Ricky Rubio will have a strong 2015-16 season


Enough is enough.

Ricky Rubio has had enough. He’s endured too many injuries since he began his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and hopefully this latest ankle/foot injury that he sidelined him for 60 games this past season is the last serious injury Rubio will have to deal with.

In Rubio’s brief season, he made a tremendous impact on the Timberwolves. For starters, Rubio was able to manage a +/- rating of -0.5 this season (via nba.com/stats), although his team’s record was 7-15 in the 22 games that Rubio played in. His main statistics won’t blow anyone away, as he averaged just over 10 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game and 8.8 assists per game. However, his positive impact on this team was seen clearly by anybody who watched any of his 22 games played.

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Rubio was able to get a little bit of experience this season playing with all of the young talents on this team. With this experience next season, he’ll be able to gel much more quickly with guys like Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Shabazz Muhammad.

In his season review of Rubio, my fellow co-editor Ben Beecken addressed a couple of factors regarding Rubio’s play. The first factor is the jump shooting from Rubio, which has been a hot topic of debate in his game. The numbers don’t favor Rubio, as he finished the season shooting only 35% from the field. Furthermore, his shot chart from the season isn’t particularly pretty.

However, believe it or not, these numbers are improved from past seasons. He’s been continuously working with the shooting coaches on the Wolves staff trying to get a smoother jump shot in his arsenal.

The other issue that Ben covered in his player review is Rubio’s shooting percentage at the rim, which as shown above is just 31.7%. While this is an area for concern, this doesn’t seem like a trend that will continue too strongly next season. While Rubio isn’t by any means a strong finisher at the rim, these numbers were simply the result of a poor sample size and he should get back up to around 50% from around the rim next season.

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  • Additonally, both of these numbers fail to illustrate the way the offense seems to flow better with Rubio at the helm. There’s absolutely a clear difference when Rubio is running the show, as everybody is more aware because each player never knows when he may get a pass from Rubio. His court vision is uncanny and he’s able to spark an offense with a couple of flashy passes that lead to buckets just like that. We saw that a little bit this season in his shortened season, and when he gets a full season with a completely healthy and talented Timberwolves team, Rubio could be a serious threat.

    Lastly, Rubio’s attitude about the whole process seems to be positive. He seems to understand the process of recovering from the injuries and seems to be willing to be patient. His Twitter feed shows some of that positive and patient attitude.

    I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve got a feeling Rubio will bounce back in a big way next season for the Timberwolves. If the incredible talent around him can stay healthy and can all gel together with him, Rubio could be in for a career year next season.

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