Ricky Rubio, Deron Williams

Ricky Rubio was benched in fourth quarter, didn’t like that


Ricky Rubio did not have his best game Wednesday — 2-of-5 shooting, six assists but four turnovers in the Timberwolves loss to the Nets.

So in the fourth quarter acting head coach Terry Porter went with the hot hand — J.J. Barea played the entire fourth and Rubio was benched. Barea had 7 points on 3-of-6 shooting plus had 3 assists in the fourth, but he also had five fouls in the quarter.

Twice in the fourth Rubio got to the scorers table only to be called back by Porter.

After the game, Rubio was pissed and wanted to know why he was benched. From the Pioneer Press:

“I want to know what happened,” Rubio said. “We’re going to talk. ‘TP’ preferred to play the other players who were playing. I don’t know what to say. I don’t like it.”

Porter went with the hot hand theory.

“It wasn’t something Ricky did. It’s tough decisions in regards to personnel at the end of games, based on who’s hot and who’s not hot. We talked about it and decided to go with J.J.”

Rubio has to understand coaches like to go with the hot hand. Sometimes good players sit for the guy who has it going.

But if you’re going to sit him, don’t almost send him in twice. And maybe explain it to him. Still, don’t expect this to boil over into anything more. Just a frustrated competitor who isn’t used to sitting when the game is on the line.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.