Rubio impresses against Team USA, Love expected to be fine after hitting head and more
Kevin Love expected to be fine. USA staff says if the next game wasn't the night after he hit his head, he would have been fine to play.
From Paul Logothetis/AP Sports: Ricky Rubio impresses in Spain loss to US
Ricky Rubio continued to impress despite Spain's 86-85 loss to the United States in a friendly game Sunday.
The teenage point guard scored seven points and had three assists for Spain, and proved to be a key player at the "Magic Box" center down the stretch thanks to impressive dribbling and no-look passes.
While Kevin Durant managed to block Rubio's last-gasp attempt at the close, the Oklahoma City forward came away impressed from his first brush with the 19-year-old.
"He's an amazing defender, that's one thing that stood out to me is how well he pressured the ball and disrupted our offense," said Durant, who led the game with 25 points. "He's flashy, he's crafty as well and the passes he did tonight were kind of amazing."
Watching USA basketball vs Spain, Ricky Rubio is making me a believer. Didn't know he could play that good on both ends of the floor.
From Sid Hartman:
Timberwolves 2009 first-round draft choice Ricky Rubio scored seven points and added three assists for Spain in its 86-85 loss to Team USA on Sunday in Madrid, a warmup contest in preparation for the world championships.
Among people Rubio impressed was Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke coach who is coaching the United States. Coach K said he expects Rubio, 19, to be a great NBA guard as he continues to grow. Krzyzewski's Team USA faced Rubio and Spain in the finals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"He's gotten bigger and he plays outstanding defense, and because he's a pass-first guard, he's going to be liked by everybody who plays with him," Krzyzewski told the Associated Press. "He's improved his shooting and he's not afraid."
From SI.com: FIBA 2010 Players To Watch
Just 19, Ricky Rubio is already regarded as one of the most talented point guards in the world. The flashy Spaniard was drafted fifth by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009, but remains in Europe for myriad reasons. In an exhibition versus Team USA on Aug. 22, Rubio finished with seven points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists in 21 minutes. He helped his national team win a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics and snag a gold medal at the 2009 FIBA European Championship.
After watching Ricky Rubio yesterday, it looks to me as if Kahn, the Minnesota general manager and the man who drafted Rubio, is handling the whole situation exactly right. What’s the hurry in getting Rubio over here?
From Paul Forrester/SI.com: Q&A with 'Wolves big man Love
SI.com: Fair enough. How about their floor plan with all the new players?
Love: A lot of the guys are going to have to figure out different positions, different reads in the triangle offense, which I think coach [Kurt Rambis] is going to try to implement again because that's what he came from with Phil [Jackson]. He may also implement some new offensive schemes as well. It's going to be tough because we kind of blew up the team again, so we're going to have to rebuild that chemistry.
From Donna Ditota/The Post-Standard: Fans wait in long lines to get Wes Johnson's autograph (Video)
THE Perth Wildcats will pit themselves against an all-star Lakeside Lightning team featuring prolific NBA journeyman Anthony Tolliver this week.
Tolliver, a power forward and centre who recently signed a two-year $4.5 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, will be the star attraction for the Lakeside All Stars in three exhibition games against the reigning NBL champions.
30. Minnesota Timberwolves
The more things change: Losing the best player on a 15-win team is no big deal, so bye-bye Al Jefferson. Now, the Wolves' most talented player, though perhaps not their best, is Michael Beasley, who's already had a duffle bag's worth of controversy in his disappointing two-year career. While you hope Beasley can turn it around in Minny, it just doesn't seem like the place to build a problem child into a professional. Elsewhere on the roster, Luke Ridnour replaces Ramon Sessions. Ho-hum. Both are truly backups.
The more they stay the same: The Timberwolves remain, undisputedly, the worst team and franchise in the league. Since Kevin Garnett left for brighter days in Boston three years ago, the Timberwolves have become a joke. They're overstocked at point guard, yet all of them are mediocre, and perhaps the best of the bunch (Ricky Rubio) refuses to play for them, choosing instead to remain in Europe. The one bright spot is Kevin Love, but even he's not bright enough to overcome the darkness covering this club.