Ricky Rubio's recovery reaches attack mode for Timberwolves

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2013 - 6:29 AM

The Wolves point guard is feeling confident, and it shows in his recent stats, especially free-throw totals.

hide

Ricky Rubio wore his aggression on his face when he took on the Warriors on Sunday. That was Rubio’s second game in a row with at least 10 points and five each of assists, rebounds and steals.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, ALL

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Ricky Rubio is done talking about his knee, how it feels, how close he is to 100 percent.

"I don't want to think about the knee anymore," he said Monday.

So he'll have to let his play do the talking. And, recently, Rubio's game has taken such a step it's hard not to think that he has come all the way back from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. As Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said, Rubio is playing with confidence. And that confidence has translated into a much more aggressive game.

Over the past five games Rubio has 23 steals, second-most in a five-game stretch in franchise history. And while this is more because of instinct than his newly-aggressive nature, it is an indication of how confident he feels in his knee. Rubio is averaging 2.1 steals per game, third in the league behind Chris Paul (2.5) and Mike Conley (2.2).

Perhaps a better indication of how good Rubio is feeling is his ability to get to the free-throw line.

In his rookie season Rubio never got to the free-throw line 10 times in one game. This season he's done it in three of his past four games. That has allowed Rubio to score consistently even with his shot still inconsistent. The fact that he is able to get to the basket and get to the line even with teams sagging off him is a testament to the quickness Rubio has regained, as is his 15.1-point average over his past seven games.

"It is a sign of his aggressiveness," Adelman said. "He is picking and choosing the right time, when he has a chance to get [to the basket] and get bumped. He is going to get to the line."

Said Rubio: "It's just that we have to be more aggressive. We have to attack more, get to the line. And, maybe, last year, I was a rookie, and they didn't call those fouls. But because we don't have Kevin [Love], who had like 20 attempts a game, we have to get those free throws."

By any measure Rubio's game has ramped up. After not scoring in double figures in his first 19 games back, he has done so in eight of his past nine, including seven straight. He has nine or more assists in seven of nine games and he has even rebounded well of late. Sunday Rubio had his second consecutive game with at least 10 points and five assists, rebounds and steals, becoming the third player in Wolves history to do that and the first since Terrell Brandon in 2001.

But the Wolves struggles have continued even as Rubio has returned to form, which has frustrated him.

"I was talking to my dad [Sunday] night," Rubio said. "And I was like, 'I never lost so many games in a season.' I lost more games in the last month than all my life, I think. I'm not going to get used to it, and I'm never going to get used to it.''

Notes

• Forward Chase Budinger was cleared to start on-court running and agility drills in a Monday check-up in Florida with Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon who performed the operation on Budinger's left knee Nov. 13. Budinger will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks. If all goes well then he would return to practice.

• Derrick Williams took teammates Rubio, Greg Stiemsma and J.J. Barea with him to the opening of his clothing store in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday night. Tucson is the home of the University of Arizona, where Williams played. It is about an hour's drive from Phoenix, the site of the Wolves' game Tuesday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close