I’m hoping that Rubio is a success in the NBA. Partially because I love flashy passing, and partially because he sorta looks like me. For years now I’ve been looking forward to him playing in the NBA. However, I didn’t think he was going to hit the ground running. Last year reports were that he regressed overseas. We knew he could pass, but is that enough to survive in the NBA? I watched the entire game last night thanks to the NBATV free preview, here’s what I saw.
Rubio can pass. He already looks like one of the best passers in the league. He hit players in the right spot, where they could score, and he got the ball in tight and tough spots. As he gets more comfortable with his team he will get even better, and his teammates will get better at expecting the ball. With his passing style, there are teams that will do well against him. There were certain passes that if the defender just got their hands up they would have stolen the ball, but they weren’t expecting the ball to go to the man they were covering. Some teams will prepare for that.
We didn’t see a lot of driving. In fact, I didn’t see him go to the hole at all. If he doesn’t start driving, teams will start playing him tight with little fear of getting burned.
We barely saw him shoot. He was 2-3 from the floor. The only miss was a 3, the other two were jump shots. I expected him to have no shot, so the few that he took and hit were promising. If he wants to be a real threat, he will have to prove that he can shoot more. He was 2-2 from the line.
He grabbed five boards too, that was nice to see. He was in position to grab other boards too.
On defense, he didn’t look spectacular. I didn’t see much. He didn’t make many plays but he didn’t get burned much. His help defense was basically waving one arm near a guy as he backed someone down. He needs to work on that.
He played the most minutes at the point (26:18), Barea played 27:08 mostly at the 2, and Ridnour played 17:51. I’d like to see Rubio starting. When he was in the game, the team played well, they went on runs, players ran the floor because they knew they would get the ball. His +/- was -1, but they were playing a great team in OKC. He brings a lot of energy.
Overall, Rubio was fun to watch and the team seemed glad to have him on the floor and the fans loved him. For the most part, he lived up the the hype we heard, which was all about the passing. I’m excited to see how his game develops. If he wants to be a star, he needs to be more than just a flashy passer. It’s still a ways away, but if develops more of an offensive game, could we see a game similar to Nash in his prime?