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.