Two nights prior, Rubio played the finest fourth quarter of his career in a win over the Nets. He was all smiles, save for his reaction to a Pekovic quote.
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 6, 2014
“We’re gonna forget this win.”
If only injuries were as easy to forget.
With just over 2 minutes to play in the first half, Rubio fell over after awkwardly stepping on the toes of Orlando Magic forward Willie Green while driving into the lane. Rubio’s ankle had turned a full 90 degrees.
Rubio spent about a minute lying on the court, curled up into a ball. Writhing in pain and unable to put any weight on the left side of his lower body, Ronny Turiaf and head trainer Gregg Farnam eventually helped assist him to the locker room. Rubio’s x-ray proved negative for a fracture or break, and he was given crutches and heavily taped before leaving Amway Arena.
Likely to miss extended time, the Wolves will have to adjust to life without Rubio, and fast. The Wolves play again tomorrow in Miami. After that contest, they will face Houston (Mexico City), New Orleans and Dallas before being able to return home.
As for tonight, the Wolves appeared out of sync, especially after Rubio went down. Throughout the game, Wolves players missed baskets that are normally automatic, and failed to connect on passes that seemed routine.
Even still, they were able to hang with the lowly Magic, and had several chances to put the game away. In the final two minutes with the Magic unable to hit shots and the Wolves up by two, there were several chances to increase the lead to two possessions, but failed to do so.
A Brewer foul on Vucevic with 11.9 to play ended the scoring drought for both teams, as Vucevic sunk both shots and sent the game to overtime. Overtime was a bloodbath in favor of the Magic, as it appeared the Wolves were spent both emotionally and physically. Notes:
- Gorgui Dieng finished with his first double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Gorgui showcased a somewhat newfound arsenal of moves, including a Dirk-esque fadeaway and a skyhook.
- The battle of Montenegrins was a draw. Both Pekovic and Vucevic knocked down six shots and ended the game with similar numbers. Both hit open jumpers and took turns sparring at one another in the post.
- Zach LaVine got his first major burn of the season, playing eight minutes. His development will have to be sped up, as he is the de facto backup point guard in Rubio’s absence. LaVine stayed within himself tonight, and was surprisingly solid on the defensive end, swatting the ball away from Elfrid Payton and staying in front of his man (for the most part).
- Corey Brewer had his best game of the season. He achieved his 16 points, 5 assists and 3 steals with a combination of saavy cutting, smart defense and a reckless disregard for his own safety. Corey obviously won’t score 16 points every night, but he’ll be an integral part of the second unit if he can play with controlled chaos.
- Sans Rubio, Mo Williams played the role of distributor. His shot was off, but he kept the Wolves in the game with seven assists and a monster block with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
Take it from Ricky, everything is going to be alright.
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 8, 2014