Jazz guard Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto out vs. Nuggets
The Utah Jazz, already without Dante Exum, will be missing two more playmakers on Thursday night.
Point guards Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto, both suffering from left hamstring tightness, will not play against the Denver Nuggets, the team announced.
Ricky and Raul are both OUT tonight in Denver (left hamstring tightness).
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 28, 2019
Rubio left Utah’s 111-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday in the third quarter. He’s officially listed as day-to-day on the injury report, and seems likely to play for the Jazz’s home tilt with the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
On the second leg of a tough back-to-back, though, it’s prudent for Utah to sit its starting point if he isn’t 100 percent healthy.
Rubio has struggled to build on the progress this season he made during his debut campaign with Utah. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, numbers that align nicely with preseason expectations but fail to convey his struggles shooting the ball from the perimeter.
After connecting on a career-best 35.2 percent from beyond the arc in 2017-18, Rubio is shooting just 32.4 percent on three-pointers, further cramping the Jazz’s spacing in the half court.
Neto missed most of January with a groin strain, returning to the lineup on February 6th. He played 18 minutes, scoring 10 points, against the Clippers, and there was nothing to suggest he wasn’t healthy after the game. The fourth-year pro is averaging 4.9 points and 2.3 assists in 12.0 minutes per game this season, normally being left on the bench when Utah is fully healthy.
That certainly won’t be the case on Thursday, though, when Quin Snyder will have to make do absent each of his team’s top three point guards, putting even more playmaking onus on Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles.