When asked about his upcoming matchup with former Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, Derrick “Rejuvenated” Rose said he felt they “both have similar games but Irving relies on his jumpshot more.” I’ll agree with that and I’m sure Channing Frye will agree Rose is as good as Irving when it comes to attacking the basket. Here’s what Frye had to say on a recent episode of his ‘Road Trippin’ podcast: “I called my brother after I saw Rose [play in practice]. This boy is BBQ chicken every day! I have never seen a man so violently go to the rack like he does, and then loop-the-loop and all of a sudden the ball floats up and just goes in every single time.
During Monday’s practice interview, Rose also brought up playing against Irving in playoffs’ past. If you remember the 2015 series between the Bulls and Cavs, then you probably remember Rose outplaying Irving and putting up better numbers throughout the series, especially Game 3, when he went off for 30 points, 7 boards, 7 assists and a crazy game-winning three at the buzzer; Irving missed 10 of his 13 shots and finished with just 11 points and a donut in the assists column.
Rose followed up that big win and performance with 31 points, while Irving struggled again, scoring just 12 points on 2-of-10 shooting. Thankfully for the Cavs, Irving had a teammate named LeBron, who put up 25 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists and the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
As for the regular season, Rose and Irving played each other nine times between 2013 and 2017 and ended up with similar averages, mainly because Irving put up a lot more points against Rose while Rose was rotting in the Big Apple. Here’s the highlights from a few of their duels going back to 2014.
FYI: Irving’s first game against Rose in November of 2013 was just a few weeks after Rose’s return from missing the entire 2012/13 season. So what I’m saying is Irving never had to play against All-Star/MVP Derrick Rose.