them Ricky scored 7 or fewer points.

    Our record is 18-31 with Ricky overall. We're 10-8 over the last 18 with Ricky's increased overall scoring. Revealing numbers indeed.

    The winning teams are getting around 46 points per game from the backcourt alone. If Zach gets his 20 and Ricky gets his 7 that's too much to make up as a rule of thumb.
    The Spurs starting backcourt averages less than 19 ppg together. The highest scoring backcourt duo is in Portland, a team currently out of the playoffs. I wouldn't make a rule of thumb that backcourt scoring equals winning basketball. As has been pointed out many times including by Thibs, our problem isn't that we aren't scoring enough. Until our 3 "best" players aren't also 3 of the worst defenders in the league at their positions, winning is going to be a problem.


  7. #7
    Well, it doesn't look like that idea got very far.


  8. #8
    In the 5 games since Zach went down, our starting backcourt is averaging 40 points. We're 2-3 in those games.

    Zach's 2017 has been much more problematic than Ricky's. After averaging 23 PPG in December, Zach averaged only 14 in January (and then 14 in February as well before going down).

    Ricky is having a great Feb. He's at 13.5 PPG on 42/38/90 shooting. We're also 2-5 on the month. Ricky's scoring is not the problem.

    We're scoring a season best 107.4 PPG in February. We're also allowing a season worst (and atrocious) 111.9 PPG. That's allowing 9 more PPG than we did in January (where we went 8-7).


