Eurobasket 2013: Minnesota Timberwolves Should Be Thankful Spain Has Limited Ricky Rubio
The Minnesota Timberwolves had to be looking forward to Eurobasket 2013 as two of their key players for the 2013-2014 NBA season were competing with their respective countries. Both Alexey Shved and Ricky Rubio had the opportunity coming into the tournament to show how they’ve improved over the off-season and what they will bring to the table this season.
Shved looked to have improved a great deal in the Eurobasket setting while playing for Russia, showing up as arguably their best player. Rubio also showed a great deal of promise particularly with his jump shot. Rubio’s jumper hasn’t been great over his career, but he’s shown a great deal of improvement from the mid-range, though his shot from beyond-the-arc still needs work.
However, arguably the most important thing that has happened with Rubio has been the way that Spain has limited his minutes throughout the tournament. Over 10 games, Rubio has averaged only 20.5 minutes per game as Spain has the depth at guard to afford to do so. Moreover, Rubio has seen his minutes decrease even further over his last three games as he has averaged only 16.7 minutes per game over that time.
Though, Rubio is still a young player, him playing limited minutes in a summer tournament is a big plus for the Timberwolves. As the Wolves are finally at full-strength, they don’t want Rubio to exert more than he has to on his surgically repaired knee so that he can come into the season ready to compete for one of the final spots in the postseason. Sure, it would be a ton of fun to watch Rubio at Eurobasket more, but his health for the NBA season with the Wolves should be of chief importance, so this is good to see.
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