Tag Archives: Ricky Rubio

Quick Hits: 1/30/10

I think I am finally sober enough after drinking myself into unconsciousness after the Vikings again, crapped all over themselves – and all of us who cheer for the Purple.

To tell the truth, I actually thought that there was a chance to win it.  After all the fumbling and self-inflected wounds, I still thought the Vikings had a chance to kick a field goal as time expired.  Oh, tortured souls are we.

Since I don’t want spent too much time rehashing the game, here are my Mini-Hits versions for my points of interest.

  • Based on how the game ended, and ignoring the fact that he signed an extension, I am not sure Brad Childress should keep his job.  To all those you think I am just now piling on – please read some other posts.  I have never held Childress in the highest esteem.
  • The evening was very exciting on Facebook, as 90% of my friends grew-up in Minnesota and North Dakota.  The status updates were amazing.
  • So the NFL came out and said that the hit in the picture on Brett Favre should have been a 15-yard plenty.  Awesome.  So why was it not called?  The ref was right there.
  • The purple started running with some authority in the fourth quarter and then they would call a stupid pass play.  Just run the ball.
  • I thought that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman talked about the Saints defense and their coordinator way too much.  Even though Vikings out gained the Saints.
  • I have watched the Saints several times this year, and I thought they looked very average.
  • Even though the Vikings lost, I think it is safe to say we were the better team.

Vikings Side-Note:  Offensive Linemen Bryant McKinnie was kicked out the NFC All-Pro team.  What the hell?

Super Bowl Prediction

The Saints showed a ton of holes and the Colts defense is better than people think.  add that with Peyton Manning pretty much in the zone, and I see the Colts winning 34 – 17.

The Saints are not going to get away with the boarder-line hits on Manning.  There is no way.

US Soccer Bits

Timberwolves Talk

I follow the NBA and enjoy watching most teams, but they only team that I really have any connection with is the Minnesota T’Wolves.  For the casual fan, this season has probably been very difficult to watch.  And while I have yelled at the TV plenty of times, I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“A light at the end of the tunnel”?  Really?

Yeah.  I will do a full post on the state of the Timberwolves down the road, but this team as plenty of draft picks, will have cap room and have pieces for a competitive team.  Plus the rights to Ricky Rubio.

So I decided to play GM with ESPN’s Trade Machine and came up with this trade that would reshape the T’Wolves.

If you can’t read this picture, the Wolves give up Al Jefferson, Brian Cardinal and Mark Blount’s expiring contracts, and Ramon Sessions to the Phoenix Suns, the Wolves would get Amare Stoudemire, Jared Dudley and Channing Frye from Phoenix and Joe Johnson from Atlanta.  Atlanta would get Leandro Barbosa.  At best, there is a 0.005692% chance of this actually happening.   But let’s play pretend.  After this trade, the Wolves starting line-up would be

  • PG – Flynn
  • SG – Johnson
  • SF – Corey Brewer
  • PF – Amare
  • C – Frye

You would still have Kevin Love, Jared Dudley and others off the bench.  You would give your best player in Jefferson and back-up PG in Ramon Sessions – but Sessions is not your future – and Cardinal and Blount don’t play.  This is a just a dream, but I would love to think that anything can happen with David Kahn.  Like I said, this probably will not happen.  But my point is, THERE ARE OPTIONS!!

I will do a more in-depth look at the Wolves and the possibilities that are available this off-season, suitable free agents and draft picks.

Until then, I will relish the Wolves win over the Clippers!!

Wolves Side-Note:  Has Corey Brewer finally figure it out?  Looks like it.

College Basketball Hits

  • Jay Bilas’ Midseason Awards.
  • The Minnesota Gophers were dominating the MSU Spartans, but then end up losing 65-64.  I still can not figure this team out.  They really have no “go-to player”.  Then again, neither does Purdue.
  • Ohio State took a hit with Evan Turner out after breaking two vertebrae is his lower back.  But since he has returned he is leading the No. 24 Buckeyes in points per game (18.4), rebounds per game (9.9), and assist per game (5.5).  It may take while, but this Buckeye team is not cupcake.
  • UNC has fallen out of the Top-25 for the first time January 2006. Currently the Tarheels record is 13-7 and are 2-3 in the ACC – but there is still time.

