Mar. 3, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) smiles after being fouled during the first quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

ESPN Ranks Ricky Rubio #47; Kevin Love Still Unranked

Despite having a shortened rookie season due to not only the NBA lockout, which canceled 16 NBA games, but also his knee injury midway through the NBA season in February, Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio has been ranked by ESPN and the NBA universe as the #47 player in the NBA today. After witnessing how well the Timberwolves play with Rubio on the team to how they play without him, Rubio has definitely deserved an entry into the top 50 NBA players in the NBA today.

In one of the most highly anticipated NBA debut in Minnesota Timberwolves history, Rubio, under his control, didn’t upset. From my personal standpoint he exceeded some expectations but he definitely crushed what I expected from him. I personally expected him to be another point guard bust for the Timberwolves due to his size compared to the other Western Conference guards in the NBA today such as Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and even Ty Lawson. However, even though he isn’t better than some of these NBA guards, he certainly is on track to being on their level after an amazing rookie season.

I didn’t know Rubio could shoot, I’ll be honest with you. And during his rookie campaign Rubio was able to constantly shut my mouth and make me think otherwise. Two games, one against the Heat at home and the Clippers on the road, I remember Rubio hitting a big three pointer where one was where LeBron James was running at him to block the shot (scary right?) and one was when the Wolves were down 3 points with seconds left. Clutch is definitely in his genes as well.

All in all Rubio is the future point guard of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yes power forward Kevin Love is their best player but Love alone will not work. Rubio is the player Love needs to help him take Minnesota to the NBA Playoffs once again.  Last season, Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Aside from my expectations on an offensive standpoint for Rubio last year, I really didn’t believe that he could play defense. Just like former 2-time league MVP Steve Nash, to whom Rubio has been highly compared to now, they’re small point guards who will easily get ran over. However the stats show that Rubio actually plays solid defense by averaging 2.2 steals per game.

#47 is a perfect spot for Rubio at this point mainly because he wasn’t able to play a full season which makes us wonder if he would have been able to keep up the amazing play he had at the beginning of the lockout season. But still, this upcoming season, expect Rubio to enter the Top 30 list … just stay healthy.

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Tags: Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio

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