How Ricky Rubio Is Thriving With Cavs To Begin Season

Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the more surprising teams in the NBA at the start of the 2021-22 season. They are 9-5 as J.B. Bickerstaff has his team playing some good basketball at the moment.

They are riding a four-game winning streak despite being without Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen, who are both in the health and safety protocols. Point guard Collin Sexton is going to miss an extended period of time with a torn meniscus in his left knee as well.

But, the Cavaliers have to be comfortable knowing they can turn to veteran Ricky Rubio as one of his replacements. The team acquired Rubio in an under-the-radar move from the Minnesota Timberwolves and it is a move that has already paid great dividends.

Rubio was brought in to be a mentor for the young guards in the Cavaliers and help develop their game. He will still be asked to do that, but his playing time and role will certainly expand with Sexton sidelined.

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It is something he is more than capable of handling as he has been a starter for the majority of his time in the NBA, averaging 30.3 minutes per game in his career. This season with the Cavaliers, he has seemingly figured things out with his 3-point shooting.

There was no denying the playmaking and ball-handling skills that Rubio has. They are near-elite level, but teams have been able to disrupt him because he has been an inconsistent shooter. That has not been the case this season with Cleveland, as Rubio is knocking down 37.8 percent of his 3-pointers.

If that continues, he will have success running the Cavaliers’ offense. Just ask the New York Knicks about it, as Ricky Rubio scored a career-high 37 points with eight 3-pointers made. 

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That helped propel the Cavaliers to an impressive win at Madison Square Garden and there should be plenty more throughout the season.

“That’s why we fought to get him here,” Bickerstaff said. “We know what he’s capable of and how good of a player he is.” 

Thus far this season, he has been one of the best Cleveland Cavaliers night in and night out. Who knows where the team would be without him, as he is going to be an even bigger part of the puzzle for as long as Sexton is sidelined.