Flip Saunders, who has had a chance to watch the Timberwolves on television since he was replaced as head coach of the Washington Wizards in late January, believes Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio, who didn't put up big statistics while playing in Spain, is far better suited for the NBA.

"In Europe, the game is much slower," Saunders said. "The game is much more physical as far as they let players hit you more, ride you more.

"So because Ricky is a little bit slight right now because he's still young and still maturing, over here we have rules where you really can't touch some people so [the style of play is] really is made more for him as far as the quickness of the game and the speed of the game. And Rick Adelman has done a great job with him, [and assistant coach] Terry Porter, as far as working with him."

Rubio has been nothing short of sensational in his rookie season. Saunders said he believes Rubio's shot has improved from when he was in Spain.

"It still has a lot of [room] for improvement," Saunders said, "but the thing he can do, has always been able to do, is really see the floor, the open floor in the transition-type game. Players like playing with him because they knew if they get open that he's going to get them the ball.