Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio is expected to return and make his debut Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers, sources said. The 12-year veteran hasn’t played since tearing his left ACL in December 2021.
Rubio will practice with the team on Wednesday and, if he lives up to expectations, will play against Portland. Jarrett Allen (illness) and Dean Wade (shoulder) are currently listed as questionable. Dylan Windler (ankle) is out indefinitely.
At several NBA betting sites, the Cavaliers have the eighth-best odds to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are showing big odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets.
ESPN Sources: After a full year of rehabilitation from an ACL tear in his left knee, Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio is targeting a return against the Trail Blazers on Thursday. Rubio will practice today and if all goes well, they will play in Portland tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/wB5RzNhRdy
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 11, 2023
In 38 games with the Cavaliers last season, the guard averaged a career-high 13.1 points per game. Along with 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.4 steals per contest, Rubio shot 36.3% from the field and 33.9% from beyond the arc. He also recorded five double-doubles.
In the year On November 7, 2021, in Cleveland’s 126-109 win over the New York Knicks, the 11-year veteran scored a career-high 37 points in 32 minutes. In addition to finishing with three boards and 10 assists, he shot 13-of-19 (68.4%) from the floor and 8-9 (88.9%) from 3-point range.
Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio is aiming to make his 2022-23 season debut against the Trail Blazers on Thursday.
With Rubio, the Cavs are off to a 20-14 start in the 2021-22 season. Now, entering his 12th season, Cleveland is 26-16 and sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Rubio will likely serve as part of coach JB Bickerstaff’s guard rotation.
When healthy, Rubio is an excellent defender. Midway through the season, Cleveland is allowing a league-best 106.8 points per contest. Simply put, the guard makes them a better team. Moreover, the Cavaliers are averaging 111.5 points per game, which ranks 26th overall. Their offensive efficiency rating (1.111) also ranks 10th.
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) January 11, 2023
If all goes well and the 32-year-old makes his season debut on Thursday, this will be a must-see game. Portland is on a four game losing streak. Not to mention, the team is 1-6 in their last seven games in January.
With the Cavs 5-5 in their last 10 games, a matchup against the Trail Blazers is perfect for a player coming back from a serious injury. Cleveland has won the last three meetings with Portland. Sportsbooks show the Cavaliers as two-point road favorites.