Ricky Rubio became an insomniac after the Utah Jazz booted the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the playoffs.
The Utah Jazz caught a lot of people by surprise this season, and you can now add the Oklahoma City Thunder to that list. Donovan Mitchell has been the main headline with his play as a rookie, and he had some big shoes to fill after Gordon Hayward’s departure last summer in free agency. Mitchell idolized Russell Westbrook as a young player. It was surreal for him to best a man who was one of his heroes growing up.
“Man, I don’t think words can really describe it,” Mitchell said to ESPN. “They’re a great team. They play with heart, they play with passion. But the way we played together, we weathered the storm when they came out hot early and we stuck together and that’s been our motto all year. To beat a team like that says a lot. For me personally, beating a guy I looked up to and kind of modeled my game after, it’s pretty special.”
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but the Jazz have turned it into an opportunity to win a title. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are still both the most likely to advance out of the Western Conference, but one injury could derail either of them in a heartbeat. The New Orleans Pelicans are no joke this year either, because Anthony Davis looked like the best player in the league over the last three months.
Ricky Rubio dropped a triple-double and held his own against Russell Westbrook in the first round against the Thunder, and his play will be crucial in the next series. Rubio apparently can’t even sleep, because he is so pleased with his team’s effort.
Rubio’s reputation has been a rollercoaster to watch go up and down. He was hyped coming into the NBA and played spectacularly at times during his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves before a knee injury, but his lack of shooting touch came during an era of NBA history that doesn’t view players like him in a good light.
Hopefully he can at least get some sleep before the Jazz face the Rockets.