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2012-13 Combined Per Game Stats: 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.3 blocks on 39.1 percent shooting
If it wasn't for Ricky Rubio's (22) knee and back, this couplet would be ranked much higher.
In Rubio and Alexey Shved (24), the Minnesota Timberwolves have two serious athletes.
Only last season, we saw that Rubio was capable of directing an entire offense, regardless of who was in it. His court vision is complemented by crafty ball-handling and a quick first step, and once he gets into the paint, he's near unguardable.
Since returning from a torn ACL, Rubio has struggled to find his touch (23.8 percent shooting), but back injury and all, it has been clear that he's on the cusp of turning Minnesota's mediocre offensive attack into a feared entity.
That's where Shved comes in. The rookie has turned plenty of heads in his inaugural campaign. Though he stands at 6'6", his natural position is that of a point guard, and his 4.6 assists per game have given the Timberwolves a significant tactical advantage.
While Shved excels on the ball, his off-ball game has been impressive and only continues to improve. He's a solid three-point shooter (33.3 percent), and his accuracy should only increase once Rubio is given free reign once again.
Shved has also proved to be a solid defender. He's held opposing shooting guards to a PER of 10.9 per 48 minutes when on the court (according to 82games.com), and though he doesn't force a plethora of turnovers, his ability to keep opposing guards outside of the paint is not to be discounted.
Like most young dyads, this one is in the early stages of its development, and there are still kinks to be worked out. But that shouldn't stop us from being impressed by what we've seen—and mesmerized by the potential ceiling this pairing has.