Ricky Rubio

Ricky RubioI have stayed away from really discussing Ricky Rubio.  I don’t know why, but I have.  Maybe for me it was a one of those situations that,  if you don’t talk about it, it will take care of itself.  And as of this week, it did not take care of itself….or did it?

Rubio is just eighteen years old.  While he has been playing in Spanish professional league’s, he is still only eighteen and has a lot that he can learn before coming over to the NBA.  If that is what he really wants to do.

With his former team, DKV Joventut, Rubio was making around $70K a year.  Not that much for a board line international phenomenon who showed just what kind of player he can be by holding his own against the US Men’s Team which feature Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Understatement of the day: The Minnesota Timberwolves picked a lot of point guards in June’s draft.

Four in all.

Jonny FlynnAfter making a Rubio the fifth selection, the T’Wolves picked Jonny Flynn at No. 6, Ty Lawson at No. 18 – Lawson was later traded to the Denver Nuggets.  Then finally with No. 45, MN choose Nick Calathes and traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks.  Since then Calathes signed a contract to play in Greece with Panathinaikos.

The only non-point guard the Timberwolves picked was UNC Star Shooting Guard Wayne Ellington at No. 28.

So, the main question everyone would like to pose to new GM David Kahn is this: Why choose Rubio and Flynn is you actually thought Rubio was going to come to the NBA?  And a completely legit follow-up would be:  If Flynn was the player you wanted, why not pick Flynn and Steph Curry or DeMar DeRozan?

Kahn has responded to like question saying that he fully believed that Flynn and Rubio could play int he same back court.  But everyone who knows anything about those two players knows they are almost the same player.  Rubio and Flynn are both pass-first point guards.  Neither one is dominant scorer and is at their best when others players get easy buckets.

That being said, Flynn did average 17.8 point a game in during the 2008-09 season – his last at Syracuse.  Flynn also average 6.7 assist per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.  While last season Rubio averaged 9.8 points per game and 5.8 assists and he has never had a season where he has been a double figure scorer.

One major difference is that Flynn has been the leader of his team the past couple years, while Rubio has not.  But the confidence to lead and the ability to be a leader can come with age and experince.

So after all that, what do you do?  Put yourself in Kahn’s shoes.  The answer is easy.

Start Flynn, Ellington, Love, Jefferson and Corey Brewer and let them grow.  Let them struggle to win.  Let them make their mistakes and let them lose.  And through that they will acquire more lottery picks and then when the time comes to reevaluate “if” the Timberwolves want Rubio, they will.

In two or three years, Rubio will only be 20-21.  And by that time the Timberwolves, if they can keep the pieces of the puzzle together, you have the potential to add an exciting-young player or you could also trade his rights and get a couple other pieces.  Either would be a solid move to cement a team that should have come together and be a playoff contender.

To summarize. I would not have picked Rubio if Flynn is “your guy”.  I would have gone with Flynn and DeRozan or Curry.  But after the fact, Rubio staying in Spain is th ebest option.  It is like a piece of relaestate that will only go up in value. – or something like that.

Yahoo.com Front Page = MN Timberwolves

This is what the front page of Yahoo.com’s NBA page looked like this morning. 

Here is a list of the Timberwolves Connections

  1. The Kevin McHale story
  2. Ricky Rubio Saga 
  3. The offer sheet with Ryan Hollins – good pick-up if the Mav’s don’t match the offer.
  4. Mark Madsen’s issues
  5. Stephen Marbury’s issues
  6. Sheldon Williams getting signed by the Celtics – Actuall 5 or 6 teams could claim a connection to Williams.

The Timberwolves are everywhere on Yahoo.com.

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Quick Hits 7/14/09

So I have taken a couple days off, mostly because I was not moved to write.  But with the shocking news of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo splitting-up, I felt compelled to voice my concerns.

Jessica and Tony

So, you’re saying there is a chance?  No, there is not.

Timberwolves Coaching Search

The rumors out there is that the TWolves are looking at Mark Jackson, Kurt Rambis and Rockets assistant Elston Turner.  I would be OK with Rambis or Turner, but not Jackson.  HE HAS NO HEAD COACHING EXPERINCE!!

Maybe Jackson will have the respect of the players, but still, I am not ready to throw the team Mark Jackson.

