Found March 28, 2012 on Pass The Pill:

Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves) versus Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks)

Ricky Rubio is a point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves who gained instant fame by turning pro in Spain at the extremely young age of 14. He was a prized prospect who was on every NBA GM’s radar. After having an underwhelming season last year for Regal Barcelona, Rubio came to Minnesota and took the league by storm in his rookie season.

Only a season-ending ACL tear could slow Rubio down as his knee buckled against the Lakers on March 9th. Nonetheless, Rubio was able to reinvigorate a fan base that hasn’t had much to cheer about since the departure of Kevin Garnett. Timberwolves fans have a lot to be excited about in their young duo of Kevin Love and Rubio.

Jeremy Lin is a point guard for the New York Knicks and he gained fame this season with an unbelievable run where he averaged 24.4 ppg and 9.1 assists over a period where the Knicks went 7-0. He has been called the savior for the Knicks and is being held largely responsible for their Eastern Conference resurgence. He is a very intelligent player who gels well with the star-studded Knicks lineup. Like the fans in Minnesota, New Yorkers have much to be excited about in their new point man.

Both of these players are electrifying talents, but who will be the better pro in five years?

Shooting:

- Rubio has never been known for his shooting and even though he was having a memorable rookie season, he was doing so while shooting a poor 36% from the floor, including 35% from deep and 80% at the line. He’ll never be a player known for his shot-making ability but I do see him improving his FG percentages as he ages and learns to take more high-percentage shots. A key for Rubio will be consistency as he had 7 games this season with only 1 made FG. Going forward the Wolves will need him to pick up a bit of the scoring without many solid options surrounding Kevin Love. GRADE: C

- Lin has always been an average shooter extending back to his days in Harvard. The difference for him is maturity. So far this season he has been able to adjust his game on the fly. In games where his teammates are having a tough time scoring, he will take more shots. On the contrary, he knows when to distribute the ball as evidenced by his 4 different performances of dishing out 13+ assists so far this season. His maturity combined with an average to above average jumpshot allow him to be effective in halfcourt sets with a loaded Knicks squad. GRADE: B-

Passing:

- Distributing the ball is what makes Ricky Rubio who he is. He is often compared to Steve Nash and Pete Maravich just based on passing ability. Truth is, Nash and Maravich are/were much better scorers than Rubio will ever be but any time you find someone who can deliver pin-point passes like Rubio, you get him. They are once-in-a-decade talents who have an indescribable ability to make their teammates better. Don’t believe me? Check out Kevin Love’s statistics this year with Rubio. GRADE: A+

- Jeremy Lin is a good passer as well but even he isn’t anywhere close to Rubio’s level. Lin does a nice job penetrating the lane but he can be extremely careless with his passes. Lin is best passing the ball in transition where he can make a strong bounce pass with either hand to cutting teammates. I expect Lin to continue to mature as a player and cut down on the turnovers while continuing to set up his teammates. GRADE: B+

Rebounding:

- Rubio does an excellent job rebounding the ball on the defensive end and turning it into fast break opportunities. Being 6’4 and having long arms also doesn’t hurt his ability to rebound. He is an above average rebounding point guard. GRADE: B

- Lin is also an above average rebounder as he anticipates the bounce off the rim well. He has good size at 6’3 and uses it well to get position on sometimes bigger guards. He doesn’t gather quite as many boards as Rubio even though his team doesn’t have a dominant rebounder like Kevin Love. GRADE: B-

Defense:

- On the defensive end, Rubio is a psychic. He is a below average on-ball defender but his incredible ability to anticipate lazy passes and get his hands on loose balls allowed him to average 2.2 steals per game. If he was a better on ball defender I’d give him an A. GRADE: B

- Lin struggles to defend and is often exposed when other teams isolate against him. He is a hard worker who averages 1.6 steals per game based solely off of great effort. Lin will need to work hard to improve his lateral quickness to become a better defender in the future. GRADE: C-

Durability:

- Until Rubio’s torn ACL, he had not missed a game the entire season. There were many questions surrounding whether or not he could handle the physicality of the NBA. I think he can handle it and the torn ACL was a freak incident and a case of bad luck. I think a little work in the gym would serve Rubio well to make him more durable to be able to handle the long grind of an NBA season. I can’t give Rubio a great grade considering he just suffered an injury that could have lingering effects on his career down the road. GRADE: D+

- Jeremy Lin is a tough player who never missed a game in college due to injury and still hasn’t been forced out of NBA action due to injury. Durability is an underrated part of any players’ legacy and if Lin can continue to stay consistently healthy who knows what he is capable of. GRADE: A

Potential:

- If Ricky Rubio is able to have a successful return from his knee injury and avoid future injury then the sky is the limit. I think he will be a player who averages right around 12 points a game and 10 assists per game throughout his entire career. His charisma and popularity will make him a regular at All-Star Weekends. GRADE: A-

- Jeremy Lin is an outstanding talent and a phenomenal kid, but his abilities are a little more limited than Rubio’s. His role with the Knicks fits him perfectly and I think it’s a huge reason why he has been able to do so well. I see him averaging about 13 points per game and 7 assists per game for his career with a couple All-Star appearances. GRADE: B

As of right now, I’d argue that Jeremy Lin is the better player by a sliver. That said, I would not be surprised one bit if Rubio is the better player two years from now. Both of these players have a chance to be special but if I had to choose just one, my money is on Ricky Rubio.

