Ricky Rubio has been something of a highlight factory lately, and he churned out another sweet lob from his alley-oop assembly line in Sunday's 97-95 win against the New Orleans Hornets.
A nanosecond after crossing half court, the Minnesota Timberwolves' flashy distributor saw Chris Johnson streaking down the left side of the floor. Without hesitating, the Spaniard flipped a nifty pass about 40 feet to Johnson, throwing in a mini "hurdler" leg kick for style points.
The play comes as another welcome sight in Rubio's recovery from last season's torn ACL. According to his teammates, he's starting to look like himself again.
Kirilenko with the quote of the night on Rubio (16 pts, 7-11 FG, 6 A): "He's getting back to his previous Ricky-ness." #TWolves.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) March 18, 2013
Rubio finished with 16 points and six assists, but his value to the Wolves going forward is evident in the improved play of Derrick Williams (who had 28 points), as well as the fact that people outside Minnesota now know a person named Chris Johnson plays professional basketball.
Though the somewhat anonymous Johnson finished with just two points, his lone bucket was pretty spectacular. Maybe he should retire now, you know, while he's on top.
The play itself may be the beginning of a new nickname for Rubio, which would be fine. But I'm still mighty partial to "Spanish Fly," myself.
RUBIOOP!— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) March 18, 2013
And while it's easy to get carried away when Rubio does things like this, remember, it's always good to try to keep your composure. Still, that doesn't mean you have to sell the highlight short with the understatement of the year.
Ricky Rubio is a decent passer. sbnation.com/2013/3/17/4117…— SBNation NBA (@SBNationNBA) March 18, 2013
On a team going nowhere, Rubio's near-nightly jaw-droppers sure make the journey seem more fun than it should be.