Ricky Rubio is again!
The previous lottery choose scored 9 factors and grabbed three rebounds in the course of the 10 minutes he performed off the bench to assist the Cavaliers beat the Path Blazers 119-113. He additionally received the junkyard canine chain for his efforts in his first sport since struggling a season-ending torn ACL in December 2021.
“It felt good,” Rubio mentioned of his first sport, per ESPN. “It felt bizarre to start with, particularly the primary time, however after that, it felt again to regular. In fact, rhythm and all that stuff will come, however right now was loads of feelings on the market. Working laborious all 12 months simply to be wholesome and grateful to be on the market taking part in basketball once more.”
Ricky Rubio together with his first bucket of the season!
— NBA (@NBA) January 13, 2023
The 32-year-old level guard was a vital a part of Cleveland’s success final season. After he suffered his knee harm, he was traded to Indiana for Caris LeVert, however come again through free company due to the chemistry and camaraderie he noticed in Cleveland. Donovan Mitchell, who performed with Rubio in Utah, was excited to see his teammate again on the courtroom.
“I couldn’t cease smiling,” Mitchell mentioned. “It felt like my rookie 12 months. For me, it’s only a full-circle second, however it’s nice to see him on the market after the ACL. And likewise, hitting two large 3s for us, main the offense.”
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 13, 2023
Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff advised reporters throughout a pre-game scrum that he wished to play Rubio in two stints within the first half. Nonetheless, Rubio performed six minutes, so Bickerstaff performed Rubio for a 3rd stretch within the third quarter. After the sport, Rubio mentioned he felt good bodily as a result of the cardio exercises he did in rehab have been tougher than sport motion.
The Cavs admitted Rubio has been able to play “for a very long time,” however Rubio understood why they held him out. Regardless, Rubio mentioned the method of coming again was “irritating” however he’s blissful to be “taking part in the sport I like,” after 380 days.
“I didn’t work simply to come back again right now,” Rubio mentioned. “I labored laborious to come back again stronger than ever. It’s not nearly right now. I’m wanting ahead to having a powerful season, not only a comeback season.”
Cleveland (27-16) is ready to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on the highway on Saturday.