Ricky Rubio Faces John Wall At the Verizon Center As the Washington Wizards Host the Minnesota Timberwolves

12:12 PM, Jan 8, 2012   |    comments
Rubio's skills as a passer may be more valuable in the long run. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Wizards fans, how badly do you wish you could trade rosters with the flourishing Minnesota Timberwolves?

I know they're just 2-5, but man oh man is there potential up on the frozen lakes. Kevin Love is starting to establish himself as an arguable top five player in the league. Love's scoring 26 points, grabbing nearly 15 rebounds, hitting three pointers and using a post game. He's going to be a better Dirk.

But the real reason I had the Timberwolves game circled on my calendar -- I mean notified on my iPhone, oh 2012 -- is the point guard matchup. 21-year-old's Ricky Rubio and John Wall are the latest seeds to enter the NBA soil of potential bliss. Both have a genuine chance to be the best point guard in the world by decades end.

Obviously Rubio's sample size is just seven games, but I've watched him online for years in Europe. I'm quite familiar with his unique style. There's five different aspects in becoming the best guard in the league. I give an advantage to either Rubio or Wall.

So far in 2011-2012

Ricky Rubio: 9.4 ppg, 6.7 apg, 52.2 fg%, A/TO ratio 2.2, 27.7 minutes.

John Wall: 15.0 ppg, 6.9 apg, 35.6 fg%, A/TO ratio 1.8, 38.3 minutes.

Passing - Advantage Rubio. Ricky can be like Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul and take over a game just by slinging the rock around. Rubio passes can typically fall under the unbelievable category. The way he squeezes the ball into tight windows is similar to Aaron Rodgers. Wall is a solid passer, but nothing special like Rubio.

Athleticism - Advantage Wall. This trait is Wall's Mecca. He almost is too athletic for his own good. Friday against the Knicks his athleticism nearly won the Wizards the game. His use of speed can entirely alter the pace a game. Rubio runs a great fast break himself. Both have to work on their finishing.

Decision Making - Advantage Rubio. This kind of comes hand-in-hand with passing but Rubio seems to be less inclined to make mistakes. Wall's fourth quarter shot selection and questionable floor general skill set come into factor here. He doesn't have Rubio's supporting cast. Wall justifiably has trust issues so far in Washington.

Scoring - Advantage Wall. There should be an asterisk next to Wall's name though. He hasn't developed the shooting skills necessary to diversify his arsenal. Rubio can knock down jumpers, but his stats will look more similar to Rondo.

Defense - Advantage Wall. The 'Great Wall' has came away with a steal in the first seven games. Rubio has matured physically in the last few years. Still, he occasionally can be a liability without the ball.

So pick your poison. With Rubio you get a small scoring presence and nothing special on defense. With Wall you get a point guard who isn't distribute-first and the pressure of him having to score 20 points a night to succeed.

Point guards with Rubio's skills are normally the ones who win championships. This scoring point guard role that Wall is playing is relatively new in the NBA. It doesn't mean he can't succeed. It just means there's a ton of pressure on him.

Cheers to this being the first matchup of dozens down the road.

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