Your offense is offensive: Rubio, Pekovic among league's worst shooters


One of the knocks on Ricky Rubio when he came from Spain to the NBA was his shooting ability, or lack thereof.

He didn't have range, he wasn't consistent, and he was reluctant when he did get open looks.

Well, not much has changed for the third-year Wolves point guard, who's shooting stats are stomach-wrenching on the young season.

Rubio is 14-of-49 (under 29 percent) from the floor, including an 0-for-7 performance against Cleveland earlier this week.

The 29 percent number qualifies as worst in the league of players that are averaging at least nine shot attempts per game. Rubio does not qualify for the NBA's field goal percentage list at the moment, because he isn't on pace to make 300 field goals this year. Shooting so bad you've been disqualified from shooting stats, ouch.

Had Rubio put up enough makes to qualify in the category, he would also be last on that list by nearly three percent. The man currently bringing up the rear is Chicago Bulls superstar combo guard Derrick Rose, but to be fair, he is still getting adjusted to the game after missing all of last year recovering from a torn ACL.

Rubio doesn't shoot good. You get it, we get it, we're guessing even Ricky gets it, since he continues his reluctancy to fire away.

The more curious case is Wolves center Nikola Pekovic, who is in the first year of a shiny new five-year, $60 million deal he signed this offseason to stay in Minnesota.

Pekovic has never been below 50 percent from the floor in his three years in the NBA, and some believe Pek is struggling to fit in with Kevin Love's return and a revamped Wolves roster that features scorer Kevin Martin and solid role playing small forward Corey Brewer.

Understandably so, with Martin and Love being the Wolves top two scoring options, some shots aren't going to go the way of the Montenegrin big man as they did last year.

But the offensive stats are noticeably bad in areas suggesting Pekovic isn't making the most of the opportunities he is being given. He is turning the ball over 2.6 times a game as opposed to 1.6 last year, his points are down nearly six per game while he is taking just one less shot a contest, his free throw attempts are down almost two per game and his minutes are actually up.

His shooting percentage is the ugliest stat of them all.

A career 53 percent shooter and just two years removed from a season north of 56 percent from the floor, Pekovic is at just 39 percent, awful for a big man and in the bottom 15 among the 131 qualified players in the league.

The only center worse is LA Lakers big man Pau Gasol, who has finished below 50 percent just twice in his 12-year NBA career. Other big names like Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, and historically solid shooters Luol Deng and Tyreke Evans are also below Pekovic, suggesting it is too early to worry about a slow start.

It may be, but it's poor timing for Pek considering expectations are at an all-time high thanks to his big pay day.

For Rubio, with every passing game we inch closer to shooting trend rather than early-career mirage.

If Minnesota is to truly be feared, one or both of the European duo will have to find the right touch from the field.

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