Ricky Rubio has led the Phoenix Suns to many wins this season, however, in the last few weeks, he has found himself in a slump and the team has suffered because of it.
It happens to the best of us, so I’m told. Once you have a kid, your life changes. That seems to be the case with Ricky Rubio, who has found himself in a bit of a slump for the Phoenix Suns after the birth of his first child.
Rubio missed the game against the Atlanta Hawks to be there for the birth of his first-born son; a very understandable excuse for a “DNP – Personal.”
In his first game back, he looked invigorated, nearly posting a triple-double with 25 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds. After that, however, the Spanish Maestro has been playing a much slower ballad.
In his last eight games, Rubio is averaging just 8.5 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds, all significantly off his 12.6/8.6/4.5 season averages.
To be clear before all the sarcasm-naive fathers out there ruin my mentions, I do not really think his procreation has anything to do with this slump. In all likelihood, you can probably point to his lingering sore ankle that caused him to sit out against the Milwaukee Bucks on Super Bowl Sunday as the tangible factor that might be holding him back.
If that is the case, props to him for powering through the pain, but at some point, you have to think if he is healthy enough to play, he is healthy enough to produce the strong numbers fans have seen from him all season long.
As previously pointed out on this site, there is an argument to be made that Ricky Rubio, not Devin Booker, is the true MVP of the Phoenix Suns this year. As Ricky goes, the Suns go. So, while the team still needs Booker to score over 20 every night to have a shot at winning, the team also needs its Spanish Maestro to orchestrate an offense that led the league in assists for much of the year.
Maybe the team is playing frustrated, which has trickled down to Rubio despite his “never too high, never too low” mentality. Maybe the team’s long list of injuries is bringing the whole team down. Maybe Rubio is playing with visions of getting back to cuddling his new baby boy as soon as possible. Again, probably not, but who knows.
If the Phoenix Suns plan to compete for the 8th spot in the playoffs, they will need Rubio to return to being the player he was at the beginning of the year and pull himself out of this current funk.