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Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio faced tight defense from Knicks guard Jeremy Lin last month.

Jim Mone, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wolves complain Rubio targeted

  • March 6, 2012 - 10:15 PM

Opponents seeking to slow down Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio have done so by attempting to bump and muscle him at every turn.

So much so that David Kahn, Wolves president of basketball operations, on Tuesday said the team has sent video to the NBA, seeking to illustrate what it believes are defenders playing Rubio too physically, a tactic that has affected his production recently.

The Wolves sent examples of what they deem are fouls that have gone uncalled against teams that have decided the best way to play the skinny rookie is to overpower him.

"All our young guys are learning that, Ricky especially," coach Rick Adelman said about opposing defenses adjusting to stop his team's offense.

"They're putting bigger guys on him. They're beating the hell out of him right now. The league [other teams] has figured out you have to be physical with him. And he's kind of learning on the fly."

Over his past six games, Rubio has shot 20 percent from the floor (9-for-45) while averaging 5.8 points and 7.3 assists per game. Before that, he was averaging 11.5 points and 8.4 assists, shooting 35.6 percent.

When asked how physical defenders are playing him, Rubio chuckled and said, "Tough enough. I mean, it's close to end of the season, everybody wants to get a spot in the playoff and everybody start to play more physically. We just have to play at the same level or even harder.

"In Europe, we play aggressive, too. But here you have the best players in the world. It's tougher."

JERRY ZGODA AND KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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