A Threatening Jump Shot Automatically Propels Ricky Rubio Into Elite Status

By Ryan Heckman
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio has been spectacular in almost every facet of the game since his return for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He’s dazzled Wolves fans with his phenomenal passes, played suffocating defense every minute he’s been on the floor, and is stealing the ball at an incredible rate as of late. Rubio is coming off of a string of 10 games where he posted a total of 43 steals, the most since Ron Artest posted 44 in 2002. Having the ability to put that kind of streak together while averaging just under 29 minutes per game is quite impressive. Rubio is also averaging just over seven assists per game in what most would label as limited minutes.

The area he continues to struggle is in his shooting. Averaging around nine points on 34% shooting, most would guess he is still looking to get his shot back after coming back from injury. However, this is almost exactly where Rubio hung around last season. In his rookie year, he averaged just under 36% shooting while taking almost two more shots per game.

The scary thing is, Rubio is only 22 years old and has a lot of growing left to do as an NBA player. Many Wolves fans have been clamoring for Rubio to work harder on his jump shot. At times in the Target Center, fans will all let out a subtle moan when Rubio spots up for a jumper. They know all too well that this hasn’t been his strength since entering the league.

You have seen me write that if the Wolves can build a little more offensively around Rubio that his assist numbers would more than likely increase to an even higher number. Yet, what happens when he gets himself a jump shot? I believe if Rubio can learn to shoot the ball more comfortably and at a higher percentage, say around 40 to 43 percent, he will catapult himself into the likes of Chris Paul and a healthy Derrick Rose.

Minnesota fans, your youngster still has a lot of career in front of him. He still has a lot to learn, a lot more mistakes to make and a bit of maturing to do. He is unquestionably the leader of this team and the offense absolutely runs through him. He is one of the best defensive guards in the league. He is coachable. All of these things are true. But, when this kid nails down his jumper, the truest word associated with Ricky Rubio is going to be elite.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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