Ricky Rubio will make his season debut Saturday night when the Timberwolves host the Mavericks, the team announced via official release.
Rubio tore both his ACL and LCL last March, and hasn’t played in a game since.
“I’m excited to get back on the floor with my teammates and play in front of the best fans in the NBA at Target Center,” said Rubio. “After a long recovery, this is the first step in me getting back on the court and helping my teammates. Thank you to the fans for their support over the last nine months.”
It’s been a very up-and-down start to the season for the Timberwolves, mainly due to a rash of injuries. Rubio and Kevin Love weren’t expected to be back by opening night, but the team also saw Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger go down, as well as Malcolm Lee most recently.
Through it all, though, and since Love’s return, the Timberwolves have begun to get back on track, winning three straight and five of their last six. Minnesota is 11-9 on the season.
Dallas will be looking to rebound after losing two straight on the road — a respectable one in overtime in Boston, and then a hard-to-believe 21-point loss in Toronto two days later against one of the league’s worst teams.
Rubio’s return should be exciting to watch; despite all the injuries, Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved will provide depth behind him at the point guard position, and the flair and style with which Rubio plays should make everyone around him better almost immediately.
We’ll see how long it takes for Rubio to get back into game shape and be the player he was before going down with injury. But once he’s at full strength, Minnesota should not only be a fun team to watch, but a dangerous one, as well.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.