Ricky Rubio has leadership performance in first Cavs win

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 23: Ricky Rubio #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the game on October 23, 2021 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Ricky Rubio was acquired via trade by the Cleveland Cavaliers to provide some veteran leadership to his young squad and that’s exactly what he did against the Atlanta Hawks.

Rubio finished with 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 101 – 95 to grab their first win of the season after a 0-2 start.

It was Rubio’s second-highest scoring game in the last 12 months. The Spanish guard shit 9 – 15 from the field, including 3-7 triples, and also finished with just three turnovers during the 35 minutes he spent on the floor.

It was kind of personal for Rubio after assuming responsibility for Friday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets and particularly for a couple of mistakes he made down the stretch.

“It was all on me,” Rubio had said after the game vs. Charlotte. “It was bad passes. There’s nothing to blame on them. It was all on me and I take that blame and I take this loss. It’s something that, as a veteran, I have to lead the way and know that if there’s one or two turnovers, the next play you can’t really rush it. I pushed it too much. Something I will learn and it won’t happen again.”

24 hours later, Rubio responded by on the floor with a near-flawless performance. Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff couldn’t have been more pleased with how Rubio set an example for his younger teammates.

“That’s what leadership looks like,” Bickerstaff said. “A guy that owned his mistakes last night and then came back tonight and made sure that it didn’t happen again. As our group sees this and our young guys are watching, that’s what leadership looks like and that’s the impression that he leaves with our guys.”

Rubio and the Cavs will now look to possibly begin building a streak, starting with the game vs. the Denver Nuggets Monday (25/10).

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