As Timberwolves fans, like myself, continue to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and watch the 2012 NBA playoffs, the thought of the Timberwolves possibly being in the NBA playoffs still lingers at the back of our head. What if Rubio hadn’t fallen to injury? What if the Wolves had continued to play at the same high intensity even though their rookie sensation point guard was down and out? So many what if’s surrounding Minnesota Timberwolves fans. But trust me, we’re not the only one who’s suffering everytime we think of Ricky Rubio.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Spanish Olympic Basketball Team made it all the way to the Finals where they would face the powerhouse United States of America Olympic Basketball Team. Spain kept the game tight throughout the entire game as the were down only four points with under 3 minutes to play in the 4th quarter. But after a three pointer from Miami’s Dwyane Wade, USA was on their way to another Gold Medal in the Olympics. The 2006 FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball Association) World Champions are currently behind the United States as the #2 ranked team in the FIBA standings. With the 2012 London Olympics beginning in two months and Ricky Rubio still unable to play intense Olympic or even NBA basketball, the Spanish basketball team will certainly suffer a lot. Despite averaging just around 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, the absence of Rubio will highly affect the offensive flow of the Spain.
The United States are once again expected to be the Gold Medalist in the upcoming Olympic games in July and Spain, being the 2nd best Olympic team, is the best team that can dethrone the USA. Rubio played his most minutes going against the United States with 29 minutes. Just like him being a Wolves player, Rubio doesn’t need to score as often mainly because he has teammates to do that. In Minnesota he has the best power forward in the NBA today in Kevin Love. In Spain he has one of the most skilled power forward in Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) and with brother Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) starting to develop into a true big man, Rubio would have had another options to create plays for inside. Pau Gasol led all Olympic basketball players with 19.6 points per game and was just unstoppable on the low block. The Wolves, before having Rubio, really didn’t have a good offensive flow and didn’t make smart plays because they didn’t have that true point guard like Rubio. Result? Two straight years with the worst record in the NBA. I know I might be getting over myself because the Spanish Olympic squad have an abundance of other talents in the guard spot other than Rubio. If Rubio had been able to complete his rookie season healthy, and even possibly help lead the Wolves to the NBA playoffs, he would have gained a lot of knowledge on how to play American basketball. And with that knowledge as a point guard in the NBA, he could have brought it over to the Spanish Olympic team and they could use that in any way to their advantage.
So Minnesota, we’re not alone