Wednesday night was a time of giving in the Association, as Joakim Noah, Ricky Rubio and Kemba Walker tallied career highs in dimes in three different North American regions.
North of the border in Toronto, Noah was generous early and often, feeding cutting and spot-up teammates 12 times for a basket, including a behind-the-back two hopper from the middle of the paint to the corner on a fast break.
In the Southeast, Bobcats guard Walker took another step in his evolution from a shoot-first point to on-court chef. Using his ball-on-a-string dribble, Kemba carved the Pistons’ D with kick-outs to open shooters set up by a crisp two-man game with Al Jefferson. Reserve point guard Ramon Sessions recorded 10 assists of his own. (Further down on the map, John Wall weaved pinpoint passes through the Hawks in Atlanta for 12 in a win).
But the facilitator of the night goes to the Spaniard in the Midwest. Rubio got busy to the tune of 17 assists, dishing a steady diet to Kevin Love (42 points) and Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf. He controlled the pill like a wand, harrying the Pacers seemingly with ease.
His abuse of Paul George and Roy Hibbert in this highlight might be the best Rubio playmaking moment of the season:
By no means are these the only superb givers on the night. Rajon Rondo and Trey Burke collected 10 dimes each, James Harden one-upped them with 11 and Kendall Marshall shared in 16 buckets. Marshall has seven games this season of 14 or more assists, tying Chris Paul for the NBA lead. He’s only played 25 games.
Even Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker got in on the milestone act, tying a career high with six helpers.