Adelman not ready to start Rubio quite yet

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2012 - 11:59 PM

Ricky Rubio put up a shot for two of his 14 points Sunday, this basket against the defense of Dallas’ Jason Kidd.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

OK, it's only four games into this shortened NBA season, but inquiring minds still want to know:

When's Ricky Rubio going to start games rather than just finish them?

"I think that's something that's still down the line," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said before Sunday's game against defending NBA champion Dallas at Target Center.

Rubio's NBA career barely has begun, but the season's opening week already has suggested the Wolves have a different kind of pulse when the ball is in his hands. On Sunday, he delivered a 14-point, seven-assist, four-rebound performance that included five consecutive points scored after the Mavs chopped a 15-point lead to just one.

"We're still evaluating the team, and he's going to have his minutes, he's going to get a chance to play," said Adelman, who played Rubio an average of 28.3 minutes in his first three games. "Those types of things will happen over time. You'll know when it's the right time to do it. Right now, we're just trying to get a win."

Many Wolves fans probably came to that conclusion after opening night, but for now Adelman continues to start Luke Ridnour and brings Rubio and J.J. Barea off the bench.

Asked if he is bringing Rubio along slowly so the rookie doesn't feel too much pressure, Adelman said: "It's one thing I really admire about him: He's got a lot of pressure on him. The expectations are so high for him. It's there all the time. He doesn't seem to buy into that at all. He's just trying to play his game. I don't see him pressing or anything like that.

"Every rookie is going to go through ups and downs in this league, and he's not going to be away from that. He'll have to face that, too, but so far he's done a nice job."

Rubio's fourth-quarter stats in four games: 7-for-10 shooting, 21 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds, a plus-27 in plus-minus rating.

Just in time

Barea tested his healing hamstring before Sunday's game. Then, of course, he declared himself fit to play against the team he helped win the NBA title last season.

"Basically, he's probably the NBA's most effective 5-10 shooting guard," said Dallas' Rick Carlisle, his former coach. "He has proven that over the last three years. He's doing it again here. When you do it in the Finals and you do it on the biggest stage, that's special."

Barea signed a four-year, $19 million guaranteed contract with the Wolves after the Mavericks offered only a one-year deal so they could save salary-cap space for next summer.

"While I'm very happy for him that he got himself a great contract, it's tough seeing him leave and it's going to be tougher playing against him," Carlisle said. "It wasn't just what he provided in terms of his skill and points and all that. He brought real grit and guts to the team."

Barea played less than 17 minutes because it was obvious his strained hamstring isn't healed. He finished with eight points and two assists.

"I've got to be explosive, I've got to be quick to be at my best," he said. "It's not there."

He said he will test it before Monday's game to decide if he can play.

Adelman, when asked before the game if he expected Barea to be "fired up" to play his old mates: "Yeah, he'll probably be, but he's fired up all the time. Even in practice, he gets fired up."


Forward Michael Beasley left the game in the final minute because of a lacerated left index finger -- his shooting hand -- that required five stitches. A pass from Kevin Love jammed his finger and split it open. He said he initially thought he could see the bone.

"According to them," he said, referring to the team's athletic trainers, "I guess it was just flesh and fat."

Asked if he expects to miss Monday's game because of it, Beasley said: "Nah, it's not too bad. It's probably going to keep me from shooting, but it's probably best if I don't shoot right now. Three-for-10 [shooting Sunday] would do that, couple bad games."

Peckovic dresses but sits

Wolves center Nikola Pekovic (groin) was cleared to play after he missed the season's first three games, but did not see action.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question