StaTuesday: Wolves’ Rubio and double-digit assists games

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is averaging 7.9 assists per game in 2016-17.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio is on a roll lately.

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard has been handing out assists with regularity. In his last 17 games, Rubio has had 10 or more assists eight times.

This includes in each of the last four games, the fifth time in his career Rubio has had a streak of at least four games with 10 or more assists. That accounts for 33 percent of the number of times in franchise history a Timberwolves player has had a streak of four or more games with 10+ assists.

Before Rubio, no one had done it since Terrell Brandon in 1999. If Rubio can make it five straight when Minnesota plays San Antonio on Tuesday night it will be tied for the fourth-longest streak in team history and one off his career high.

Player Dates Games
Pooh Richardson Dec. 22, 1990-Jan. 9, 1991 9
Michael Williams Jan. 18-29, 1993 6
Ricky Rubio Feb. 27-March 9, 2015 6
Pooh Richardson March 8-17, 1990 5
Michael Williams Dec. 12-19, 1992 4
Pooh Richardson April 7-12, 1991 4
Pooh Richardson Nov. 6-11, 1990 4
Pooh Richardson Jan 29-Feb. 4, 1990 4
Ricky Rubio Nov. 10-Nov. 15, 2013 4
Ricky Rubio Jan. 21-Jan. 27, 2012 4
Ricky Rubio Jan. 9-Jan. 15, 2017* 4
Ricky Rubio Jan. 20-Jan. 27, 2016 4
Stephon Marbury Feb. 15-21, 1999 4
Stephon Marbury Dec. 10-14, 1996 4
Terrell Brandon April 23-April 30, 1999 4

After a slow start in recording assists, as mentioned Rubio has come on strong as late. He now has 10 games this season with 10 or more assists, which is tied for 16th-most in a season in Minnesota history. Rubio has had 10+ assists in 15 or more games in a season in four of his first five years (excluding 2014-15, when he played in just 22 games — but he still had nine such performances).

With half-a-season remaining, Rubio could reach 30 games with 10+ assists in a season for the second time in his career.

Player Season Games
Pooh Richardson 1990-91 38
Stephon Marbury 1997-98 31
Michael Williams 1992-93 31
Ricky Rubio 2015-16 30
Ricky Rubio 2013-14 29
Terrell Brandon 1999-00 26
Pooh Richardson 1991-92 24
Sam Cassell 2003-04 20
Pooh Richardson 1989-90 19
Stephon Marbury 1996-97 18
Terrell Brandon 2000-01 17
Michael Williams 1993-94 16
Ricky Rubio 2011-12 15
Ricky Rubio 2012-13 15
Terrell Brandon 1998-99 11
Terrell Brandon 2001-02 10
Troy Hudson 2002-03 10
Terry Porter 1995-96 10
Ricky Rubio 2016-17 10

Overall in his 314 career games, Rubio has 108 games with 10 or more assists, or more than one-third of all his games (34.4 percent).

Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season — Rubio’s rookie year — he has the fifth-most 10+-assist games in the NBA.

Player Games
Chris Paul 198
John Wall 183
Rajon Rondo 162
Russell Westbrook 125
Ricky Rubio 108

This season, only four players have 10+ assists in four or more consecutive games — Rubio, James Harden, John Wall and Russell Westbrook, and only Harden and Westbrook have done it in at least five straight. Can Rubio join that even more exclusive club?

Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns