Unfortunately for Rubio, shooting is not all in the wrist

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2013 - 2:21 PM
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Ricky Rubio

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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They say the ability to successfully shoot a basketball all starts with the legs, a matter that is proving problematic for Ricky Rubio.

Shooting never has been the Timberwolves' precocious point guard's selling point, but his results in his first 10 games back from knee surgery are notable even by his standards.

Add Monday's 2-for-3 shooting night in Dallas and Rubio is shooting 22.2 percent from the field (8-for-36) and he hasn't made a three-pointer in eight attempts.

He worked on his shooting touch for many of those nine months away when he could do little other than rehabilitation with that surgically repaired left knee.

"The big thing for him is the legs, and I'm not sure how good his legs feel," Wolves acting head coach Terry Porter said. "I think that's something as you play more minutes, your legs are very important. You don't want to become an arm shooter. You've got to use your legs."

Rubio played a season-high 26 minutes Monday in the second of back-to-back games and said he's ready to play more minutes.

"I have to work my legs because it has been a long time," he said. "If I'm working them, I can feel they are not ready, but it's going to come. ... It's hard when you feel like you are not 100 percent yet. You want to do it. Your mind is doing it, but your legs are not. I just have to keep pushing and it's going to come."

He also will keep working on that shot.

"I've been working a lot the last couple years, and I'm going to keep doing it," Rubio said after Monday's game. "It's hard because the games are on and you need to rest. But I'm going to try to find time to work on my shot."

Porter said patience is the answer.

"All that stuff is going to work itself out," Porter said. "Obviously, that [his 22.2 percent shooting] is something that jumps out at you. I think that's part of the process of him getting back in the game, getting his knee stronger. We haven't had a conversation about his shooting. It's kind of tough to talk about his shooting at this point.

"We just really worry about him getting consistent minutes and see how his body responds when he gets the minutes we need him to get."

Love's surgery 'successful'

Kevin Love underwent surgery Tuesday to repair two broken bones in his right shooting hand, an operation that starts the clock ticking on his estimated eight to 10 week recovery time.

Dr. Michelle Carlson performed it at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York because the doctor Love saw in October when he broke the hand the first time and last week is recovering from knee surgery himself. Love broke the hand again in the third quarter of a Jan. 3 game at Denver.

The team termed the surgery "successful."

Teammate Malcolm Lee underwent knee surgery in New York City on Monday and will have hip surgery there on Wednesday as well.

Write that check, Ricky

Rubio got his first technical foul of the season in Monday's third quarter when the Wolves protested a foul call made right in front of their bench, and Rubio got whistled for protesting too much.

"It was on the bench, but I take it," he said. "OK, they call my name. I take it. It was a clear violation out in front of our bench. We saw it, just something that happened."

The technical will cost Rubio $2,000.

Shved hitting the wall

The Wolves returned home late Monday winless on a four-game trip that ended in Dallas, and starting shooting guard Alexey Shved came home after shooting 28.2 percent (11-for-39) on the trip.

He was 1-for-14 -- 0-7 in San Antonio on Sunday and 1-7 in Dallas -- in the final two games alone.

"He's kind of hit the rookie wall a little bit, a little stretch here where he's really struggled," Porter said. "It seems like he has heavy legs. He played all last summer [with the Russian Olympic team]. He has had a lot of wear and tear regarding the pounding his body is taking. Everybody goes through it. I think he'll be fine. He'll find his way through this little bump in the road.

"He's done other things, too, but for us we need him to score points for us."

Turning point

Shved would have made one more shot Monday if the officials hadn't called him for an offensive foul on what looked like a three-point shot and potential four-point play.

He was called for kicking his leg into an onrushing Mavericks player, a move that New York veteran Jason Kidd has turned into free throws for years. Instead of that potential four-point play that would have cut the Mavericks' lead to seven points, Dallas took the turnover with four minutes left in the third quarter and scored the next five points to take a 16-point lead.

Porter called it the game's turning point.

"I don't know," Shved said about the call. "It happened if he called [it]. I don't like to speak about referees out on the court, you know. He called it, so it happened."

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