EIn the closing seconds of his game against the Suns, Ricky Rubio was strangely failed. First he missed a triple with the score at 112-115 with 14 seconds remaining. With six remaining, he scored only one of his two free throws. And with four seconds left and 115-118, he missed the first of another pair of free throws. The second he had no choice but to throw him to fail in search of a comeback itch. An improper mistake for the Cavaliers point guard, who averages 84.4% from the personnel line in his career and 89.7% this season, his personal best.
Those mistakes prompted a resounding reflection from Sports Illustrated reporter Chris Herring: “A version of Rubio with a consistent shot would have made him one of the greatest players of all time. I don’t even think that’s a moot opinion.” Boom!
Between criticism and praise, Herring left a sentence that makes one wonder if that was the case. Shooting was always one of the aspects to improve for Ricky, but his toe crises were left behind. Ral López’s help has been essential for him to improve his percentages and for some time he has become a threat to his rivals. He is currently averaging 15.1 points, his NBA record, with 37.1% on 3s and 89.7% on free throws, which are also his best marks.
Results of the day
- Cavaliers 115-120 Suns
- Pacers 116-124 Lakers (prrroga)
- Magic 99-106 Hornets
- Celtics 104-123 Nets
- Rockets 118-113 Bulls
- Grizzlies 113-126 Raptors
- Bucks 114-93 Pistons
- Timberwolves 113-101 Heat
- Pelicans 127-102 Wizards
- Thunder 104-110 Jazz
- Spurs 106-124 Hawks
- Warriors 116-96 Sixers
- Kings 125-121 Blazers
It is impossible to know where Ricky would be if he had been more successful going to the basket, although scoring never mattered much to him. It has always been more of making play. The rest had it all: defense, knowledge of the game, skill, speed … With that pack he has maintained 11 seasons in the NBA at a high level and improving it in recent years has become MVP of a World Cup won for the Spanish team and top scorer of the Olympic Games. Nothing bad.
The Rockets won and that’s news because they’ve only done it once so far this season. With the victory over the Bulls, they managed to close a bleed of 15 consecutive losses and avoided going into history because, if they went 1-17, they would have signed, tied with many other teams, the third worst start ever after 18 games. They are now 2-16, which is also depressing, but they’ve had some oxygen.
And they did so when their coach Stephen Silas was rightly beginning to be questioned. It was a collective response, with eight players going past 10 points. Danuel House Jr. was the leading scorer with 18 points, all in the second half after playing nothing in the first. Christian Wood had 16 with 10 rebounds and six assists. For the Bulls, Zach LaVine’s 28 points, Lonzo Ball’s 19 and DeMar DeRozan’s 17 could not avoid the skid.