As we go through the off-season, in between celebrating hires of Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden and the finally-announced, unanimous Rookie of the Year award for Karl-Anthony Towns, and speculating who the Timberwolves might draft, there isn’t much going on around the NBA.
Oh, that’s right, we’re in the midst of the NBA Playoffs, featuring three powerhouse teams including one of the best match-ups in terms of combined power in NBA history between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rather than following these match-ups passively or, god forbid, ignoring them entirely, I urge you to follow the two remaining series, paying close attention to a few select players who have skill-sets that will remind you of the quality players the Timberwolves have put together and build excitement for what this team can soon become.
The top five assist-men remaining in the NBA playoffs are, in order, Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kyle Lowry — that’s five out of the ten players who received consideration for MVP.
After Goran Dragic was eliminated from the playoffs along with the Miami Heat on Sunday, my lone remaining accurate comparison to Ricky Rubio is no longer remaining.
There are only few players in the league that can do what Rubio can do on the basketball court. He trailed only Chris Paul in assist-to-turnover ratio, was fourth behind Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, and Paul in assists per 48 minutes, and averaged fewer turnovers than anyone else in the top-10 in assists per game.
If you’re holding me hostage and forcing me to choose a player who exhibits similar qualities to Ricky Rubio, watch the way LeBron James gets his teammates involved when he is on the court.
LeBron is a scoring threat unlike most we’ve ever seen in the NBA, but this skill is complemented by his ability to see the court like a floor general.
I’ve advocated in the past for the Cavaliers to have him operate as the point guard – he currently shares ball-handling duties with Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup, but that is another article for another day; the point is, LeBron James has the capacity to run an offense in a similar way that Ricky Rubio is able to.
When you are watching the match-up between the Cavs and the Raps, make sure to pay special attention to the opportunities where LeBron could score the basketball but instead opts to get his teammates involved in the game, increasing the efficiency of the Cavalier offense.
Next: Zach LaVine And A Thunder Star