Wolves notes: Ricky Rubio not worried about early scoring troubles
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Rubio had a simple response when asked what it will take for him to prove he can be the reliable key option the Minnesota Timberwolves need him to be in the stretch run of games.
"Make shots," Rubio said Wednesday morning before the Wolves' home face-off with Golden State (3-1).
Rubio's frank answer reflected the issue that hounded him Monday night in Cleveland. Rubio had a game to forget, unable to convert on any of his seven shots. His scoreless mark dropped his field goal percentage through four games down to 29.3 percent.
Rubio ended up on the bench for the entirety of the fourth quarter, subbed out for backup J.J. Barea, watching as the Wolves' late rally fell one point shy in their first loss of the season.
The absence of the dynamic, pass-first point guard in the fourth quarter isn't likely to be a common occurrence. Only four games into Rubio's third season, coach Rick Adelman holds no signs of concerns that the shooting woes could be a long-term issue.
"He's just got to take the shots that are there," Adelman said pregame. "It's going to be a process with him. He's not going to become a great shooter overnight ... I just don't worry about him because of his work ethic. He's going to work through it and he's going to get more consistent."
While his shot is still developing, Rubio continues to be one of the top distributors in the NBA. He has opened the year with four straight double-digit assist games -- a Wolves franchise record.
But Minnesota needs Rubio to become a more consistent scoring threat. It was obvious he was frustrated with how flat he played against the Cavaliers, but he isn't dwelling on it. Don't expect him to hold back if Golden State gives him an open look.
"It happens. I'll keep my confidence up. I've been working hard on that," Rubio said. "It was just one night. I'm going to keep shooting."
Ronny Turiaf on the mend
There is still no timetable on when center Ronny Turiaf could be back in the Wolves' rotation.
Minnesota is holding off making a further assessment until Turiaf regains expanded motion in his fractured right elbow. While the injury was not as severe as could have been, Adelman cautioned that he isn't expecting a quick return.
"He's doing better, but it's going to be a while," Adelman said.
Turiaf, who broke his elbow after falling awkwardly on it last Friday against Oklahoma City Thunder, worked out with a team trainer during the Wolves' shootaround session Wednesday morning. He was wearing only light wrap on his injured right arm.
Odds and ends
• Kevin Love has had a torrid start to the year, highlighted by two 30-point plus outings and four straight double-doubles. A so-so shooting performance at Cleveland (17 points, 8-of-20 from the floor, 0-of-7 from long-range) still has him pegged third in the NBA in scoring.
Love could tie Kevin Garnett's franchise scoring record for most points five game into a season with a 33-point night against the Warriors.
• In a similar vein, Kevin Martin's sharp shooting has already garnered him the Wolves' record for most three-pointers in the first five games of the season (12).
Martin was Minnesota's only relief from its three-point range woes against the Cavaliers, going 5-of-8 from outside. The rest of the team: 0-of-20.