We are now in Ricky Rubio’s third NBA season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are starting to look like a true playoff threat. With outstanding offensive pieces such as Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, the man who orchestrates everything is the point guard from Spain. However, as good as he is setting up teammates, Minnesota will be unable to turn the corner if defenses are not forced to respect Rubio’s shot.
Many people figured that with a knee injury sidelining him for months, Rubio would be able to focus on retooling his jump shot and become a better player overall. While he is currently a decent low-volume three-point shooter right now, he is still just a 36% shooter from the floor, and a 32.4% shooter from three for his career. Teams are adjusting nicely, constantly going under screens in pick-n-roll situations and simply daring him to shoot. Instead of taking them up on their offer, he dribbles around before opening up a passing lane and setting someone else up.
As good as he is as a passer, he is that bad of a shooter. The most frustrating thing for fantasy basketball fans is that his shots do not even look bad coming out of his hand. It is extremely difficult to watch him clank shots from the outside, but the good news for some is that he does not even attempt them that much at this point in his career.
Teams are getting smarter when defending him, and this lack of shooting touch could really limit his effectiveness. Rubio’s value right now comes from passing, ball handling and defense. However, if Minnesota wants to be truly competitive, they are going to need more than that out of him. He at least needs to develop a jump shot to keep the defense honest.