The Timberwolves faced an intellectual as well as physical challenge on Tuesday, facing the savvy San Antonio Spurs. Ricky Rubio continued his awful shooting and lackluster play, and Kris Dunn, his projected replacement, put together one of his best games as a pro.
Rubio made two of his nine shots and finished with four points, six assists, one steal, one block and one ugly turnover in 31 minutes.
Dunn's shot looks the best it has all season. He hit two long jumpers early and wound up with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He had one rebound, two assists and two turnovers.
The eye test was even more conclusive. Rubio continues to look frustrated on the court while Dunn, even at his worst, looks aggressive.
Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau praised Dunn's play of late after the game. That nobody even asked about Rubio indicates where his new baseline standard is.
When the Wolves drafted Dunn, I thought the Wolves would look to trade Rubio during one of the next two offseasons, depending on Dunn's development. Now the best reason for not trading Rubio is that his value may be at an all-time low (when he's healthy.)
What's particularly galling about Rubio is that the Wolves' most obvious need is for veteran leadership. Rubio is the Wolves' longest-tenured active player, and he is not making a difference in any way.
Listen to all of our podcasts at The Minnesota Sports Podcast Network (MNSPN.COM). The Russo-Souhan Show is up and Jon Krawczynski and I will talk Wolves tomorrow. You can subscribe at ITunes or go to the website.
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