Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Right now, for your imaginary team: Rubio or Irving?
Steve Aschburner: Irving. My imaginary team, mind you, will continue to operate as long as my imagination remains intact, so over the long haul I might prefer Rubio as a point guard more likely to make teammates better. But since we’re talking “right now” I’m going with the Cavs’ rookie. Irving has been asked to carry more of a scoring load for Cleveland and he’s responded with 19.3 ppg and an effective FG% of 55.0. He’s not that far behind Rubio in assists percentage either (10th at 36.2 to the import’s 43.4). Defensively, I give the edge to Rubio but the Wolves guard’s shooting (42.8 eFG%) is sinking to the level of initial doubts.
Fran Blinebury: If it’s my imaginary team, I want to watch players players conjuring up new tricks and doing things that I can hardly imagine each time down the court. That’s Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Pete Maravich and Michael Jordan. From that tradition: Ricky Rubio.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Irving. And that’s coming from someone who felt all along that Rubio would do well in the NBA. Maybe not this well this soon, but a successful career. Irving, though, is running the point plus great speed plus leadership at a young age plus ball handling. Chris Paul comparisons from people in the league are not uncommon.
Shaun Powell: I will give the slightest of nods to Rubio only because he has a very rare gift: He can see the floor. A lot of what Irving does, I can get from other players on my imaginary team. Rubio will make my players happy and make them hustle, knowing the point guard will nourish them nightly with passes. And don’t forget the entertainment factor, too. People want to watch Rubio to see what he does next. You can’t find his type so easily.
John Schuhmann: It would depend on who their imaginary teammates are. If I’ve got other scorers and shooters on my team, I’ll take Rubio, who can get them the ball where and when they need it. But if my team is otherwise deficient offensively, I’ll take Irving, who can put points on the board by himself. What’s great is that they’re both pretty good fits on their current teams. Cleveland needed Irving’s scoring and Minnesota needed Rubio’s passing.
Sekou Smith: Rubio. And I’m going casting aside whatever numbers they are putting up as rookies and trying my best to peer into the future on two guys that will undoubtedly be leaders of the future at the position. Rubio is just a natural born playmaker. That’s always going to be more conducive to ultimate success in a league where everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to be on the receiving end passes from someone that distributes the ball the way Rubio does. Irving will probably always be a better scorer than Rubio could ever become. But he’ll never be as good a passer as Rubio was the day he walked into the league. He has jaw-dropping ability as a passer/facilitator. And if I’m picking a point guard for my team, I want the guy that has that transcendent quality to his game.