In a game BallinEurope’s been (half-)awaiting for years, Ricky Rubio debuted for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the team’s opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. Though the Thunder won the game 104-100, Rubio impressed with six points, six assists, five rebounds (!), zero turnovers and his first NBA YouTube-worthy highlights.
NBA dish no. 1 for the Spanish wunderkind will go down as one lightning-quick bounce pass threading a needle past Russell Westbrook and James Harden to find Zach Randolph coming into the lane. Check out Harden’s body language after this bucket; pwned! “He makes it so easy…”
The one going viral since approximately 0.68 seconds after the final buzzer is another deadly bounce pass in transition, with Rubio feeding Derrick Williams amid an unset Thunder D; Williams’ jam in the fourth quarter retook a boomeranging lead for the Timberwolves at 79-78.
Here’s Ricky in the post-game, perhaps most importantly stating that he “feels comfortable” out there. He sure did look it…
Later, Rubio messaged via Facebook: “En MIL ya. Derrota dura contra un gran equipo. Pero tenemos que pensar en mañana. No hay descanso. Gracias a todos por el apoyo.”
As Rubio opined in the above video, the ‘Wolves can’t exactly feel 100% good about a loss (On the other hand, what are you going to do? That’s Kevin Durant’s team…) but keeping it within four? Coming back from a late 10-point deficit? Showing some nice chemistry early? Kevin Love contributing a beastly performance (22 points, 12 boards, five assists) as though it’s March and he hasn’t missed a step? Nice.
It’s too early, the ‘Wolves may be too young and the depth may be a bit thin for BiE to concur just yet, but maybe ‘Wolves basketball is back.