The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, bringing the team’s record to 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Timberwolves have grown to count on Kevin Love for his usual 20 point and 10 rebound games, but one new factor has emerged in the games since Michael Beasley went down with an injury. Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour might just be the perfect compliment to one another in Timberwolves backcourt. Ridnour is having one of the best seasons of his career, and Rubio is possibly on his way to superstar status all the while looking to pick up the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. It has been long written about the Timberwolves need for a play-making shooting guard and center with a pulse (sorry Darko). But maybe the Timberwolves should pause before making a trade for rumored shooting guard targets like O.J. Mayo, Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin, and the blond-mulleted Craig Ehlo (rumored to be making a comeback). The reason would be the on-court chemistryof Rubio and Ridnour.
Let’s examine some notes on the duo:
- Monday night against the Kings was one of Ridnour’s best of the season. He went for 25 points and 9 assists. Rubio didn’t have his best shooting night, but still almost had a triple-double with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. This is proof of Rubio’s value, as he doesn’t have to score to make a big impact. In fact, several of Ridnour’s three-pointers came when Rubio made the smart pass to find him across the court.
- Ridnour, as any Milkman would, is shooting a career-best 53% from the field, and much of this is due to Rubio taking the pressure off him to make plays for others. Ridnour can simply find his open spots and wait for Rubio to hit him (as he always will).
- Ridnour and Rubio have read “Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Facial Hair” together on road trips.
The bottom line is the classic shooter and passer combo is thriving in Minnesota. With J.J. Barea set to return on Wednesday, we can only hope the unselfish play pays off for the guard rotation. Barea is second on the team in forced shot attempts and he’s hopefully been paying attention to the playing style of the R & R brothers.
The Timberwolves host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night at Target Center. I will be in attendence with a local AAU coach. We plan on observing the Luke-Ricky high-five count, Anthony Tolliver’s pencil thin mustache, the quality of brats at Target Center, the quality of Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko’s “frosted tips”, and Timberwolves assistant coach Jack Sikma’s pregame reverse lay-up ritual.