Wolves Wednesday: Defending Ricky Rubio's season


The Timberwolves host the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at Target Center in what will be a nationally televised game on ESPN at 8:30 p.m.

The last time the Wolves met the Suns Ricky Rubio scored a season high 24 points to go along with 10 assists. That was a great scoring night for Rubio, but that's about as much praise as you'll find in this piece.

Rubio has been the center of NBA ripping circles. On a national level, his game is being torn apart by just about everybody.

NBA.com's Steve Aschburner ripped Rubio with statistical evidence.

It’s disappointing enough that Rubio’s offensive game hasn’t grown. What’s worse is that it seems to be regressing. After making a mere 35.9 percent of his field goal attempts in his first two (partial) seasons, Rubio is shooting 34.5 percent in 2013-14. His 3-point accuracy (33.9) is about where it was as a rookie (34.0), after last season’s 29.3. But that means his 2-point prowess (34.7) is in decline.

Statistical data over the last 37 years provides takes like Aschburner's ammunition because Rubio is one of the worst five shooters in the league over that time.

Grantland took aim at Rubio by identifying just how bad he's been around the rim, hitting just 38 percent of his shots at the time the article was published.

1500 ESPN's Phil Mackey makes his case by saying Rubio isn't hindering the Wolves at all.

When Kevin Love and Rubio are on the court together, Love shoots 40% from three, but 36% when Rubio is off the court. Rubio seems to have a particularly huge impact on Kevin Martin. When Martin and Rubio are on the court together, Martin shoots 44% from deep, but only 29% with Rubio off the court.

With Rubio on the court, the Wolves outscore opponents by 8.2 points per 48 minutes. When Rubio is on the bench, the Wolves are outscored by 2.1 points per 48 minutes. That's a 10-point difference per 48 minutes with Rubio on the court (although Rubio generally plays most of his minutes with Love, Martin and Nikola Pekovic, which clearly helps).

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