In the NBA, nothing gets fans more excited than a marquee matchup. Whether it’s two teams or individual superstars going head-to-head, seeing the best go at it is why people love the game so much.
But there’s one matchup that has never materialized going on three seasons now: Derrick Rose vs. Kyrie Irving. The Chicago Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night, and Irving – who has battled injury after injury in his short career – will take the court while D. Rose, of course, will not.
It’s the one point guard battle everyone is anxious to see, but it's one we’ll have to wait a little while longer for.
Last season, the Bulls and Cavs met three times. In the first matchup, Rose sat out. In the second, Irving was on the sidelines. And in the final contest – the 2011-12 season finale – both guards were hurt and unavailable to play as each battled injuries the majority of the season last year.
Whether it was a fractured hand for Irving or one of Rose’s several ailments that kept him on the bench, we were all robbed of an opportunity to watch one of the premier point guard duels in the league with Kyrie’s impressive skillset and D. Rose’s tendency to dominate his counterpart at the point.
The Bulls and Cavs will meet one last time on Feb. 26, back at the United Center, and perhaps by then, D. Rose will be back in the lineup. But if so, Derrick would be just a few games into returning from his ACL injury, and the matchup won’t have the same luster as if the two elite point guards were 100 percent healthy.
So it won’t be until the 2013-14 season – Irving’s third in the NBA – that we'll get to see two of the best point guards in the Central Division, do battle. But the matchup should live up to the hype and worth the three-year wait for it to finally materialize.
Follow “Outside Shot” on Twitter (@Outside_Shot) for more Bulls news and information.