Rubio eager to see his first NBA action

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 17, 2011 - 10:57 AM
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Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio and Assistant Coach Terry Porter talked at the end of practice at the Target Center.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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More than 15,000 Timberwolves fans presumably are as eager to see their team's preseason opener as rookie Ricky Rubio is to play it on Saturday night at Target Center.

At least the Wolves have distributed that many tickets -- season-ticket holders each were given an extra pair free -- for a game against Milwaukee in which Rubio, No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams and new coach Rick Adelman will make their debut.

"I've been waiting to play with T-wolves long time ago," Rubio said. "Yes, of course, playing here with T-wolves fans is going to be amazing. I hope everybody comes to the game, even if it's a preseason game. I've been thinking about coming here to NBA long time ago because it's my dream and it's going to come true, you know?"

Rubio has played professionally since he was 14. He was asked if he still gets nervous for games.

"Always you have nervous, even if you've been playing for 10 years in the league," he said. "That happens always the first game of the year. The season, it's like long time without playing. You want to play. You feel nervous. You have this feelings, but you have to control it. ...

"I have an idea about NBA, but since I don't play any real game I'm not going to know. Maybe preseason game will give me more ideas of the game, you know? This summer has been crazy with lockout and stuff, but finally we are here and we are coming and we will play soon."

The great unknown

Now that he has seen his new team for eight days of training camp, does Adelman have a starting lineup rattling around in his head?

"Not really, no," he said. "I really don't. The starting lineup is not my biggest concern. It's the lineup that finishes the game that's going to win the game at both ends of the court. That's what we're trying to figure out."

And how long will that take?

"A while," he said. "A while."

Watching Wolves

The Wolves' two preseason games will be televised by FSN, although there's an asterisk for Saturday's game: FSN will carry the Wild game live, so you can either find the Wolves-Bucks on tape delay at midnight there or search for it live at 7 p.m. on an "alternate channel."

If you get DirecTV, that's Ch. 675 (or 675-1 for HD). If you get Dish Network, that's 445 or 9515 (HD). Comcast cable subscribers: 13 or 23 or 694 (HD). Charter cable: 980.

For a complete listing, visit startribune.com/a892. Wednesday's game at Milwaukee will be carried live on FSN at 7 p.m.

Etc.

• Adelman on newcomer J.J. Barea after two practices: "He'll play [Saturday]. He picks things up very quickly. He has been around the block and what we're doing is not a whole lot different. I don't see any reason that he can't. ... He just knows how to play."

• Saturday's game unites Rubio with Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who called Rubio "all hype" in critical comments before the 2009 draft. "I don't want to talk about that," Rubio said when asked about Jennings' comments.

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