First of all, you can’t deny his ability to make passes and make plays for his teammates. Last season when he returned from a torn ACL that he suffered in his rookie season, he averaged 7.3 assists in just 29.7 minutes per game and posted a 34.3 assist ratio, the fifth best among starting point guards in the league.
Secondly, it’s hard to deny Rubio’s impact as a perimeter defender. Not only did he average 2.4 steals per game last season, but his length, quickness and high basketball IQ allow him to effectively defend most point guards in the league. In fact, he was worth 2.6 defensive win shares last season, one of only 11 point guards in the league last season to have above 2.5 defensive win shares.
However, the knock that everyone rightfully has on Rubio is his ability as a scorer. Over his 98 career games played, he has shot only 35.9 percent from the floor and just 31.7 percent from three, good for true shooting percentages of only 47.6 and 48.2 percent, respectively.
The biggest issue with Rubio as a scorer is how inconsistent and ineffective his jumper has been over his young career. Not only does that hurt him in terms of not being able to knock down shots regularly, but it also allows defenses to play off of him, which limits his ability to drive and finish at the rim or even create for his teammates at times.
However, as Rubio plays with Spain at Eurobasket 2013, his jump shot, particularly from the mid-range, has shown a great deal of improvement. Through four games he has shot 41.9 percent from the floor and 2-4 from three. More importantly than his percentages, though, Rubio seems to be getting more arc on his shot and is more balanced in his shooting motion, two things that have not consistently been there in his first two NBA seasons.
Rubio doesn’t need to be a dead-eye shooter to be an effective point guard in the NBA. However, having a reliable jumper is a weapon that would really expand the things he’s able to bring to the Timberwolves in the upcoming season and in the future. If his shooting at Eurobasket continues and continues to improve as we get into this season, expect a noticeable improvement in Rubio’s game and overall performance.
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