After Ricky Rubio suffered a non-contact injury in the waning moments of Tuesday’s contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers feared for the worst.
Rubio’s prognosis was a mystery until Woj broke the news today just after 5 p.m. via Twitter: Rubio tore his ACL and is done for the year.
Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio has suffered a season-ending ACL tear to his left knee, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 29, 2021
In a season where the Cavs —every team, really— can’t seem to go a day without getting punched in the gut, Rubio’s injury might be the most brutal development yet. Rubio’s playmaking mastery has been critical for a team with few players capable of creating off the dribble, and at times he’s been solely responsible for keeping the offense humming. The Cavs wouldn’t be in the playoff hunt without him.
This looks like a major inflection point in the season. With the Cavs now down Rubio and Collin Sexton for the year, Darius Garland becomes the team’s only legit playmaking threat— and Garland just entered the league’s health and safety protocols. The hits just keep on coming.
The Cavs need emergency ball handling, and fast. Whether that comes via trade or an emergency contract for a veteran point guard (Jeff Teague’s name has been thrown around on Twitter), this injury could have ramifications that extend far beyond this season.
Rubio’s final tallies for the season: 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists across 34 games. Somehow, those numbers seem to undersell his impact on the team.
Get well soon, Ricky.