|Possibly the top two Rookie of the Year candidates...oh...and Luke Ridnour.|
There was talk prior to the 2011 NBA Draft of, "What if Cleveland takes Derrick Williams #1 overall? Does Minnesota take Kyrie Irving and trade Ricky Rubio?" Lucky for Wolves fans, and really it seems so far for Cleveland fans as well that wasn't the case. Lucky for Wolves fans so they didn't have to live with deciding if it was a good idea or not to either take Kyrie or pass on Kyrie, or to trade or not trade Rubio. Lucky for Cav fans as Kyrie Irving looks like a franchise point guard so far in his rookie year and that is just what Cleveland wanted and needed with that #1 overall pick. Today, as always with help from basketball-reference, we will be doing a statistical comparison on these two point guards.
Ricky Rubio through 24 games -
Ricky has had a solid week of games, double-doubles in 2 out of the 3 games since his last comparison and seems to be falling into a groove now as a starting NBA PG. Looks like had he started since day one he'd likely be averaging a double-double with points and assists and very well could get there by the end of the year.
Kyrie Irving through 22 games -
Kyrie has played two less games so far than Ricky and for the first time in our Rubio Comparisons it isn't a direct comparison in number of games. Luckily they are both far enough along in the season it is still a solid comparison. Irving comes in with some very impressive numbers, the 18 ppg, 50% fg and 40% 3pt are all very impressive and give him the upper hand on Rubio in scoring. Not a surprise though, this is/was expected that Irving would be the better scorer than Rubio, especially in their rookie campaign's. Rubio then gets the upper hand in assists at 8.9 per in comparison to 5.0 and also averages a full rebound more than Irving. PER goes decidedly to Irving. Both are averaging around 3.1 turnovers per game, with Rubio slightly above 3.1 and Irving slightly below it.
To me the take away from these numbers is that both of these rookies are doing what they are expected to do. Rubio is more of the creator for others and Irving is more of the creator for himself. More than that though both have their teams looking better than they did last year in terms of wins and losses and that is bigger than any of the numbers statistically. I think it maybe those wins more than the stats that will decide which of these two rookies wins Rookie of the Year. At this point they are the clear cut leaders, but there is a lot of season left. It will be interesting to see how they continue to grow as the season progresses and we'll probably do another comparison of the two later on to check on them.
It's a busy week for Rubio with two back to backs, first home to Sacramento tonight, at Memphis tomorrow, then two at home this weekend against Dallas and the Knicks. An even bigger story will be that for two of those games the Wolves and Rubio will be without Kevin Love, after he went Ndamukong Suh on Luis Scola's face. How will that affect Rubio's numbers for next week's comparison? We'll have to wait and see.
Past Rubio Comparisons -