Suns' Nash among those missing Rubio

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2012 - 12:37 AM

The Phoenix point guard appreciated the Wolves rookie.

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Ricky Rubio

Photo: Jim Mone, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Like just about everybody around the league, Steve Nash remembers being disappointed when Ricky Rubio went down because of a knee injury March 9 against the Lakers.

"It hurt them, obviously, in a number of ways," Nash, in the Twin Cities with the Suns for Monday's game, said. "One, it took away their main playmaker. And two, it hurt their depth. It's not something anyone wants to see happen. And it's a shame for the team. You never want to see that happen to anybody."

Rubio is back in town after an extended stay in Colorado following surgery to repair two ligaments in his left knee. Nash, meanwhile, was in town for a nationally-televised game that would have featured two of the best pass-first point guards in the game.

Instead, Rubio is watching while Nash, in his 16th season, is played as well as ever. He is shooting 54 percent overall -- the best of his career -- and is at 40.7 percent on three-pointers. He is looking to become just the third player in NBA history (John Stockton, Chris Mullen) to shoot better than 54 percent overall and 40 percent on threes in the same season.

But, still, Nash is known for his ability to find shots for his teammates, which also is Rubio's strength.

"I was very disappointed for Ricky," Nash said. "He was having a very good rookie year, and he was an exciting player for our league, so it's a shame. But he's young. He'll recover well, and he'll be back this time next year and nobody will remember what happened."

In the time Rubio played, he already had started to make an impression around the league, Nash said.

"He gets a ton of respect for his ability, and what he brings to the game, and rightfully so," he said. "I think people around the country -- and around the world -- are excited for what he brings to the game."

Beasley's woes

It's been a difficult season for Michael Beasley. He has dealt with an injured finger on his shooting hand and a sprained foot. Most recently, it has been a sprained big toe that has either kept him out of the lineup (19 times) or limited his effectiveness.

"Given everything that has happened to me this season -- broken foot, broken finger, jammed toe, limited minutes -- it's definitely been my most frustrating year ever. But you learn from it and move on."

Against New Orleans last Saturday, Beasley appeared to turn a corner somewhat. He played 30-plus minutes, his most since Feb. 20, and scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Coach Rick Adelman said he considered moving Beasley into the starting lineup. But, with all the injuries the team has suffered, Adelman didn't want to put all his scoring eggs in one basket.

"He's the one guy we have right now who can come off the bench and we know we can go to him," Adelman said.

Beasley said the toe is about 90 percent, but probably won't get better than that until after the season ends.

Etc.

• Luke Ridnour (sprained ankle) missed his third game. Adelman said he doesn't think Ridnour will be ready until Saturday's game against Oklahoma City. "That's maybe wishful thinking, too," Adelman said.

• Adelman doesn't expect center Darko Milicic to play again this season.

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