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Bulls vs. Cavs preview: Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose miss out on matchup again

Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose have still never met in a head-to-head matchup, and Friday will mark the fourth time those two dynamic point guards don't directly cross paths.

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose at two of the most dynamic and promising point guards in the NBA, but when the Chicago Bulls take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night those two won't be playing against each other -- again. Various injuries have derailed what should be an excellent rivalry, and this time it's Rose (knee) who will miss the contest. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune points out that this game marks the fourth time Rose and Irving have managed to miss each other for a head-to-head clash:

Both teams are coming off wins in their season openers, but the competition in those contests can't exactly inspire confidence. The Bulls knocked off the Sacramento Kings, while the Cavs dispatched a wounded Washington Wizards team.

The excitement in this game will come from the matchups that emerge in the frontcourt. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah combined for 41 points on 14-of-25 shooting and 18 rebounds against the Kings, while Anderson Varejao flirted with a triple-double and wound up with nine points, 23 rebounds and nine assists against the Wizards.

The Bulls recently locked up power forward Taj Gibson on a four-year extension worth $32 million in guaranteed money, so it will also be interesting to see if Tom Thibodeau uses the 27-year-old forward even more often during the balance of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Game day, tip time: Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. CT

TV: CSN-Chicago

Streaming: NBA League Pass Broadband