Finding a consistent level of production has been a career-long struggle for Ricky Rubio. Of course, that’s been true of the Jazz, as a team, this season.
For both Rubio and the team, there have been moments of looking like it’s all coming together, followed by times of perplexing disappointment.
The point guard, though, is playing well again, and perhaps not coincidentally, so too are the Jazz. They have won three of their past four games. And while Rubio started off that stretch with a rough 0-for-9 effort in Brooklyn, he’s been extremely productive in his last three.
In that span, he’s averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from deep.
“I’ve felt pretty good all along. Of course, we’re up and down, but I feel pretty good, pretty confident,” Rubio said at Wednesday’s practice at the Zions Bank Basketball Campus. “And the wins are coming now, so I feel even better.”
This recent hot stretch, which includes Tuesday’s 34-point win over the Spurs, got the Jazz to 12-13 on the season.
While everyone hopes it proves to be the turning point for a thus-far underwhelming season, Rubio has the additional desire for it to perhaps stem the flood of criticism about the team’s early-season performance.
On the one hand, he’s not about to concede that high expectations got to the team (“No. That is who we are. We got to the Western Conference [semifinals] last year.”); but also said he and his teammates aren’t in need of constant reminders of what their ceiling is.
“We don’t have to listen to outside noise — we know who we are, and we’re really good,” Rubio said. “… We got struggles? Yeah, we did. But we’re trying to play the right way, and eventually it will come. It’s gets a little [tiring] hearing, ‘Oh, you’re not starting the way you’re supposed to.’ Nobody tells us how we’ve got to be — it’s up to us to raise the level. There is nobody else more hard on us than ourselves.”
He acknowledges that the road-heavy early schedule “had an impact.” And with Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets up next on Thursday night, he added that he’ll be matched up against “one of the best in the league,” adding, “We gotta get ready for that.”
All that said, he remains confident about what he and the Jazz can do.
“We’re getting better every month. That’s what we do” he said. “… We trust what we’re doing, and we trust the work that we put in. We don’t listen to any of the noise that’s outside, if we’re doing good or bad. We evaluate ourselves, in that room, in the film, in the locker room. We don’t need nobody to tell us how we’re doing.”
Ricky Rubio’s last 3 games