Nate McMillan talks Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love
Blazers coach Nate McMillan met with the media during shootaround before Saturday’s game vs. Minnesota. Below is a Q&A.
Is Kurt Thomas going tonight?
“He’s pretty much a game-time decision?
What have you liked about Ricky Rubio’s game?
“What he’s doing is he’s making his teammates better. He’s distributing the ball, he’s a guy that speeds up the tempo. With them playing two point guards (Luke Ridnour) they really put pressure on your defense with a lot of movement. Those guys do a good job of finding shooters and setting them up.”
While watching Rubio, do you find yourself enjoying his talent?
“Enjoying? I’m preparing for him. I’m not sitting there enjoying.”
How would you evaluate Kevin Love?
“He’s a two-time All-Star. That says enough about him. He’s extended his range. He is playing with the ball. Not only is he one of the top rebounders in the league, but he’s now a big-time offensive threat.He’s always been a good passer. When you have that combination — a guy who can score, pass, as well as rebound, that’s a pretty good combination.”
How have you been able to contain him the past few times he’s been at the Rose Garden?
“Well, you gotta focus on him. You certainly got to keep a body on him and not allow him to dominate the boards. You have to now guard him at the 3-point line. He’s added to his game, which is what you expect players to do, and certainly All-Stars to do. He’s added a 3-point ball, and is a legitimate 3-point threat for that team. You gotta guard him 25 feet and in, that’s the challenge.”
Is Love the best power forward in the league?
“Well, we got some great power forwards. He’s certainly proven that he’s an All-Star with his numbers, but his team is winning. They’ve been one of the most improved teams in the league, and a lot of that starts with Kevin Love.”