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Hitting the Hardwood | A Healthy Rubio Boosts Wolves

by Timberwolves.com

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

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Ricky Rubio will be the first to admit that he had a rough start to the 2016 season.

As the Wolves point guard began his sixth NBA season, he hit a bump in the road. In the second game of the season against the Sacramento Kings, Rubio sprained his right elbow – which happens to be his shooting arm – that sidelined him for the next five games.

But as Rubio returned to Minnesota’s starting lineup after the injury, it took him a while to get back to feeling healthy.

“I feel good. . . I never had any problems with my elbow before, so I didn’t know what expect,” Rubio said. “I’m feeling better.”

Now, Rubio feels like he is back to feeling healthy and playing like how he knows he can. And recently, there’s no denying that Rubio has been playing some of his best basketball of the season.

“I’m learning the system, I’m learning a new way to play,” Rubio said. “At the end of the day, I have to play my game. I feel more comfortable now and I try to lead this team with the experience that I have. . . We just have to keep trusting the process.”

This season, Rubio is averaging 7.6 points, 7.9 assists, four rebounds, 1.9 steals and just 2.2 turnovers per game.

In the last five games, Rubio has been a big part of Minnesota winning three of those five games. During that span, Rubio is averaging 11.4 points, 12.6 assists, four rebounds and 2.6 steals while also going up against the likes of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley.

“I feel very in control of the game. My teammates are making shots and I am trying to look for them,” Rubio said. “It feels good.”

In fact, Rubio has played a large role at the point for the Wolves this season. In wins, he is averaging nine points, 10.5 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. In losses, he is averaging 6.8 points, 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

“I just love playing with Ricky, man. Great player,” Brandon Rush said. “Ricky is always trying to make the extra pass and the right play. Things are starting to work out for us.”

Although he did get off to a slow start to the season, Rubio once again looks comfortable orchestrating Minnesota’s offense. And most importantly for the Wolves, he’s feeling healthy once again.

“He’s great. He’s just amazing right now,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “For him to do what he is doing right now is amazing. He’s such a catalyst to our team and such a big part of the team.”

Wolves To Return Home This Weekend

The Wolves take on the Spurs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in San Antonio, which will be aired on Fox Sports North Plus and 830 WCCO, in the second game of a three-game road trip that concludes in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Thursday.

The Wolves will return home this weekend to take on the Denver Nuggets at 6 p.m. Sunday. Minnesota will play 10 of its next 14 games at home leading up to the All-Star Break in the middle of February.

There will be plenty of opportunities to head to Target Center to catch a Wolves game in the coming weeks.

 

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