Welcome to the NBA, Ricky Rubio.
And welcome to having good players again, Minnesota Timberwolves.
When you have a good player like Rubio, other teams will target him and do what they can to knock him off his game. Literally, if they can. Other teams are finding that when Rubio has space he picks them apart so they are trying to take that space away from him and be physical with the thin rookie.
And the Timberwolves think it has gotten out of hand, reports Jerry Zgoda at the Star-Tribune.
Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said the team has sent video to the NBA, seeking to call attention to what Kahn and the team’s coaches believe are opponents being overly physical with rookie guard Ricky Rubio….
“All our young guys are learning that, Ricky especially,” coach Rick Adelman said about opposing defenses adjusting to stop the Wolves’ offense. “They’re putting bigger guys on him…They’re beating the hell out of him right now. The league has figured out you have to be physical with him. And he’s kind of learning on the fly.’’
Ricky Rubio and Blake Griffin can form their own “hey, stop being mean to us” club.
Look, this is the game in the NBA — other teams have found what they think is the best way to stop Rubio and the rookie isn’t getting a lot of borderline calls. There’s not a lot of sympathy here. In the NBA other teams will adjust to you and your weaknesses, what matters is how you adjust back. It’s like a young baseball pitcher called up from the minor leagues — he might have some early success, but once teams get a look at his stuff hitters will adjust. Then it is on him to make the next adjustment to keep hitters off balance.
Rubio, it’s your move.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.
This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).
However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.
Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).
I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.
It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.
Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”
This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.
Both men got technicals and were ejected.