Guest Writer- COLE KRUEGAR

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rubio covered closely in his native Spain

MINNEAPOLIS Listening to the foreign phrases and lilting accent, it's easy to forget that not a word Ricky Rubio is saying is in English or makes any sense. Half his tweets, a good portion of his interviews and even the occasional sentence in an English conversation are unintelligible to a non-Spanish speaker, but no matter. He just kept talking, and everyone kept up. And the...

Jeremy Lin Has Lunch With Editor of “Chink In The Armor” ESPN Headline

<a href="http://www.mogreet.com/moshare/it/" class="moshare-button" data-channel="wordpress-1.2.4" data-message="The ESPN editor, Anthony Federico, who made the unfortunate mistake of entitling an article "***** in the Armor" got an interesting e-mail recently from a member of Jeremy Lin's family. The e-mail led to Federico and...

Jeremy Lin had lunch with fired ESPN headline writer and ‘it went incredible’

Jeremy Lin had lunch Tuesday with the editor who was fired for writing a racially offensive headline following a Knicks loss last month. Lin said at the time he hoped the use of the phrase “***** in the armor” wasn’t intentional and that he hoped to learn to forgive. Apparently that was the case. Newsday reports that a member of Lin’s family contacted Anthony Federico more...

Knicks Without Amar'e Stoudemire & Jeremy Lin. What's Next?

The Knicks announced this morning that not only will Jeremy Lin miss tonight's game at home vs. the Magic, but Amar'e Stoudemire will also be sidelined for the next two to four weeks while undergoing non-surgical treatment for a bulging disk in his back.Stoudemire received confirmation from a Miami doctor that such type of treatment, which will include an epidural steroid...

NY Knicks, Jeremy Lin e-book now out for $1.99

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks: Jeremy Lin: The Incredible Rise of the NBA’s Most Unlikely Superstar by Bill Gutman. It was released the 20,000-word instant ebook out in e-book format last week at the very low price of $1.99. A 50,000-word print book will follow this fall. In the ebook, veteran sportswriter Gutman offers this about Lin and Linsanity to NBA fans: his family...

Lin has lunch with fired ESPN employee

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin sat down to lunch with the ESPN employee who was fired last month for posting the infamous "***** in the Armor" headline on the network's website.

Basic Guidelines regarding Purchasing the Finest American football Jerseys

In case you are any Countrywide Sports Little league lover, which is seeking a fantastic and also authentic NFL Oakland Raiders jerseys ,here is the proper spot to suit your needs. The information provides an individual several basic guidelines that may help you to search for the finest American football jerseys you can purchase. Nonetheless, just before acquiring the products, it...

Carmelo thriving as Knicks' go-to guy

NEW YORK Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had a message Wednesday night for injured teammates Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. "Take all the time you need getting back, guys. I've got this." Of course, 'Melo didn't actually utter those words, but the way he put the sizzling hot Knicks on his back during their 108-86 rout of the Orlando Magic spoke volumes...

Melo gets what he needs to break out of slump

Following a 101-79 win over Detroit on Saturday, Carmelo Anthony had to answer the question that many struggling superstars have to answer when they are, well, struggling. Yes, the team is winning and things seem to be trending upward, but why aren't you producing more? Anthony has been a focal point of criticism for the Knicks ever since the blockbuster trade last February...

NBA players band together on Christian apparel

As Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin have risen to prominence in the NFL and NBA, the touchstones of professional sports and religion have converged perhaps as never before. Tebow, the New York Jets quarterback known for doing missionary work in the offseason, and Lin, the point guard who came out of nowhere to galvanize the New York Knicks, have been outspoken about the role faith has played...

Knicks 89, Bucks 80

Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points, delivering his highest total in two months without the injured Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, and the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 89-80 on Monday night to increase their lead for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. Shortly after learning Stoudemire was lost indefinitely with a bulging disk in his back, the Knicks opened a...

The Wizards Fan’s Guide To The 2012 Final Four (BONUS POLL)

As you know by now, unless you tuned out sometime in 2008, the Wizards have the second-worst record in the NBA. This is because they are the dregs, you see. But with great losing comes great draft positioning, which hasn’t meant a whole hell of a lot for the Wiz these past few years. In 2009, it meant trading the No. 5/Ricky Rubio pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. In ‘10...

MSG's Al Trautwig reports A'mare Stoudemire is out with bulging...what? (Video)

Before Monday night's New York Knicks game, MSG network analyst Al Trautwig passed along to viewers an injury update on Jeremy Lin and A'mare Stoudemire. Lin is day-to-day with a sore left knee, and an MRI revealed Stoudemire has a bulging disc in his lower back. Unfortunately, Trautwig mispronounced the word "disc" with a different four-letter word that starts...

Day 93 of 124: Night of the Living Waiver Wire Player

Line of the Night: This is Paul Pierce’s (2.83 WARP) second line of the night this season (the first came on Day 30) and he has the Bobcats to thank for it. With Ray Allen sitting out with a sore right ankle, Pierce led the Celtics to a 102-95 win against Charlotte with 36 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks. He also went 15-18 from the line. Boston is now tied...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.