Spain 72- Germany 59
Rudy's line: 21 minutes, 3 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers
Game 3 of the Rudy World Tour is in the books and clearly the Spanish national team got the memo. The coaching staff, realizing that Blazersedge was using its second team for the recap tonight, decided to let Rudy off the hook.
"Save the brilliance for the US game," I can hear them ole'ing to Rudy pre-game.
This game was very instructive in terms of our collective understanding of Rudy's development. In this game, we were able to confirm some things we already knew, see some new wrinkles, and generally appreciate spending some more quality time with our guy.
- Rudy can look good while not playing particularly well. And I'm not just referring to his rockstar looks (ladies...). When active tonight, he was smooth-- whether dishing, flopping, fading away. Always smooth. I am pretty much never smooth so I felt it was worth pointing out.
- Rudy floated a lot, particularly in the first half; Spain's offense was grinding on all cylinders, particularly in the first half. A chicken and egg paradox. A tear collects on the side of my eye. And trickles.
- As the game progressed, Rudy picked it up and showed flashes of seriously advanced basketball IQ. Daring lob passes, a solid back screen and seal that left Gasol wide open for an and-one, and some scrappy backcourt play alongside Ricky the Fresh Prince that led to chaos for the German guards. In all of the gushing about Rudy I'm sure it's been said, but I'll say it again: dreaming about him playing alongside Brandon is doubly fearsome. The physical skills and creativity are one thing. But the mind games these two will be working on people could be scary. Who knows what they might contemplate by putting their heads together? It's like what Pinky and the Brain were supposed to be, if Pinky was another Brain. Feel me?
- Rudy played the top of the 2-3 zone very well tonight. Quick feet, active arms, good court awareness. With Oden in the middle and Rex hovercrafting through passing lanes, we would be silly not to break out the Demopolous toolbox this season.
- Rudy is very good at walking around the basketball court. During free throws, checking in to the game, checking out of the game, protesting fouls. He's got that swag. He's a preener fo sho. He trots up the court alongside Ricky like a show pony. I guess it's fair to say his body movement runs a full gamut. it is intoxicating.
- Lastly, Rudy is ahead of the pack emotionally, especially for a player of his age. And don't just chalk this up to his euro-ness. Rudy's faux-surprise, faux-injured, faux-contempt, faux-frustrated, and his faux-overly-aggressive are all well, well above-average for his age group. Rudy aced middle school drama and was invited on the big 8th grade field trip to New York City, where he was able to see a doubleheader screening of Lion King and Cats before riding the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building and taking in a beautiful view of Manhattan. Although Rudy pretended that he was bored the entire trip, he was actually having the time of his life. 10 years later, those experiences have paid off remarkably well.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)