DALLAS -- Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has some of that Jason Kidd sizzle in him. So said Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
Like Kidd, Rubio appears to have eyes behind his head and can fire a bullet pass to an open teammate, even when that teammate isn't exactly open.
"There are some similiarities, yeah, especially when you talk about the court vision and just knowing what everybody's doing from a teammate standpoint, and some of the passes he makes without looking and things like that,'' Carlisle said. "So yeah, from that perspective there's definitely similiarites.''
In his season debut -- against the Mavs on Dec. 15 -- after returning from left knee surgery, Rubio dazzled with eight points, nine assists and three steals in only 18 minutes. And that's not including all those show-stopping passes -- a la Kidd -- that he performed in a game the Timberwolves won 114-106 in overtime.
"Rubio's a great player, and he's proven it now,'' Carlisle said. "He had a big impact on the game the last time we played them even though that was his first game back, so we're very aware of him.''
The challenge of slowing down Rubio -- tonight at 7:30 when the Mavs play the Timberwolves at American Airlines Center -- will mostly fall on the lofty shoulders of Darren Collison. And he's ready to showcase his talents against one of the league's best young playmakers.
"We've just got to contain him the best way we can, try to challenge him in different ways,'' Collison said. "The pick-and-roll is going to be key for us when it comes to him.
"He’s no different from any other good point guard in this league that we have to face, so we’ll be ready for the challenge.''
-- Dwain Price
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