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:
RT @kcjhoop: Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving still have yet to face each other in an NBA game. Friday marks 4th straight miss.— BullsBlogger (@BullsBlogger) November 2, 2012
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
Streaming: NBA League Pass Broadband