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For first time ever, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving face off Monday

Nov 11, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Kyrie Irving is in his third NBA season; Derrick Rose is in his fifth.

However, the two leading faces of a generation of young, star point guards have never faced off — until tonight.

Blame injuries. Last season Rose was out all year. In Irving’s rookie year he missed 15 games and Rose missed 27 so it worked out they never crossed paths.

Monday the two best young point guards in the game will go at each other for the first time in Chicago. And we mean first time — they never faced off in college, high school or AAU either. Rose talked about it with Steve Aschburner from NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog.

“I’ve never played against him,” Rose said, and he meant never – not in AAU, not in high school, not in international competition.

“He’s a great young player,” Rose said. “Just for me, I try not to get into matchups. Just go out there and just play. If we was winning, I’d probably get into it. But we’re just trying to win games right now.”

These are two dynamic, explosive players but guys both still trying to find their footing on the young season.

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The Bulls are off to a rough 2-3 start, with Rose showing a lot of rust after his season off shooting just 32 percent. Their vaunted defense has not been consistent either. Both will come around but there is an early sense of impatience around the Bulls based on the wait for Rose to return plus the fact division rival Indiana already has a four game lead over them.

The Cavaliers are 3-4 on the season and while Irving is averaging 19.9 points a game his efficiency has taken a dip early in the season as he is shooting just 39.3 percent. He hit the game-winning layup in double overtime to lead the Cavaliers past the 76ers (after having missed one in regulation and the first overtime to end the games then).

Two young guards trying to get right this season and start leading their teams where they want to go.

It just might be hard to get off on that foot going against each other.

  1. jhuck92 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    In this golden age of point guards, this is a dream match-up. Even if they haven’t found their footing yet, I’m still expecting a good game.

  2. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    If the first five games are any indication- Irving will make DRose look silly. Rose is a shadow of his former self. Irving is another PG that is supremely entertaining to watch.

    • benjamintko - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Shadow? you talking non-sense. It’s all in his head, he needs to let the game come to him. Also teams doing everything possible to prevent Rose from catching steam (double-team right from the start)

      Overcompensation for his knee fears, making him think too much.

      He ain’t lost a step. He is just missing jumpers and making bad passes.

      • unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        His PER is a whopping 5.1. He’s played brutally bad. He’ll get better- I’d even guess he’ll reacquire MVP form- but not for awhile. In the interim- he and the Bulls are in for a rough ride.

  3. belleby123 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Kurt’s talking trash again! How is the Bulls start “rough” when they have the same number of losses as your much shilled for Heat?

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      You think the Bulls look good?

      • belleby123 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        I think they’re off to a slow start. That’s different than a “rough start”. I also noticed that there was no PBT entry on either the Bulls last win or the Heat’s last loss. All Wade had to do was hit the rim on that free throw… Hey, it’s cool, the shilling gives us something to talk about. And after all the crap that Bulls fans put up with last year about Rose not coming back they deserve criticism. Some of Rose’s passes have made him look like Stevie Wonder. But he’s too good a player to expect that to last. Rose had some tremendous assists to Boozer in the preseason and a few in the regular season. If the Bulls can get keyed on that and get Jimmy Butler more involved they are really going to look good.

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        We do not write up every game with its own story, we do recap every game in the Extra Pass. Last night we chose to have someone at and recap the Suns because they are a surprising story so far. You’re trying to make something out of nothing.

        Fans who really think I have any emotional investment in any team anymore really miss the mark.

      • belleby123 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

        Please. You like the Heat. I don’t have a problem with that. The Heat and the Bulls have a rivalry–that makes basketball more interesting. It’s all good. I’m just glad the Heat are so easy to make fun of. I can envision Heat practices where Battier and Wade discuss the best ways to flop to the floor, for example. That stuff makes me laugh.

      • philtration - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        We know you never do Kurt.

  4. borisalessandri - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    DRose better be careful guarding Kyrie Irving or he might blow out his other ACL. Irving is in the company of JCrossover and CP3 as owners of the top 3 handles in the League

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