Ricky Rubio is not walking through that door — at least not Sunday night, and not in uniform.
The Jazz announced Sunday afternoon, just four hours prior to Game 4 against the Houston Rockets that Rubio, who has missed the three previous games with a hamstring injury, would not be available to play.
The 27-year-old point guard was averaging 14 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7 assists in the postseason before exiting early in Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. An initial medical evaluation indicated that Rubio would miss at least a week — even though he has been doing running drills and shooting routines in the public eye this weekend, the initial diagnosis has held up.
The Rockets are ahead of the Jazz 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals series, most recently getting a 113-92 win in Vivint Smart Home Arena that saw the Jazz give up 16 turnovers to just 17 assists.
Utah has ceded many of Rubio’s ball-handling duties to Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles, but coach Quin Snyder has conceded that the team misses Rubio as a playmaker and passer, as well as one of the more reliable perimeter defenders. Dante Exum and Raul Neto have also gotten bumps in playing time since Rubio’s injury.
In happier news for Jazz fans, Derrick Favors, who left Game 3 against the Rockets with an ankle sprain, remains questionable. Tribune sources indicated Saturday that Favors intends to play.