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Utah Jazz Notes: Ricky Rubio to work his way back gradually with team

Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) points to a teammate after scoring against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz have been incredibly thin at point guard in the month of January, but at least one player seems to be on the mend in Ricky Rubio. He made his return in the team’s loss to the Blazers Monday night.

Rubio had been out due to a strained hamstring he suffered during the Jazz’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks January 7th. Luckily the team’s schedule softened up a bit and Donovan Mitchell went bananas offensively as his squad won six straight before the loss Monday.

Even with Mitchell’s success at the point guard spot, the team is happy to have its starting point guard back.

“He came in and competed,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s good to have him back; you can feel his presence in the game. He defended. He played the game. He didn’t come in and try to do too much. He just let the game come to him and he was rewarded for that.”

Rubio was on a minutes restriction against the Blazers. He played almost 14 minutes in his return. He had 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting and dished out two assists. He was also one of three Jazzmen to have a positive plus-minus in the loss. He did have four turnovers in his short stint though.

“It felt good,” Rubio said of his return. “The beginning was a little rusty and I was forcing too much. Felt good overall. Happy to be back.”

Jazz play next at home Wednesday as they host the Denver Nuggets with tip-off set for 8:30 P.M.

Ricky Rubio meows in new commercial

Yeah you read that right. Vivint Smart Home released two new commercials with a few different Jazz players. One featured Donovan Mitchell on his phone watching a cat video. Rudy asks him about it and Mitchell clumsily denies being a cat person.

Ricky Rubio, overhearing the conversation, had just one word: Meow!

One Jazz fan seem to have an idea of how to put Rubio’s audio to use.

The other commercial also involves the Jazz center who has Jae Crowder over at Gobert’s home. The big man seems to have a shrine of self-portraits because “there’s no better defense than many Rudies”.

Kyle Korver makes debut in Shaqtin’ a Fool

Jazz shooting specialist, Kyle Korver, seems to have so much respect for Blazers guard Damian Lillard he figured a shot from Lillard went in, despite not seeing that he in fact airballed it.

Korver says he got so focused on boxing out Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, he didn’t see if it went in or not. Figuring Lillard had made it, he took the ball out of bounds to inbound it.