9 July, 2014
With injuries to Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, there is no question that the best two point guards in the Eastern Conference right now is John Wall and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving. Despite being drafted a year apart the two are joined at the hips in comparisons.
Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 NBA draft, and Irving, No. 1 overall in 2011, are locked together with so much in common. Whenever the two play each other like they did Sunday night, eyes are watching. And their respective team’s success is the only thing holding this matchup from being a routine see on ESPN or TNT. Both made the All-Star Game with Irving starting due to the fan voting, despite Wall have a better individual and team season.
After the Wizards 96-83 win over the Cavaliers last night, Wall talked about the two going face-to-face,
“It’s always tough [facing Kyrie],” Wall said following the game. “Everybody wants to know who is the best young point guard and who’s the best guy in the Eastern Conference. We both do things great for our team. He’s probably a better offensive guy, skill-wise, and can basically take over games with his skills. I’m more of a point guard that likes to get his teammates involved and am blessed with the talents and abilities to get hot and able to score the ball. Guys look at every time we play as a marquee matchup, so everybody is going to be tuned in for the next couple of years.”
Wall’s assessment might be point on. Irving showed his offensive skills when he took home the All-Star Game MVP with 31 points. Wall may lack the scoring abilities of Irving, but he arguably is the better defender, passer, and overall talent as exampled in his 19.7 points, 8.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game this season.
It’s a fun debate that certainly will increase the rivalry between the Cavaliers-Wizards that started back during the LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas days. The future of the NBA point guard position may rest in the battle of Wall-Irving. The two split the season series this year with each winning two games on each other home floor.