The Ricky watch ended Saturday night at Target Center and the impact was felt immediately. Rubio played 18 minutes, scored eight points, dished nine assists and swiped three steals. It was exactly the shot in the arm that the team needed. When he entered the game, the Wolves were down 10 points to the Mavs, when he exited in the second quarter, his team had cut the deficit to two after outscoring Dallas 19-11.
I wasn't able to get to Target Center Saturday night as I was making the trek home from Duluth after watching Anders Broman score his 4,000th + career high school point(s). I did listen intently on the radio as I drove the 180 miles back. To say the hairs on my arm stood at attention when Rubio headed to the scorers table would be an understatement. There is no cheering on media row but there were plenty in the 2005 Dodge Caravan as Ricky entered the game for the first time.
He didn't disappoint either as he changed the game. Not bad for the first game back and there will be plenty more of that to come.
The Next 20:
I stated in an earlier blog that I felt the Wolves needed to go 12-8 in their first 20 games. They finished 11-9 with all the injuries known and unknown when the season started, that feat was very good.
The next 20 won't be as easy. 11 of the 20 are on the road where the Wolves are 5-6. They also face 11 opponents with better records than them. The Wolves currently hold the sixth spot in the Western Conference.
The Wolves travel to Florida for a quick back-to-back against Orlando and the defending NBA champion Heat. Rubio will play Monday against the Magic, but not Tuesday against Miami. It will be the norm for the near future for Rubio to play in only one of back-to-back games.
Love Cold Shooting:
Since returning from his broken hand, Love has struggled to find his shooting touch. Of his 11 games since returning, he has made ten or fewer field goals in all but two games. He is shooting 65-for-187 from the field, a 35 percent clip.