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Minnesota’s Rubio not playing Wednesday, likely Saturday

Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, of Spain, works out before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Minneapolis. Rubio, who suffered a torn ACL in a March 9 game, has been cleared to practice. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Ricky Rubio will be back soon for Minnesota. But not tonight.

The team announced that Rubio will not make his season debut against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night, the team announced. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweets that Rubio likely would not make his debut Friday on the first night of a back-to-back, so that Saturday against New Orleans seems a more likely target.

Rubio has been practicing with the team, nearing a return from surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered last March.

Minnesota needs him back. They have been a very good defensive team this season (third best in the NBA in points allowed per possession, via Hoopdata), but their offense is 24th in the NBA by the same measure. The Timberwolves have struggled to get easy baskets — they haven’t fared well in transition, or when guys are getting spot-up opportunities, or cutting off the ball.

All of those things are the kind of problems Rubio’s court vision, passing and flare for the game can help fix.