Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio is behind Derrick Rose in his recovery


Ricky Rubio tore his ACL in March. Derrick Rose tore his in April. Both players are point guards who their teams desperately need back on the floor, both face an excruciating journey back to the court. It’s not a race between the two, as the two teams aren’t in the same division, the two aren’t in direct competition for anything, and the two teams aren’t fighting for the same things. But it is notable that, via the Chicago Tribune, Rose is ahead of Rubio’s recovery schedule.

“It’s a tough injury,” Rubio said. “You are like six, eight, nine months without playing your favorite sport. Sometimes it’s just playing basketball where you forget about everything and just enjoy it. I just wish him a healthy recovery.”

Like Rose, Rubio has yet to start cutting. Unlike Rose, who started shooting jumpers weeks ago, Rubio is just progressing from set shots.

“Nobody had the same injury,” Rubio said. “I mean, a little more meniscus or two ligaments or just one. Every player is different. Every recovery is different.”

via Ricky Rubio: Ricky Rubio commiserates with Derrick Rose – chicagotribune.com.

It’s nice that Rubio has so much empathy for Rose and that they can talk about what they’re going through.

It’s not a huge warning sign or even necessarily a warning sign that Rose is ahead of Rubio despite being a month behind chronologically. The body heals differently, and if it takes longer for Rubio, it takes longer. The focus is on his career, not this season, and Rubio’s still expected to be back in December, along with Kevin Love when his hand heals. It should be noted that Rubio’s expected back before Rose. If that doesn’t make sense, then consider Rubio’s statement above. His jump from jumpshots to playing time is likely shorter than it is for Rose. Rose isn’t expected back until after the first of the year.

But if you’re factoring in conditioning time to get back up to speed and the curve for getting back to 85 or 90 percent once he’s back playing regularly, might want to pump the brakes a bit. And if not, at least give Rose props for his work to get this far.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.