Ricky Rubio: Legitimate Scoring Threat for Minnesota Timberwolves?
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio’s terrible shooting percentage has kept him from being mentioned among the league’s top point guards. Many expected Rubio’s shooting to improve after recovering from an ACL tear, as he really couldn’t practice much else while injured. Rubio still managed to make just 36 percent of his field goals last year after coming back to play in 57 games. So far this year he’s converting shots at the same 36 percent rate, but he has surprised by actually shooting threes fairly well.
Rubio has converted 41.4 percent of his threes this season. He is attempting just 1.7 threes per game, so it’s not enough to really make an impact, and saying that his three point shot has truly improved would be premature with this small sample size. Rubio does get a decent amount of open looks outside. Mostly because his poor shooting is infamous, defenders tend to sag off Rubio on the perimeter. This has been constant throughout his career, though, and doesn’t account for his increased percentage this year.
If Rubio is able to hit open looks this season, it should help space the floor and add even more scoring to a team that already has a high-powered offense. Rubio is the fourth scoring option right now, behind Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic — and that’s how it should be. Rubio will never score more than those players, (well, maybe Pekovic) and he doesn’t need to. Rubio has shot and scored less this year, but the Wolves offense has been more effective. Still, if he can convert shots at even an average rate, it will be a huge help for the Wolves.
That Rubio has been able to convert his open looks, bodes well for his shooting as the season progresses. His low overall field goal percentage is due largely to taking contested shots late in the shot clock and not finishing at the rim. While being a better finisher would help his game out enormously, being a better perimeter shooter would help the team more.