The Cavs were able to hold off the Hawks thanks to Ricky Rubio.
Ricky Rubio is quickly making a major impact on the Cavs. Can’t dispute that. The Cavaliers downed the Hawks 101-95 in a game that the veteran point guard just took over. Rubio is averaging 16.6 points, 9.3 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal per game over the first three games in Cleveland. He’s shooting 49.4% from the field, 45% from three-point, and 100% from the free-throw line. Sure it’s only three games and the Cavs are only 1-2 but it’s a dazzling effort that isn’t new.
Rubio was playing this exact way in the Olympics. In the Summer Games, Rubio averaged 24.6 minutes per game, while shooting 54.3% from the floor, 47.8% from three-point, and 82.6% from the free-throw line. His final stat line from Japan was 25.5 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game.
He’s already putting up very similar numbers. It has to start translating to wins, however. Already this team looks more cohesive and more energic than last year’s team, and the Cavs have to keep producing at that level if they hope to compete for a playoff spot.
Ricky Rubio leads the way for the Cavs in the 3 Good/3 Bad vs. Hawks
The Bottom Three Performers Were
- Cedi Osman
- Lauri Markkanen
- Isaac Okoro
Issa Okoro and Lauri Markkanen are only on this list because we needed three people. Okoro isn’t playing well offensively but did do well against the Hawks defensively and that did help. For Markkanen, his shot isn’t falling at the moment but he may have arguably been the best defensive player in the second half. Again, gotta put someone on here. Cedi Osman on the other hand earned this honor all on his own. He shot just 1-6 from three-point land and had the worst plus/minus on the night with a -5. Not awful, considering what we’ve seen before, but not great.
The Top Three Performers Were
- Evan Mobley
- Kevin Love
- Ricky Rubio
Kudos to the rookie who really came through. 11 rebounds, four blocks? Heck of an effort. His offense isn’t impressive, but right now it doesn’t need to be. He’s an accessory to the team, not the star, so he’s doing what he needs to do.
Props to Kevin Love, it’s been a long time since we saw him as engaged as he was against the Hawks. He was passing, defending, kicking out rebounds, and making smart plays. He ended the day with 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Love may not be a starter anymore but he may be a guy who can earn some Sixth Man of the Year votes.
Lastly, and getting three points on the night, is Ricky Rubio. He had 23 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. It’s too soon to compare him to Steve Nash and what he did for Phoenix, but if Rubio has finally put it all together and this is who he is, the Cavs should consider offering him a three-year extension. We’re way too early in the year though for that kind of talk, admittedly.
"Yearly Standing:1. Ricky Rubio (5 points)2. Tie: Jarrett Allen/Collin/Sexton/Evan Mobley (3 points apiece)3. Kevin Love (2 points)4. Lauri Markkanen/Cedi Osman (1 point)"