EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Suns’ Rubio set to return after 1-game absence; mosh pit brings the hype

Oct 28, 2019, 12:46 PM
Ricky Rubio #11 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against ...
Ricky Rubio #11 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns sure didn’t miss a beat on Saturday night without starting point guard Ricky Rubio in a win, but they’ll be glad to have him back.

Rubio took a bump on the knee in Thursday’s loss to Denver that had his left knee still swollen by Saturday, causing him to sit out due to a contusion.

He is probable for Monday night’s home game against the Utah Jazz.

“(Feel) good,” Rubio said at shootaround. “Took a big bump over there in Denver but feel pretty good heading into tonight.”

Head coach Monty Williams’ offensive system of moving the ball quickly and keeping everyone active has led to terrific numbers through three games.

Phoenix leads the league in assists per game and is third in assist-to-turnover ratio, the latter of which the Suns have been particularly awful at the past four years.

Rubio, obviously, has a large part in that as the point guard and makes sure the offense has a certain flow and activity level when he’s running the show.

“When you’re sharing the ball, you have more fun,” he said. “Of course, we’re making shots, but I think that has to be our mentality. A good shot, pass it to a great shot and it has to go all season long.

“It’s only been three games and we know we’re playing good but it has to be more consistent.”

MOSH PIT

If you’re in the building, keep an eye on the Suns after the final name of starting lineups (usually Devin Booker) is read aloud by the impeccable public address announcer Vince Marotta.

This ritual lasts roughly 15 seconds, and it’s a time where teams will generally huddle before heading back to the bench to head on the court, using it as a sequence to get hyped up. Some groups will put their own unique spin on it, and the Suns are doing that this year with a mosh pit.

Kelly Oubre Jr. said he came up with it for the team’s first preseason game and said the label of “mosh pit” is fair.

“Now, actually, Mikal Bridges is the ring leader of it,” he said. “He gets me hype. That’s automatic.”

You’ll notice in the second video that this sequence ends with a dance from Oubre and Bridges.

“Gotta do it, man,” Oubre, a man with a good eye for these types of things, said. “It’s a synchronicity thing.”

Oubre was shown the video of Frank Kaminsky getting in and out of there, and he pointed out Booker and Rubio “on the outskirts because they don’t want to get into the pit.”

“Then you got the ones ragin’,” Oubre said.

Williams was asked about the mosh pit and had a puzzled look on his face, so it’s safe to say he has not seen the fellas getting rowdy quite yet.

“That’s like asking me about politics, I have no idea,” he said. “Anytime our guys are together I think it’s good but I don’t pay much attention to that.”

Booker was the first to admit that he’s fine with staying on the outside, laughing and smiling as soon as the mosh pit was brought up.

“Whatever brings the energy,” he said. “I’m usually on the outside pushing everybody in. It brings the energy, it’s working for us and we’re having fun with it.”

“We take the energy from the crowd and we kind of just get it for us to get ready to play,” Oubre said.

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