Nice choice, BallinEurope readers. The Minnesota Timberwolves, selected as BiE’s NBA home team for the 2012-13 season, are early darlings in the big league, managing to get off to a respectable 4-2 start (“Their best start in 11 years!” went the hype after the Wolves’ win over the Indiana Pacers) while Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and at present J.J. Barea are down to injury.
BallinEurope checks in this morning with those fantastic Eurowolves, bullet-style with video and an Official Fearless Prediction™ or two below.
A moment of silence, please, in memory of Ricky Rubio’s 2011-12 season.
After Rubio suffered an injury in Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves fans held their collective breath, and the Human YouTube Highlight Clip got another video added to his virtual collection – one that La Pistola certainly never wanted to see.
Yesterday, the team was forced to announce that Rubio in fact had torn his left ACL, an injury that ends his NBA season with a surprising Timberwolves side who’d gotten as high as no. 8 in the Western Conference. Worse yet for international hoops fans, Rubio will miss the entire 2012 Olympic Games, a bit of blow to Team Spain.
Most observers are amazed at the early success of Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio in the NBA, but at least a couple San Antonio Spurs are claiming to have known this was destined all along.
Tiago Splitter, whose Caja Laboral Baskonia met Rubio’s FC Barcelona many a time since the lad debuted in the ACB at age 14, is quoted over at Spanish-league Tu Basket that he was “amazed at the way [Rubio]’s playing with freedom. In Spain, he was on a team under a lot of pressure to win it all. Here, the coach is giving him the ball in the fourth quarter and he’s playing with confidence. That’s hard to do in the first year.”
Splitter cited Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman as a key factor in Rubio’s early NBA success. As TuBasket points out, with Barcelona, Rubio was bound in Xavi Pascual’s more rigid style and ultimately lost playing time to Victor Sada, who was better equipped to handle the offensive game plan – despite Rubio’s well above-average play in pick-and-roll sets.