Posted by: Kingsguru21 | March 22, 2009

Chronicling Ricky Rubio

I’m taking the chance to watch Ricky Rubio in the DKG Joventut game vs Tau Cerimaca. Tau’s best known player is Tiago Splitter, who was drafted 28th overall in 2007. How well Rubio does Tau could mean something in his decision to leave DKG and declare for the 2009 NBA Draft. Hopefully he does something interesting. Here goes….

1st qtr: Decent Defense from the 8 min to about 7:40 mark. He eventually strips the ball. He also is playing off the ball offensively as well.

Beautiful layup at about the 6:14 mark. He changes direction well, and is comfortable making routine passes with his left or right hand. He is, for the lack of a better word, ambidexterous.

Bad play about the 5:20 mark. He trys to force the action and ends up putting up a bad shot that Tau ends up taking the other way for the two.

Rubio comes out about the 4:20 mark of the 1st qtr.

While Rubio is not in the game, here is a link to the Tau website. Here is the link to the DKJ Joventut page as well.

At about the 1:40 mark Rubio got blocked. No biggie. That’ll happen in the L too.

Rubio drives in too deep and tries to make a wraparound pass that goes off him out of bounds to Tau. I’m not quite sure how the rules differ in Europe on that, but it seems to me, if nothing else that Tau is getting the ball back because it was off Rubio. (He was standing out of bounds. And he did try to get out of the way.)

2nd Qtr

Coby Karl just drew a charge. It was about 7:20 mark in the 2nd qtr.

Btw, DKG is down by 14, and has been down for the entire game.

Ricky Rubio has just come back in the game. Currently DKG is down 18, 35-17. Should be interesting to see what happens from here on out. 5:20 was left on the game clock in the 2nd qtr.

Rubio catches the ball in the lane (would be outside of the lane in the US), and passes it back out to the 3 pt line for a DKG guy to make and take an uncontested 3 pointer. (Sorry, I don’t know the names. No way for me to really know.)

Note: The Coaches speak in Spanish & English. This is great also because you can hear what’s going on in the huddle. (I would love to watch games in Europe and live in Spain. Seriously.)

Rubio seems to be an active and engaged defender. He’s aware of what’s going on around him, and even though he’s sometimes over aggressive, particularly offensively from what I’ve seen, he’s also got a vastly inferior team too.

Rubio tries a crossover at the 59 sec mark, and has the ball nearly stolen.

End of the 1st half

Halftime Notes: The Halftime in Europe is just as stupid as it is in the US. Thank God for that. I woulda been pissed if the Spanish League had a better halftime show than the NBA did.

Minuto y Resultado
minuto 18 TAU CERÁMICA 38-22 DKV JOVENTUT

TAU CERÁMICA DKV JOVENTUT

Nombre del jugador Pts Rb Fp Val Nombre del jugador Pts Rb Fp Val
*05 PRIGIONI, PABLO 8 2 1 12 *04 RIBAS, PAU 6 0 0 6
06 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 5 1 1 10 *09 RUBIO, RICKY 6 1 1 2
*08 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 10 1 0 4 10 BOGDANOVIC, L. 4 2 0 5
09 VIDAL, SERGI 2 1 0 7 11 KARL, COBY 0 1 1 -1
11 ESLAVA, ARIEL 0 0 0 0 *13 JASAITIS, S. 2 2 2 1
12 TELETOVIC, M. 3 0 0 2 14 JAGLA, J. 5 0 1 1
*19 SAN EMETERIO 0 4 2 2 *16 HDEZ-SONSECA,E. 0 2 1 2
*21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 11 6 1 15 18 LAVIÑA, FERRAN 0 0 0 0
33 MICKEAL, PETE 6 3 0 9 19 TOMÀS, PERE 0 0 0 0
42 BARAC, STANKO 0 0 0 0 *22 MOISO, JEROME 2 3 1 5
*45 MCDONALD, W. 4 3 2 2 99 MALLET, DEMOND 2 1 1 -2

TOTALES 49 21 7 63 TOTALES 27 13 7 19

This is the boxscore. Pts & Reb’s are pretty well noted. I think Fp is maybe assists, but I’m not quite sure. I think Value is +/-, but again, I’m not quite sure. It’s not surprising to me that Splitter is the best player on the floor, and as such, his “value” that. Great thanks to KingsFanfromCentralEurope , a commenter from Sactown Royalty (also known as StR), for helping me find this particular box score. I would have not done it myself.

Rubio’s #’s are self explanatory as his name is the same in English and Spanish. 6 pts 2 boards and I think 1 assist. A value of 2. I don’t know exactly what the values of those columns mean exactly, so again, it’s a bit difficult for me to interpret. I’ll try, though, to get some answers.

For some reason, and I don’t blame the Spanish league for this, but they love the Queen song “We Will Rock You”. Me too. (Well, and Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle, and much of their whole catalog.)

Start of 3rd qtr

For whatever its’ worth, DKJ is now down 49-27, and that was the score at the half. Whoops, down 51-27 now.

Also, Rubio is not in to start the quarter either.

DKJ is now down 53-28. Much of this lead came without Rubio on the court, even though DKJ was down double digits when Rubio came off the court to begin with.

A 3 pointer was just made. 53-31 score now. Now it’s 55-31. These Euro’s! They score so quickly!

