Who's better: Rose or Wade?

Rose and Wade are two of the league's biggest stars. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In this space we'll break down the best individual matchup of the week to see who's the better player. But toss out career accomplishments or potential. This is about ability -- strengths, weaknesses, intangibles -- and who gives his team the best chance to win. It's about the only thing that matters when you step on the court on any given night -- who's better right now.

Positions don't define superstars. Their games do. Elite players take over in crucial moments, make their teams better and guard anyone who happens to be in front of them. In other words, a nightly checklist for this week's combatants.

In this clash of Chicago-born high flyers Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, two of the most electrifying guards in the game go head-to-head for Windy City bragging rights. While Rose looks to become a permanent fixture in the ranks of the upper elite, Wade is having yet another All-NBA season despite a new role as sidekick to fellow superstar LeBron James.

Unless they get cross matched, Wade and Rose will only see each other face to face for a handful of possessions. But make no mistake, those possessions could decide the game.

Rose is riding a tidal wave of MVP buzz into the last third of the regular season. But he'll need much more than buzz to beat out D-Wade in this matchup.