The NBA season—and Ricky Rubio’s stateside career—is only a month old, and yet it seems like experts have backpedaled marathon miles on their prognostications about how the Spaniard’s rookie season might play out. Almost nine assists and eleven points per game; third among Western Conference guards on the first and second returns of All-Star ballots; January frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. It’s sort of strange that we’re all surprised by this. After all, basketball brains never seemed to deny that Rubio harbored a well of talent; it was more a matter translation. As he’d worked it for years in Spanish pro ball, could Rubio, in the NBA, make it look as though he was the only player on the court capable of a consummate bounce pass? Or, more specifically, (the answer is apparently yes) capable of a consummate bounce pass through Dirk Nowitzki’s legs.