Tau is up 67-37. Rubio still hasn’t entered the game. I wonder if the game is in such bad shape the coach doesn’t want to use him up? Oh well. Bad game to watch of Rubio’s I suppose.

Tau is now up 72-37. They call this a premier ass whoopin.

It’s now 77-39 Tau, with 52 secs left to go in the 3rd qtr. I hope Rubio comes back in the game, but to be honest, I don’t see it happening.

2 straight baskets for DKV, and the score is now 77-43. Onto the 4th, which I doubt I will get treated to Ricky!

For some reason, Evanessence’s & Linkin Park’s “Wake me up Inside” is being played. I’m not going to judge. For years, ZZ Top’s “La Grange” was played @ Arco.

4th qtr

It’s 81-46 after a DKJ 3 pointer.

I’m going to cut this off here. Rubio’s game was cut short as Tau just blew the shit out of DKV all game long. The margin was far less with Rubio in the game, but the game was essentially lost without Rubio on the court in the 2nd qtr. By the time he came back in, it was long gone.

Rubio’s strengths and weaknesses are all there. He gets antsy and tries to make plays at 19 years old. I think that feeds into another potential problem with his athleticism on getting shots off inside. His length and activity defensively could greatly help him in the NBA. His ability to read the game is tremendous as well. He was playing on an inferior team playing awfully for the most part. He didn’t have the greatest game, but he really was the onlyl reason to watch that game.

Read this if you want the boxscore. It won’t tell you much I suspect, but it’s all I got. So 3 things I found interesting. Earlier today, I mentioned a pick & roll that JT & Beno ran. Rubio & JT would be a great pick & roll combo. (I think Hawes & Rubio would also be great too in time.) If Cisco is suddenly spotting up on the perimeter, and if Martin is a backup option in this, it changes the total dynamic of this team offensively. This is yet another reason I have pushed Rubio. It isn’t just the fact that he’s a PG, or the Kings have a big hole there when Beno isn’t playing well. It’s more than that really: It’s just that Rubio’s natural abilities and personality fits in so well with the overall dynamic and need this Kings team has. I just don’t see that with Blake Griffin.

Rubio has history with an athletic shooter. That athletic shooter is Rudy Fernandez. They did well in the Spanish league together, and I suspect, helping each other raise their level’s at play when it mattered most. Kevin needs that. Rubio needs that talented SG next to him to really succeed. The Kings do have that.

Last observation: Rubio is a work in progress. He will be not be successful right away. He will show flashes, and at times, not be able to play the part from an observational standpoint. Don’t let it fool you. Taking Rubio is a matter of building toward the future. PG’s have a history of taking time to develop, and taking a young 19 year old kid from Spain whose talent and exposure will be coming at a fundamentally new level, will just take time for him to figure it out. If he figures it out very quickly, ala Chris Paul, then, umm, there will be no question he will have more impact than Blake Griffin. Because as good as Griffin is, and make no mistake, Griffin is very very very good, the problem with the scenario’s of Ricky Rubio is that how do you measure impact? How do you measure it for a team that’s mediocre and has less to play for down the stretch of the season?

I didn’t learn anything about Ricky Rubio watching this game. I learned a little about European basketball though. And it was interesting enough that I’m going to try and watch more games. Because, and I know there will be a lot of people who would disagree, is that it’s far more compelling basketball from a playing standpoint. The NCAA tournament is raw emotion, and young men (and women if you watch that tournament) going hard at one another for 40 mins. The European game is not your best 6 7 or 8 guys playing. It’s all 12 or 14 on the roster who will play. Which is unusual, to me, but it’s a different style of game over there.

The style of play is worth understanding and embracing as the game is has changingchanged and becoming become more global. At the very least, recognition will have to be made amongst the common American fan that it’s more likely that professional players in Spain or Italy are likely to be a higher caliber of players (some of whom are American and former NBA/NCAA players themselves) than the one’s playing in NCAA. The tournament measures one thing; the European leagues are a professional league that isn’t quite the NBA. Learning to not compare the two will take time, but eventually, it will happen. What’s the real shock, and not to the intelligent fan, is that the increase in talent in the European leagues has helped decrease the talent gap at the NBA level providing a valuable pipeline for talent and development. Even though the NBA over expanded from 22 teams in 1987 to 30 today (the last expansion team being the Charlotte Bobcats who came into existence with the Hornets leaving to New Orleans), the NBA, if it keeps the teams at 30, will eventually see it’s talent level rise simply because there are more opportunities for more players. If you love NBA basketball, and I do, then you should want to see Ricky Rubio in a NBA uniform. And because I’m a Kings fan, I want to see Ricky Rubio in a Kings uniform. (Also, it would be like Jason Williams redux, and that can’t be a bad thing right? Except with the bald head and the white boy knuckles tattoo. That was too over the top.)

But, ignore the J-Will thing for a moment. Think Pete Maravich with a competent franchise. Tell me the Spanish Pete Maravich couldn’t keep basketball in Sacramento forever. Maravich saved basketball in Atlanta, and he saved basketball in Baton Rouge (LSU). I don’t think Rubio will be the total savior that Maravich was, but his profile is something that the Kings need. Besides being Ricky Martin as a basketball player; he can really play too. This isn’t just about basketball. It’s about the chance to be part of something far more intriguing and daring that anything imagined in NBA history. Can you dig it? Can you dream? Or does jumping on the Blake Griffin express because it’s easy convenient and right there just the way to go for you? It’s your choice, America. It’s your choice.

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