Jan 14, 2013; Dallas, Tx, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Dallas won 113-98. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The War On Ricky Christmas

After Ricky Rubio’s non-existent crunch time minutes against Brooklyn, well let’s let Zach Harper over at awolfamongwolves explain…

With about four minutes left in the game and the Wolves down eight points, Ricky Rubio was set to check back into the game. Rubio had only played 24 minutes and was primed to get his final allotted time on the court. Then he was pulled back by Porter and never saw a second of fourth quarter action. The next dead ball was a timeout and that’s when Rubio was pulled back and informed he wouldn’t be checking into the game. As he put on his shooting shirt, he looked visibly upset and mouthed words I can’t repeat on this site.

So the franchise point guard was passed over. Why? Terry Porter explains…

“JJ hit a shot,” Porter said after the game. “He hit a three. At first I was taking him out because I thought he was hurt and then he was fine, he made a shot, and I just rolled with him because he was hot. Made a shot. That was the only difference. Wasn’t anything Ricky did. It’s tough decisions, in regards to personnel at the end of games, who’s hot, who’s not hot. We just talked about it, just decided to go with JJ.”

Uh, alright. False premise explained, again per Harper…

J.J. Barea was “hot” at the time Rubio was available to check back in (2:19 was the next dead ball). Barea had just made a 3-point shot to cut the deficit to five points. Before that, he had made a layup. He had made two straight shots. The problem is there were over three minutes between those shots. To say one shot makes a guy “hot” while shooting the ball seems incredibly generous with the temperature assessment.

Rubio’s reaction…

Was Rubio upset?

“Yeah,” Ricky admitted after the game. “But, it is what it is. TP thought that, I mean, he preferred to play the players that were playing and … I don’t know what to say.”

Is Ricky going to talk to Porter about the decision?

“Yeah,” Rubio confirmed. “I didn’t like it. I think he thinks it was best for the team. I want to know what happened, and we’re gonna talk.”

Rubio doesn’t sound too peeved. But over at punchdrunkwolves, Andy G translates…

He’s pissed off not just because he didn’t get back into the game, but because he’s a savvy professional player that doesn’t like his team throwing away potential wins in the embarrassing fashion that it did tonight.

No matter what the injuries or excuses, the Wolves should at least be held to a professional standard.  The fans travel enough and pay enough to expect it, and tonight fell short.  It sounds like my frustration is shared by the team’s franchise player.  Let’s hope change comes soon.  I don’t mean to pile on Terry Porter, but I don’t have faith in him to lead an NBA team from the sidelines.  He was a great player and he’s probably a fine assistant coach.  But he’s failing here as a head coach.  Rotations are out of whack, and there was not an iota of control displayed tonight when it was needed most.  When the 22-year old point guard can see it and the coach cannot, that’s a problem.

Wolves fans have suffered through the Brandon Roy charade, the knuckle pushups farce of Kevin Love, but messing with Ricky would seem worse than a war on Christmas.

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