The Phoenix Suns are hurting themselves BAD by not helping Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns Ricky Rubio (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Ricky Rubio (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Strategic Resting

Obviously, just sitting Rubio kills all chances of the Phoenix Suns winning many more games this season (they are 2-6 in games he has missed and 0-2 in games where he has played in less than 20 minutes), and with the franchise desperate to show growth from this year over last, they want to be able to point at the highest win-total possible.

However, with the playoffs all but a pipe dream at this point already (and the fact that James Jones did nothing to actually bolster his team’s chances of making a late run with a deal at the deadline), the only thing the players are really playing for at this point…is pride.

Again, the franchise would certainly like to point to a better regular season record as a sign that the franchise has made an improvement. However, in the end, the long-term outlook must still be paid attention to – and with more care than whatever the short term value in pride might be.

While advocating his full on being shut down now is ludicrous, Monty Williams could receive a mandate to play to win as often as possible and continuing to play Rubio, to a point.

By to a point,  I mean – until a certain date (or loss total) that can be used as an artificial deadline for benching Rubio to give him an extended rest before the work he has to put in this summer.

For instance: March 14th (at Dallas) is the last game before the last calendar month of games this season (with the regular season finale on April 15). There are 12 more games between now and the 14th of March, and then 16 games in that final month before the year mercifully ends.

While 16 games and one month aren’t a lot in the grand scheme of things in Rubio’s health, that period of time would be the approximate equivalent of time that Rubio would be spending with his Spanish team, with the Olympics schedule being approximately eight games (potentially being the max if Spain makes it to the Finals).

He’ll still have to focus some time prior to the Olympics to prepare himself which means that a late season break will create some choppiness in his regimen, thus it might not be the most  efficient time off possible, but he will at least get the same time off equivalent,  which could be enough to keep his strength throughout the second half of next season.

I admit: tanking sucks,  and it is nothing that I have ever, ever  been a fan of.

In this case though, like strategic resting of starters throughout the season that occurs all around the league, at least for the sake of preparing him for next season, this could be sold in that vein of thinking.

There is another option though, although it is much more difficult to achieve, considering the situation.