Ricky Rubio Makes Magic Again; Washington Is Embarrassing Themselves Right Now

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio, Dime #43

The Wizards are SO depressing to watch, and it’s not even because they can’t win a game. No one seems to care. JaVale McGee gets stripped in the lane and stands there looking all depressed like someone just jacked his all-black matte truck as the action takes off past him. Nick Young only seems to be into it when he’s scoring. The crowd seems like they’re listening to an opera instead of watching a basketball game. It’s not hard to figure out why this team is struggling. Damn Washington, you might suck but you should at least be exciting to watch. They took an uppercut to the chin from the best 3-5 team in the NBA yesterday, losing by 21 to the Wolves. We feel terrible for John Wall (10 points). The T-Wolves run and move the ball for easy buckets on one end, then on the other end the Wizards just stand around and whichever jacker is dominating the ball just throws up a shot. It’s terrible. Andray Blatche, Nick Young and Jordan Crawford are all playing poisonously right now. Wall already looks like he just went through a day of on-the-job training with Alonzo Harris. Rashard Lewis also reportedly “decided he didn’t want to play” yesterday after getting into an argument with Wizards’ assistant coach Sam Cassell. Lewis was listed as being out with a sore knee, but apparently that’s not true. Things can’t get much more dysfunctional for Washington, and we could be approaching a tipping point if players aren’t listening to Flip Saunders and the team’s highest-paid player, a veteran, is squabbling with an assistant coach and giving himself a DNP. Stay tuned for the fallout … It’s starting to drive us insane that Rubio isn’t the starter yet. Ridnour does a decent job, but as soon as Rubio comes in, the entire game changes. He racked up 13 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. He still played 30 minutes (to Ridnour’s 31), so it’s not like he’s not getting minutes. But they’re so clearly better with him as the guy, it must be making Minnesota fans berserk. Not sure why they now feel the need to ease him along this slowly. Start ’em and let Rubio and Love (20 points, 16 rebounds) build towards great things … Jan Vesely made his pro debut in the first quarter and proceeded to air ball his first free throw (the second one just barely hit the front of the rim). No girlfriend smooches for him last night … We wonder who wants to shoot more: everyone on the Wizards, or everyone on the Kings? Marcus Thornton was probably hyped when Tyreke Evans went out with an ankle injury because it meant more shots. Evans eventually came back in to score 28 points, but Sacramento still lost by seven to the Magic. Amazing, because Dwight Howard (five points, four rebounds) didn’t have a single point or rebound in the first half. Read that again. In Howard’s first eight minutes on the court, he already had four fouls. He was bad, but Jameer Nelson was probably even worse. He’s never looked so lifeless. No aggressiveness at all… just skipping the ball around the perimeter. If Sacramento wasn’t so busy fighting each other for shots, they could’ve won this one … Our vote for the NBA’s worst soccer mom is definitely going to Ryan Anderson‘s (19 points, 11 rebounds) mother. Supposedly, she loves taping games just to rewind and sometimes watch her son’s buckets four-plus times. Then yesterday, they showed the Anderson crew on the JumboTron after an Anderson bucket, and sure enough the Mrs. was taking a picture of the big screen … Bill Walton was calling the game. Here are some of his gems: He said Big Baby (20 points, eight rebounds) could be like Charles Barkley if he lost a little weight, and also said J.J. Redick wasn’t a “speed merchant” … OKC blew out San Antonio 108-96 in a game that was over by the second half of the third quarter. Kevin Durant had one of his better all-around games, dropping 21/10/7 in a cool 28 minutes. For the Spurs, if Gary Neal leads you in scoring (18 points), that’s probably not a good thing … If you had any questions about the Thunder’s togetherness, every time the rook Reggie Jackson (playing because Eric Maynor is done for the year) did something good, the entire Thunder bench jumped up faster than House of Pain Keep reading to hear about the Lakers’ big win over the Grizzlies …

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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

The Lakers must’ve been too busy checking out Rihanna courtside to notice they were turning it over at a nearly record-setting pace (27 turnovers) in their 90-82 win over Memphis. The fact that Kobe (26 points, nine dimes), Gasol (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Bynum (15 points, 15 rebounds) still won probably tells you more about the Grizz than anything else. All of the good vibes from last season are gone, and Memphis is right back to where they were prior to the second half of last year: a bunch of okay players with no purpose or centering belief. The return of Z-Bo can’t happen soon enough … The Lakers led by 13 near the end of the third, but by the nine minute mark of the fourth, that lead was down to four. Too many stupid threes and a bunch of bench guys banging Js for Memphis brought the Grizzlies back to life in a hurry. L.A. got it in line long enough to survive with Bryant playing one of his better playmaking games in a while, and the seven footer tag team completely dominating on the glass. We’ve been saying this for the past year or so, but even with the nice win last night, the Lakers can’t seem to finish off close games anymore. A lot of that has to do with Kobe losing a step. The rest of it may be just age. But already four times this year, L.A. has given up huge late-game runs (And for a while it looked like it was gonna happen again last night) … Rudy Gay (19 points) had a sick follow-up slam in the third quarter where he dunked it so hard, we thought he might’ve popped his shoulder back out again. On the very next possession, Kobe blew by him for one of his patented baseline reverse jams like we’re in 2005 (Didn’t we just say he’s lost a step?) … When we chilled with Steve Nash last week, we had to ask him what some of our readers were wondering: Should he be shooting more often on this team? He told us he has the green light to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Coming from Nash, that’s not even a stab at Alvin Gentry. It just is what it is in Phoenix. Last night, Nash nearly set a record for assists in a half, and had 17 dimes by the end of the third of the Suns’ 109-93 win over Milwaukee. We guess he’s not ready to start chucking just yet … And does Kyrie Irving (21 points) pass the eye test? Considering we’ve already watched Cleveland more than we did all of last year, we’d say yes. He had one double crossover on Kurt Thomas in the third quarter where he went around Thomas as if Crazy Eyes was an old man. Wait … Cleveland caught some hate for picking Tristan Thompson so high this summer. But he’s been balling this year and had a crazy end-to-end sequence once he checked in last night. On defense, he spiked back Nicolas Batum‘s shot at the rim, then ran the floor, got an offensive rebound and smashed … The Cavs hung around on Portland for a while. But eventually, the Blazers stepped it up and ran away with the game, 98-78 behind LaMarcus Aldridge and his 28 points … We’re out like Ike Taylor.

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