Ricky Rubio has been officially shut down for the remainder of the season, Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders told reporters after the team practiced on Saturday.
With only six games left in the regular season, and given the fact that Rubio has missed the last nine games, the news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Coach Flip Saunders said Rubio’s sore left ankle – originally injured in Orlando Nov. 7 – was not responding well enough to treatment and that there was still soreness there.
“He’s just got soreness in that ankle,” Saunders said. “So they want to rest [it], take care of it. There is no use of him playing. We thought, with what we were doing, that he would get relief. And he’s not getting relief. So we want to make sure there is nothing else happening in there.”
Rubio appeared in a total of 22 games this season, averaging 10.3 points per game – right around his career average – and a career-high 8.8 assists per game. But his shot continued to be a problem; Rubio’s shooting percentage (35.6 percent) was a career low.
The shooting is a real concern for Rubio; one could easily go through his shot attempts from this season and compile a “James Harden bad defense” style video that would likely go just as viral.
Hopefully for the Timberwolves (and for Rubio’s NBA career), the injury will turn out to have been the cause of his regression more than anything else.
Minnesota is not tanking this season; Saunders has adamantly said as much. But if he were to employ that strategy, keeping Rubio sidelined the remainder of the season would be the way to go, in order to ensure the lineups remain as anemic as possible.