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Ricky Rubio will not play vs. Rockets due to illness

The Phoenix Suns will be without point guard Ricky Rubio Saturday when they battle the Houston Rockets. According to Gina Mizell of The Athletic, Rubio is dealing with an illness.

Without the Spanish playmaker, Phoenix will have to rely more on Elie Okobo and Jevon Carter to take care of the ball-handling duties. In the five games that Rubio has missed this season, Phoenix’s record is 2-3.

Rubio has been a big part of the Suns’ rise from the pits of the Western Conference. From being a perennial cellar dweller, the Suns have managed to exceed expectations especially when big man Deandre Ayton got suspended for 25 games after violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy.

Head coach Monty Williams entrusted the veteran point guard with the rock and he responded by averaging 9.4 assists nightly after 23 games — his highest since the 2016-17 season when he was still part of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Furthermore, Rubio is scoring 13.6 points while grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game. He also averages 1.3 steals and has been taking care of the ball like never before with a career-low mark of only 2.2 turnovers per contest.

The Suns have lost five-straight games but are within striking distance of the West’s eighth seed — only 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers. With Ayton back, the team should be considered a dark horse candidate for one of the last playoff tickets in the West.