Friday's Timberwolves-Cleveland game brought together the top two players selected in the 2011 draft: Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams. But that wasn't the night's most intriguing rookie comparison.
Instead, it came at point guard, when Irving started for the Cavaliers as he has all season and Ricky Rubio came off the bench for the Wolves.
Before Cleveland's 98-87 victory, Wolves coach Rick Adelman disputed the notion that he has brought Rubio along more slowly than the Cavs have Irving just because Irving is starting and Rubio is not.
Rubio has played every minute in the fourth quarter in the Wolves' first seven games.
"I don't know if I've brought him along slowly," Adelman said. "He hasn't started but he's played every fourth quarter, so that puts a little bit of pressure on a young guy when every game you're playing is really close. I think it depends on your team. Right now, we have nothing but young players and I think [Cavs coach Byron Scott] is in the same situation with their team."
Starting or not, both rookie point guards are finding their way quickly in this league.
Irving, Rubio draw comparison, raves
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Jan 7