NBA Summer LeagueJonny Flynn

The TWolves rookies have been playing well and Jonny Flynn looks legit.  Wayne Ellington is playing well.  Check out the highlights at ESPN.com.

Ellington has scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in two games.  Ellington pulled down 8 rebounds in the first game and then scored 22 points in the second.

In two games Flynn is averaging 11.5 points, 10.5 assists and 6.5 turnovers.  But looks to be able to control a team and get to the basket and finish against bigger players.

I just wish they would trade Rick Rubio.  Say good bye to the Spanish wonder and get some draft picks or young talent.

Blake Griffin had a steller debut. 27 points and 12 rebounds.

I am putting it out there – Rookie of the Year comes down to Griffin, Flynn, Steph Curry at Golden State, James Harden at Oklahoma City and Tyreke Evans at Sacramento.  Girffin may not get as much PT with other bigs in his way. file_23_8

Soccer T-Shirt

I am eagerly awaiting this original Landon Donovan inspired soccer t-shirt I bought at www.objectivo.com.

They have some pretty original shirts.  Check them out.

FIFA Rankings

In the ranking releases on July 1st, Brazil claimed the No. 1 spot after their championship in the Confederations Cup in South America.  Moving up from No. 4

The US moves up two spots to No. 12 while the Spainish team fell to No. 2.

Ranking Team Pts
Jul 09
+/- Ranking
Jun 09
+/- Pts
Jun 09
1 Brazil 1672 4   384
2 Spain 1590 -1   -171
3 Netherlands 1379 -1   -63
4 Italy 1229 0   -63
5 Germany 1207 -2   -171
6 Russia 1161 3   -6
7 England 1135 -1   -90
8 Argentina 1091 -1   -112
9 France 1082 1   15
10 Croatia 1031 -2   -169
11 Greece 1001 6   79
12 USA 983 2   36
13 Switzerland 930 3   -1
14 Serbia 925 6   55
15 Denmark 909 9   73

www.fifa.com

Random Basketball Awesome Fact of the Day

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are a part of what elite group that Carmelo Anthony has the possibility of joining?

If Carmelo wins an NBA title, they will be the only three players since 1979 to win a NCAA, NBA and Olympic Championship – I think.  I am trying to find info to say other wise.

Now prior to the high school revolutiona and the one-and-dones, it was seen more often.  But I am struggling to find others in the last 30 years.

NBA Updates

I had not planned on posting until after the draft, but with all the excitement, speculation and trades, I had to comment. 

Shaq to the Cavs

This is a good trade all around.  The Cavs get a player who people forget had a good year with a team that struggle to utilize him.  He scored 18 points a game and grabbed nine boards. 

For the Suns it gives them cap space, but more importantly, it allows the offense to flow from Steve Nash to Amare Stoudemire and not be forced to dump into the post. 

The Cavsnow have three good big man who are all very different and will add so much depth to this team.  The one thing they still lack is a player who is not LeBron that is a guard, over 6’6″, and can guard, ala Mickael Peitrus. 

Note to Shaq:  This is LeBron’s team and you are a part of it.  Come in, join the laid back vibe, have fun but remember, this is not 2001

Yao

I like Yao and I feel for the Houston Rocket nation.  Yao is an extremely talented player and has been a ambassador for the league and for the Chinese, but he can not stay healthy.

Get well Yao!

TONIGHT

This will be a fun night, I hope the Clippers mess it up and the T’Wolves don’t and do not pick Thabeet.

I hope feel good with any combo of these players after pick 6:  Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Steph Curry, James Harden and Ricky Rubio. 

At the 18th pick:  Sam Young or Eric Maynor.

28th pick:  Derrick Brown or Chase Budinger.

I sure there will be plenty to write about tomorrow.

The Minnesota T’Wolves Make A Trade to Move UP In The Draft

I think I am getting a little teary-eyed about this draft and not because Randy Foye and Mike Miller are no longer Timberwolves.

The T’Wolves have sent Foye and Miller to the Washington Wizards for the No. 5 pick in this years draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila – I left the hyperlink for Oleksiy, because I have no clue who he is or where he came from.  You can check out the full ESPN.com story here.David Kahn: Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager

The trades shows a few positives about the David Kahn regime as GM.

