Friday, March 8, 2013

The Ricky Rubio Dilemma

Right now Ricky Rubio is my favorite NBA player to watch.  I like LeBron, Carmelo, Kobe, KD, and D Wade, but if I had to watch one person play it would be Rubio.  The guy is like a magician with the basketball and his court vision is leaps and bounds above anyone else in the league.  My dilemma is I've watched too much basketball in my lifetime to take him seriously.  Watching Rubio play is like watching the Harlem Globetrotters.  You marvel at the skill level, but you know that style of play isn't conducive to winning NBA basketball games.  Although he's entertaining to watch he's got flaws and can't be considered as one of the league's elite players.  Here are the issues I have with Rubio.

1.  The position.  At least 1/3 of the teams in the NBA have a better point guard than Ricky Rubio.  Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose (when he's healthy), Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo (when he's healthy), Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Jrue Holiday would all be considered above him if you were ranking the top point guards.

2.  His skill set.  Rubio plays no defense and his shot selection is questionable.  If he can't blow past you or throw a sensational dime he's basically a liability on the floor.

3.  His teammates.  Although it's no fault of his the supporting cast in Minnesota is less than desirable.  the Timberwolves are a MASH unit and without perennial all star Kevin Love to anchor the team it's a bunch of scrubs running around that don't accentuate Rubio's talents.  If you're passing to a bunch of players that can't really finish at the NBA level what's the point?

4.  The small market.  Ricky Rubio belongs on the big stage, but right now all the big markets are set at the point guard position.  Los Angeles (Steve Nash, Chris Paul), Chicago (Derrick Rose), Miami (LeBron James), New York ( Ray Felton, Deron Williams), and Boston (Rajon Rondo) don't have a use for his talents at this point.  He's at least 3 years out from joining one of those squads so his exposure is limited.  They even have a commercial that eludes to this.  Who wants to see Atlanta vs. Minnesota if they have a choice.

Ricky Rubio isn't a finished product and his game has major weaknesses, but that doesn't mean he's not exciting to watch.  Basketball is about more than sensational passes and court vision however and losing teams don't draw a lot of attention.  Still the entertainment value is there and once you see him play you'll definitely want to see more of this guy.  Fortunately he's only 22 with a bright future.  Hopefully Minneapolis isn't the last stop for Mr. Rubio. 

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