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Wolves News 5/7/10: All Eyez On Ricky

The Euroleague Final Four gets underway today in Paris. Ricky’s FC Barcelona team will be taking on annual powerhouse CSKA Moscow on NBATV at noon US-EST. The other matchup pits another Euroleague powerhouse in Greek team Olympiacos against Partizan Belgrade. The Euroleague Final Four uses a single game elimination win or go home format and should make for some good entertainment.
DraftExpress takes a look at the NBA prospects playing in the Final Four
Rubio’s per-game statistics are not all that impressive when viewed from the vantage point of a NBA fan—he plays just 20 minutes per game and has always been more of a distributor than a scorer—but there is little doubt that he’s improved substantially as the starting point guard of arguably the best team in European basketball.

Many would argue that he garnered far better experience playing for championships in the Euroleague and ACB this season than he would have losing 50+ games on a non-competitive team in the NBA.

This Euroleague Final Four likely represents the biggest challenge of Rubio’s young career thus far, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares on this stage. Kahn and Rubio’s NBA agent, Dan Fegan, will be watching him closely–as will every other NBA team in attendance, and his many fans around the globe.

Semifinal #1: CSKA vs. Barcelona (Fri., 12 pm EST)
These two teams met in the semis last year, where CSKA pulled out a 82-78 win. Much like last year, you have a contrast in styles between the two teams–Barca likes to push the pace while CSKA wants a more controlled atmosphere on both ends of the floor. Both teams spread the floor very well and are tough on the defensive end. Should be a great game between two closely matched teams.

Semifinal #2: Olympiacos vs. Partizan (Fri., 3pm EST)
Olympiacos’ season ended in the semis last year, but this year they’re a heavy fave over Partizan. Partizan is the clear underdog in the Final Four field. Partizan has played way above their station all season. Partizan just does not have the depth of the other Final 4 teams. These two teams split in first round play, Partizan winning at home by six and Olympiacos cruising to a 81-60 win at home. Though, Maric was absent with a mid-season injury for the 21-point loss in Greece.
If that isn’t enough info for your liking, Tim Warren at The Washington Post takes on the Final Four as well

Barcelona, on the other hand, has the undisputed rock star of the tournament, floppy-haired point guard Ricky Rubio. Drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves last year, Rubio decided to stay in his native Spain. His precocious playmaking at the 2008 Olympics, when he was only 17, made believers of the NBA stars on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team.

When Mensah-Bonsu, who played briefly alongside Rubio last year in Spain, was asked Thursday if he is ready for the NBA, the response was quick. “Ricky Rubio can play for any team, anywhere,” he said. “He plays way beyond his years.”

 

In other news…

The ‘Toine is going to attempt a comeback and The Star Tribune gives us an update on The Kandi Man

 

Bleacher Report writer Timber Wolf thinks the Wolves need to be selfish this offseason

The Wolves have a legitimate chance(19.9%) of nabbing the number one pick, and if they do, the question is, will they attempt to grab the second pick?

Is it greed? Maybe. Is it smart though? More than likely.

 

kobephotoshop25

In case you missed it, Kobe Bryant participated in this ridiculous photoshoot. Endless amounts of hilarious photoshopped pictures are the result.

 

TWolves Blog Staff

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