  1. First, we moved up in a draft for the first time I can remember in team history.
  2. He is already more proactive than Keven McHale was, ever.
  3. This is not the last trade.

The Wolves have picks 5, 6, 18 and 28 and the rumors out there are that the Wolves will package either 5 or 6 with the 18 and/or 28 to get to No. 2 and pick Ricky Rubio.  SWEET JESUS.

That means he very well could have a back court of Rubio with Steph Curry, James Harden or Tyreke Evans (who I am actually not as high on as I was three days ago).

I hope this does not mean they will take Hasheem Thabeet (who’s name I am able to spell with out looking), but I do not want him at either 2, 5, or 6.  He is too one dimensional and while I had been up on him after watching for a year, I just don’t think he is a top 10 pick.  He has absolutely no offensive game and is an average rebounder at any height, let alone 7’3″.  DeJuan Blair at 6’7″ average 12.3 rebounds a game to Thabeets 10.8.

Switching topics, here are some other thoughts on some players we may know a little about.

Tyler Hanbrough, UNC – I watched a little bit of the combine and was impressed with the way he looked compared to other bigs in the draft.  He has a great motor and is not afraid of contact, and finishes well after the contact.  I think he will go mid-to-late first round, probably to a playoff contender or the Bobcats.

Sam Young, PITT– Young is an athletic, slasher who is mature enough to handle the transition to the NBA.  At 24, he is the oldest draftee, but that is why he will be a steal for a late first round pick for a team in the Playoffs.

Terrace Williams, Louisville – Many people are thinking he will be a monster in the NBA.  I have heard the Ron Artest comparison, and I am not sure I see that.  I see it on the defensive side, but Williams lacks consistent offense.

Jrue Holiday, UCLA – I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy.  Look at his stats and tell me what about him looks like a top ten pick.  Is it that we did not get to see him much at UCLA or is this draft just that weak?  I understand he plays hard on the defensive end, but there is nothing that makes me want to pick him in the lottery.

Gerald Henderson, Duke – If he is available in the 12-18 range, PICK HIM!  I hope he falls to the Wolves at 18 (if they keep that pick).  I have heard him going to New York or Charlotte.

Earl Clark, Lousiville– Maybe the single biggest question mark in the draft.  He has top three talent, but lacks the consistent effort. If I were a GM and he is still on the board after the top five, I take him.  He is too good to ignore.

Brandon JenningsBrandon Jennings, ItalyI have not seen much of him after the high school all-star games, but I do not like what I have heard.  The word is that he reminds people of Iverson, and I am not a fan of Iverson.  Jennings is quick, picks the flashy over fundamental, and looks to prompt himself.  Sounds like Sebsastian Telfair all over again.  But he could do very well playing for Golden State.

Austin Daye, Gonzaga – I wish he would have stayed in school, seriously!  He is crazy talented, but needs time to develop and muscle.

Chase Budinger, Arizona– Big fan of Mr. Budinger.  He will make a team better the moment he steps on the floor and still has room to grow.  He is a good shooter, and can get of the floor.  But needs to find a steady mid-range jumper.

Derrick Brown, Xavier –  6’9″, 237 lbs, and is a great athlete.  He is my favorite player not being talked about.  He could go anywhere from the 20’s – 30’s, but he is a player that I would pick in the second round in a heart beat – he has top ten talent.

Patrick Mills, St. Marys – No one has fallen faster, but he will make a solid back-up who has unique experience with his national team.  He is smaller for the point in the NBA, but he is steady, very steady.

Danny Green, UNC – He will never be more than a role player, but role players win championships.  Also, there are a lot of picks in this draft who will never be “more than a role player”.  The term is over used and misunderstood.  He players hard on both ends of the court and is a better than average shooter.  He lacks great speed and athleticism which mean he might struggle to guard which was his specialty in college.

Let me clear something up.  The term “role-player” has been used to limit what players do.  Say they are one-dimensional, but a team of role payers, filling the right roles, wins.  The Spurs are a team full of role players.  Even Tim Duncan has a role, it is just more expansive than Bruce Bowen’s.

I could go on for a while that topic, but I won’t.  But speaking of the Spurs – solid transition – I love the Richard Jefferson trade.  For a team that does not play in the world of major trades, it is a move that make them better.

