Happy Monday! What a fun weekend of Cavs basketball with wins over the Raptors and Knicks.
The first sip
The Cavs acquiring Ricky Rubio over the summer was, at the time, could be viewed in two different ways. On one, it seemed like an interesting low-cost move to bring in a veteran creator and provide leadership. On the other hand, it was giving up a serviceable, if flawed, wing in Taurean Prince for Rubio. It wasn’t a lock to be a good move.
Now, though, it’s clear that the former is true. (It also helps that Cedi Osman has had a bounceback season — more on that later in the week.) Rubio was been awesome of the Cavs, providing needed playmaking and providing structure to the offense when it needs it. He’s a guiding force for this team and, even if he’s not the defender he once was or a particularly good shooter, is making them better.
The on/off numbers don’t paint the picture of a massive helpful player — the Cavs, per Cleaning the Glass, are a slight negative with Rubio on the floor and are scoring a mere 100.8 points per 100 possessions. But watching the Cavs in real time makes it clear that Rubio is helping the team. Getting Rubio appears to be a big deal. (And if this holds, I wouldn’t hate keeping Rubio beyond this year, the last year of his current contract.)