Rosters set for 2013 Rising Stars game on All-Star Friday featuring rookies and sophomores

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The rosters have been set for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, the game featuring the league’s top rookies and sophomores that will kick off the All-Star weekend festivities on Friday, Feb. 15.

Teams were drafted from the pool of available players by TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, with Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio and Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas being added as potential draftees by Kenny Smith.

TEAM SHAQ took Damian Lillard with his first pick, and ended up with Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats), Tyler Zeller (Cleveland), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte).

TEAM CHUCK is comprised of Rubio, Thomas, Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento Kings), and Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves).

These games are always ridiculously high-scoring, and can be a lot of fun if the players take it at least a little bit seriously. On paper, Team Shaq would appear to have a huge advantage, as speed and guard play tends to rule these types of exhibitions.

Irving won the MVP of the 2012 game in Orlando by finishing with 34 points and nine assists, while going 8-8 from three-point distance.

Dwyane Wade says Bulls’ showers had no hot water in Boston

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The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.

It didn’t get better afterward.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:

I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.

But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.

Robin Lopez pushes short floater over backboard (video)

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Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

This miss was all on him.

Dwyane Wade plays the laziest defense you’ll ever see (video)

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Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.

Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.