The Minnesota Timberwolves were a great early story thanks to a 4-2 start that included several impressive road wins, but now the shine of that great start has worn off thanks to a four-game losing streak. A common denominator in all four losses has been the absence of Ricky Rubio thanks to a strained hamstring, and the Wolves have missed the presence of their floor general.
Minnesota’s offense has actually been okay with Rubio out, but the defense has taken a major step back. That’ll happen when the primary point guards are Zach LaVine and Andre Miller. The Wolves have given up 115.5 points per 100 possessions over the four-game losing streak, and they gave up 114 points on Sunday to a Memphis Grizzlies squad that’s been really struggling to put the ball in the basket. Point guards Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers combined for 36 points and 11 assists.
It’s unclear when Rubio will return to the lineup. He’s dealt with numerous injuries over the course of his young career, and he’s coming off a serious ankle injury from last year, so the team is being extra careful with this hamstring issues. There’s no reason to push it with him right now if he’s not feeling right, but Minnesota is certainly missing its franchise point guard at the moment.