Ricky Rubio is never afraid to say what's really on his mind and offer sobering critiques when he feels they are needed.
After the Timberwolves lost 135-117 to Portland on Thursday, Rubio pointed the finger largely at himself for not being better through the Wolves' first eight games of the season.
"I have to be better in bringing everybody in the same boat," Rubio said. "That's why I was brought here, to be a leader in that area. Right now I'm lacking on that, and I'm trying to bring everybody in the same boat."
That hasn't been easy since Karl-Anthony Towns has missed the last six games, all losses, because of a dislocated wrist and Josh Okogie has missed five because of a hamstring strain.
Rubio hasn't done what he feels like is enough to help fill the void. He has scored just 11 points over his last four games.
"I look at myself and see what I can do better. I can do a lot of things better, starting with being more consistent with my playmaking," Rubio said. "I know what I can bring to the team, but I know I'm struggling to, as well, so I've got to figure it out."
The night wasn't a total loss for Rubio.
He had 10 assists Thursday, which was a silver lining for the Wolves in an otherwise dreary night. To that end Rubio did say he "felt better" on the floor than he had recently. So far Rubio has had to deal with a lot of changes to his minutes — specifically whether he's starting or coming off the bench — and that has taken some adjustment, he said.
"Got a good stretch of minutes where I can really be myself," Rubio said. "Everything will really come down to who I am, and I believe in my game."
Rubio was again thoughtful and insightful when it came to how the Wolves were playing as a whole, saying that the Wolves need to figure out how to properly run coach Ryan Saunders' systems at both ends of the floor — and with maximum effort — before they can evaluate what is and isn't working.
"There is no time to really call nobody out, it's time to really regroup, watch film, see what we're doing wrong, get on the court, run the right system, get to the right spots and run it," Rubio said. "If we do all this stuff, then we can complain about all the stuff that's not working. Of course [Towns] is a big piece, but he's not here and we have to keep playing."