Kyrie Irving vs Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio, 2009 NBA draft pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves, smiles as he answers questions at a news conference in Minneapolis, June 21, 2011. Rubio, the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft has signed a multi-year contract with the Timberwolves. REUTERS/Eric Miller (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

This should be fun. Ricky Rubio is generating a ton of buzz around the league with his play, and Kyrie Irving is getting his own share of attention.

Kyrie Irving is playing like a No. 1 overall pick. Derrick Williams is looking like the second-best rookie on his team.

The statement is neither an indictment on Williams’ potential nor a reflection on how the Timberwolves view the power forward they selected No. 2 overall behind Irving in the NBA Draft. But as Irving and the Cavaliers face the Timberwolves Friday night in Minneapolis, any talk of rookie-of-the-year showdowns must include Ricky Rubio, who’s part point guard and part pop star to a fan base that has been eager for a reason to get excited since Kevin Garnett left town in 2007.

Rubio, 21, and Irving, 19, are the only rookies among the 120 players on the NBA All-Star Game ballot.

The Cavs have been fun to watch with their energy and team play, and this matchup gives them a chance to pick up a road win.

I also want to watch Williams play. Many in Cleveland wanted him over Irving, especially since Tristan Thompson wasn’t a very popular pick at #4. Now Thompson is winning over Cleveland fans and Irving is showing flashes of brilliance, so it will be interesting to see them match up against Williams as well tomorrow night.

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