  9. #9
    From the Ringer: https://theringer.com/minnesota-poin...e5c#.2cn3tc4zo

    The Timberwolves’ problems, like their losses, are many. After winning eight of 11 games in early January, it seemed like the sun was finally coming out — a rare occurrence for winter in Minnesota. Then, Zach LaVine, who emerged this season as a major contributor, tore his ACL in the midst of the Wolves losing five of their past seven. Early-season issues also persisted, like the team’s strongest veteran presence still being the knockoff Kevin Garnett jerseys sold outside the Target Center. Tom Thibodeau’s defensive acumen still hasn’t infected the roster with like-minded execution, and statistically, it’s only getting worse. And for most of the season, the guards have been playing their own version of musical chairs to see who can emerge as the most useful to the team.
    But heading into the All-Star break, the contrast between the ball handlers is the clearest it’s been all year — and for this round of Musical Guards, Ricky Rubio found a seat while the others are still circling. There’s a chemistry lab somewhere dedicated to solving the ever-continuing question of How To Fix The Wolves, and it’s becoming clear that Rubio’s role as a starter is becoming the controlled variable — the part of an experiment that doesn’t change. And while Tyus Jones has looked the part of dependable backup, rookie Kris Dunn’s place in the experiment is no longer certain.
    As much as “passer” is attached to Rubio’s description, “shooter” is just as removed. He’s spent a career never averaging more than 11 points per game while Minnesota became so desperate for outside shooting it would take it from the little kids wiping up sweat in between plays … or Lance Stephenson. Yet in his past 11 games, Rubio recorded 14 or more points nine times, shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from the behind the arc. Against the Magic on January 30, he let nine 3-point attempts fly, and sunk six — both career highs.
    It’s too small of a sample size to know if those numbers are sustainable. Still, if Rubio can keep this shooting clip up it will generate a threat Minnesota desperately needs. Already defenders are now hovering to honor his shot, when they used to play off him. His hesitation to shoot used to reek of self-deprivation, but over the past two weeks, he’s been another offensive threat. While those percentages might seem standard for a modern point guard, for Rubio, it’s encouraging; for the Wolves sans LaVine, it’s critical; for Dunn, it’s clarifying — it’s become clear that Rubio is ready to help the team right now, while Dunn isn’t.
    Before the season, the former Providence guard was positioned to be Rubio’s successor. It seemed it wasn’t a matter of if to trade the Spaniard, but when and for what assets. Rubio was still the starter, but was underwhelming in even the good aspects of his game — passing and court vision — and was somehow even worse than usual in point contribution. For a 10-game stretch in November, with Dunn coming off the bench, Rubio failed to reach 10 assists once, and logged more than 10 points only three times. The team’s transition to Dunn seemed all but a sure thing.
    Now, in mid-February, to say the rookie’s numbers are discouraging is polite. He averages just 0.4 more assists (2.5) than fouls (2.1), and manages just 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He averages just 17 minutes on the court, but even adjusting to per-36 numbers only bumps him to 7.8 points. His shooting percentages — 36.5/26.5/58 — look more like a drunk game of H-O-R-S-E between DeAndre Jordan, Shaq, and Andre Drummond. Meanwhile Jones, a second-year player and Minnesota native, has nearly the same assists and points per game on far fewer minutes, while looking like the much more capable spark off the bench.
    How the Wolves proceed with Dunn is tricky because of the hype that he garnered during his senior year in college. The Timberwolves — who entered the 2016–17 season in desperate need of a shooter — overlooked his age (now a month away from 23, he’s older than LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns) and his erratic shooting to take the young playmaker. Offensive production was the gap most ailing Minnesota: LaVine’s improvement would arrive later on, and other than Wiggins or Towns, reliable buckets only came from Gorgui Dieng in the midrange or Shabazz Muhammad off the bench. It seemed like Buddy Hield, who averaged four 3-pointers and 25 points a game his senior season at Oklahoma, could be the fix Minnesota needed heading into the draft. But when Dunn fell to the Timberwolves with the fifth pick, all conversation about Hield’s production ceased. The Wolves had their man: Dunn’s athleticism, playmaking, and passing abilities were too much to pass up on. And sure, he wasn’t a consistent shooter, but Dunn averaged 16.4 points during his last year at Providence. He was so convincing pre-draft that Chicago was reportedly ready to dump Jimmy Butler to acquire him in a package with LaVine.
    Now, Dunn’s age is glaring, and it takes away some of the padding on the cushion rookies are typically given for NBA transitions. Still, no matter how underwhelming his first year is turning out to be, the glare would be much stronger if Minnesota had turned the team over to him 25 games in, and dealt Rubio away. With the trade deadline approaching, that’s still an option — it just no longer seems like the right one.
    Dunn could have made these Rubio discussions more interesting by not being so awful offensively.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dschroeder01 View Post
    Dunn could have made these Rubio discussions more interesting by not being so awful offensively.
    I'm at the point where I don't want Dunn running the offense at all and want him playing the two, either next to Rubio for stretches or next to Tyus.
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by The Country Club View Post
    I'm at the point where I don't want Dunn running the offense at all and want him playing the two, either next to Rubio for stretches or next to Tyus.
    +1. Id like to see what he does off the ball catching passes on cuts.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Country Club View Post
    I'm at the point where I don't want Dunn running the offense at all and want him playing the two, either next to Rubio for stretches or next to Tyus.
    I'd like to see him playing in the D-League. Other than shooting, dribbling and passing he seems to have all the skills of a good NBA PG.


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ECA19 View Post
    I'd like to see him playing in the D-League. Other than shooting, dribbling and passing he seems to have all the skills of a good NBA PG.
    His struggles on offense appear to be bleeding over to his defense now as well. He definitely doesn't look as confident on D as he did earlier.


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    His struggles on offense appear to be bleeding over to his defense now as well. He definitely doesn't look as confident on D as he did earlier.
    He was aweful last night. He had one drive where he essentially lost the ball on the way up for a layup...essentially losing it in his own chest.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECA19 View Post
    I'd like to see him playing in the D-League. Other than shooting, dribbling and passing he seems to have all the skills of a good NBA PG.
    If he is supposed to be a NBA point guard, then yes. If we want him to be a good defensive guard, get him away from playing point now and have him out there as a defensive two (if only to keep Brandon Rush from playing 30 minutes a night if Stephenson is out a while).
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Country Club View Post
    If he is supposed to be a NBA point guard, then yes. If we want him to be a good defensive guard, get him away from playing point now and have him out there as a defensive two (if only to keep Brandon Rush from playing 30 minutes a night if Stephenson is out a while).
    I'm OK with that. But either guard spot needs to be able to shoot, and to dribble. He can't be completely without basic NBA skills (I hope) but he looks lost right now. I hate that a guy as old as him still needs to work on the basics, but I think he would benefit from some time in the D league, even if it was to get his mojo back and get some confidence. It seemed to help Bazz a few years ago. I can't see where it would hurt because he's bad right now.



 

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