Ricky Rubio was benched in the fourth quarter in the Timberwolves’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Nets would go on to win that game, 91-83.
Rubio is not a happy camper about this.
“I want to know what happened,” Rubio said. “We’re going to talk. ‘TP’ preferred to play the other players who were playing. I don’t know what to say. I don’t like it.”
Acting T-Wolves head coach Terry Porter had this to say.
“It wasn’t something Ricky did. It’s tough decisions in regards to personnel at the end of games, based on who’s hot and who’s not hot. We talked about it and decided to go with J.J.”
Ricky Rubio ended up with five points and six assists, shooting only 2-5 and turning the ball over four times. J.J. Barea had 11 points and eight assists. So that’s all fine and dandy. Barea had the better game. And there will be times when coaches sit stars in the fourth quarter in favor of the player with the hot hand.
The problem was that Porter sent Rubio to the scorer’s table twice in the fourth quarter. The first time was when Barea got into foul trouble with 4:22 left in the game and the Nets leading, 82-74. Instead, Rubio was called back and Luke Ridnour went in for Mickael Gelabale. Then Barea got hurt a few moments later.
Rubio was sent to the scorer’s table once again. However, Barea waved it off, mentioning that he was okay, then proceeded to hit a three-pointer to cut the lead down to 82-77. Rubio was summoned off the scorer’s table and, of course, sat out the rest of the game.
I get Porter’s decision. But you probably shouldn’t send someone to the scorer’s table twice like that. That would mess with someone’s ego. I hope Porter communicates this better next time or else we may have a problem in our hands.
Rubio has become more vocal recently, saying that injuries shouldn’t be an excuse for the Timberwolves’ losing. Of course, if they lose half their roster (especially their upper tier players), they would have trouble winning games.
Rubio has averaged 4.2 points and 5.0 assists in 14 games thus far this season.