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RandBall: As Rubio goes, so go the Wolves

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • November 21, 2013 - 9:37 AM

Ricky Rubio played Chris Paul pretty well for most of Wednesday night's game at Target Center -- the first Wolves game we have seen in person this year. Then Paul took over down the stretch and the Clippers held off the Wolves 102-98.

Rubio will never be Paul. Not many point guards can dish the ball, control the tempo and create their own shots when they need to quite like Paul. Even though Rubio has shot better from three-point range so far this season (9 for 21, better than 40 percent), there is still an uneasy feeling every time he takes a jumper. You could sense it last night as he lined up a big three ... and airballed it.

What we're starting to worry about just a little is this: in free-flowing games, Rubio is great. He can dish, he can get to the basket and do all the wonderful things he does. Even in tight games, he still has good patience and vision while also being active on defense ... but his value diminishes because he simply can't create his own shot in the way Paul and other point guards can.

In Wolves victories this season, Rubio is averaging a double-double (10.3 points, 10.3 assists). In losses, however, he is averaging just 5.2 points and 7 assists.

Five of the Wolves' six losses have been by four points or fewer. Four of the Wolves' seven wins have been by 18 points or more.

Maybe they'll find a way to win more of those close ones against decent-to-good teams as the season goes along. Or perhaps the nature of this team, and its point guard, is a lot of blowout wins and close losses.

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