Here is a summary from Chad Ford’s article one ESPN.com:  “Milwaukee Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas on Tuesday.  The Spurs also sent Fabricio Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson who then went to the Bucks.”

I also heard/read that both Bowen and Oberto may be released from their contracts and then sign back with the Spurs.  That is an interesting and freakin’ smart play by Spurs.

DTP 2009 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-6

More than years past, this draft is completely up in the air.  Even the No. 1 pick.  The economy is forcing organizations to make atypical decisions on the the future, meaning lots of trades and out-of-the-box moves.  Griffin is the sure first pick, but even though the Clippers said they would take him, there are no guarantees.

We could set a record for the number of trades and have fewer international picks then in years past.  After Ricky Rubio, there is not another recognizable non-US player – besides Brandon Jennings.  On the ESPN list of the top 20 prospects, you will not see any other foreign born, besides Rubio, in the Top-20.  And finally at No. 30 we see another international player, 6’9″ small forward Omri Casspi from Israel.

So that being said, it will make for an interesting night.  And my Top-6 have at least one surprise.

1. Los Angeles Clippers:  Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Everything about this is pointing to an epic failure.  One, it’s the Clippers.  Two, the choice is too obvious.  Three, they have too many post players with too much money tied to those players.

This is the third time the Clippers have had the first pick of the draft, first in 1998 – Michael “I am a total bust, what the hell is giving the idea I will be good” Olowokandi and ten years earlier in 1988 with Danny Manning.

But Griffin is the obvious choice.  There is no debate.  But two random thoughts.  1.  Will the Clippers make any kind of trade around this pick – i.e. the pick or other players?  2.  Would Griffin have been the No. 1 pick in last years draft?

2. Memphis Grizzlies:  Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

While I picked Thabeet at this pick, Ricky Rubio is a better pick and player, and I am positive the Grizzlies are looking to trade down.

But if they keep the pick, Thabeet does make sense as Mike Conley seems to have the backing of the organization.  Thabeet will give them a shot blocker and a decent rebounder.  But is still very early in his basketball development.  He is 7’3″ and is much more athletic than people give him credit, and be able to get easy buckets on put-backs and in the lane dunks.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder:  James Harden, Arizona State

I have seen Jrue Holiday at this pick who is very similar to Russell Westbrook but I am not sure that you can skip over Rubio at this spot.  Thabeet works here, but I am not sure he will drop down to No. 3.  The major needs are at the PG/SG and C spot but no other center is worth a top-ten pick.

The Thunder must decide if Westbrook is a true point guard, shooting guard or a combo guard.  If they come to the conclusion that Westbrook is the man at point, then they will pick Harden.   If he is a SG/Combo guard, they will pick Rubio.  Both are ready to contribute from day one.

4. Sacramento Kings:  Ricky Rubio, Spain

If Rubio is available at No. 4, new coach Paul Westphal will need smelling salts.  Kevin Martin is the teams best player at the two spot, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes are going to be a solid, yet young, front court, and there is a need at the small forward spot.  But Westpahl can not ignore the fact that Beno Udrih was the starter for the majority of the year, then 36-year-old Bobby Jackson started the last ten games of the season and Will Solomon is your back-up.

Rubio = Instant upgrade.

5. Washington Wizards:  Jordan Hill, Arizona

At No. 5, the Wizards could go anywhere.  They need to draft a highly-qualified doctor to put the team up mid-season when the fall apart.

Hill is high energy and low basketball IQ.  He would help right away, but does not have the up-side that many other picks.  But he is something the Wizards need to win now with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison.

I could see them going with Steph Curry or Jonny Fylnn or trading this pick.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves:  Tyreke Evans, Memphis

The T’Wolves need talent, plain and simple.  Evans is a great fit as someone who can handle the ball, create his own shot, is over 6’4″ tall, and has monster upside.

Minnesota has needs at point guard, shooting guard, and center, but are not going to find a productive center anywhere near this pick. I have seen Curry and DeMar DeRozan at this pick, I like Curry, but not here.  The Wolves will trade the pick unless they can get Thabeet or Rubio.

If they keep this pick, they need to pick Evans.  This team is young and if they can keep the mature and grow through the remainder of Al Jefferson’s contract, this team will be a force.