Friday, March 9, 2012

STOB's Rubio Watch: Rookie Comparison with Russell Westbrook

Totally different styles, but not so different numbers?
Has Rubio hit the rookie wall?  Or is Rubio always going shoot under 20% every night for the rest of year like he has 4 out of the last 6 games?  His scoring and shooting has fallen off of late, but so has creating for others.  Rubio in the first 25 games of the season had double digit assists in 13 of the 25 games, since only 1 double digit assist game in the last 15.  Even though Rubio isn't putting up some of the more impressive numbers he was earlier this year, he is still making a lot of little plays and with those plays the Wolves are winning.  The Pups sit at 21-19 and in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, primed for a run at the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  Let's take a look at how Rubio's numbers compare to Russell Westbrook's numbers through 40 games of each of their rookie campaigns in the first STOB Rubio Watch comparison in over a month!  


Ricky Rubio Through 40 Games -

TotalsShootingPer Game

Current PER - 14.9 (down 2.5 since last RW on 2/7/12)

Look past the gross field goal percentage and there is nothing to be ashamed of here for Rubio.  Unfortunately everything has really fallen off lately.  Looking at his splits from each month of this season you can really see the fall off and if the Wolves are going to continue to be successful they will need Rubio to turn this around:


March so far is Rubio's worst month to date, albeit with only four games completed.  Though the numbers put up in March are reflecting what Wolves fans have seen over the past few weeks, not just the last four games.  Rubio is obviously, as stated before, going to have to work on his jump shot.  More than that though, Rubio will need to work on finishing around the basket.  Too often he goes in and throws up an odd, off balance, across the  body, fading, ugly thing that is more a prayer that he gets fouled than a shot, shot.  He needs to also learn to use his body to eliminate shot blockers and get lay ups, up, instead of swatted.  Luckily JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour know something about these issues and should be great teachers this off season for young Ricky.

Russell Westbrook rookie year through 40 games -

TotalsShootingPer Game

Entire rookie year PER - 15.2

Russell wasn't much for giving up the ball even in his rookie year, only averaging 4.9 assists.  Obviously Rubio gets the edge in passing, but more surprising is that Rubio hangs close at all with Westbrook in scoring and even though he isn't as super athletic or strong, is in a dead heat in rebounding.  Not saying Rubio will ever be as explosive scoring wise as Westbrook, as they are totally different athletes.  Yet, Rubio will obviously improve his finishing and shooting, and with that his scoring numbers should drastically improve from these rookie numbers.

Here are Russell's numbers by the month to compare the NBA season's grind on the rookies:


Nothing too telling here, other than in March, Westbook's numbers also falling off in scoring as well in his rookie year.  February through March Russell's shooting percentages fell off the map as well.  Throw in the condensed season due to the lockout and Rubio's slump, he is currently in, is very understandable.  

Even with the slump, Rubio is still comparing well to a NBA superstar in Russell Westbook.  You hope his play picks back up some, but I think we now are seeing what we should expect to see from Rubio for the rest of his rookie campaign.  As Rubio plateaus it seems Derrick Williams' season  is starting to take off.  Look for a Derrick Williams rookie watch on STOB soon and check out his comparison with Kevin Love if you haven't already and if you have...look at it again for shats and giggles.

Thanks, as always, to for providing the stats in this post.

1 comment :

  1. [...] didn’t I do a Rubio/Parker rookie comparison?  I did many others, but Parker would’ve made a lot of sense to compare.  There are a lot of similarities with [...]