The Rising Stars Challenge kicks off the All-Star weekend festivities that Friday night, and features a mix of the game’s top rookies and sophomores competing in the exhibition.
Teams used to be separated by seniority, which often times meant a blowout victory for the second-year players. But the league has since created a draft of all available players, in hopes of making it a more competitive contest.
Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard went one-two this year, and the rest of the teams (drafted by TNT analysts Grant Hill and Chris Webber) shook out as follows:
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee
Pero Antic Atlanta
Harrison Barnes Golden State
Bradley Beal Washington
Andre Drummond Detroit
Terrence Jones Houston
Damian Lillard Portland
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto
Dion Waiters Cleveland
Steven Adams Oklahoma City
Trey Burke Utah
Michael Carter-Williams Philadelphia
Anthony Davis New Orleans
Tim Hardaway, Jr. New York
Victor Oladipo Orlando
Kelly Olynyk Boston
Mason Plumlee Brooklyn
Jared Sullinger Boston
The starters will be determined by fan voting, and the head coaches are the lead assistant coaches from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The Indiana Pacers Nate McMillan will lead TEAM HILL and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Rex Kalamian will man the sidelines for TEAM WEBBER.
Here’s a look back at the 2013 game, which featured a 40-point performance from Kenneth Faried that earned him MVP honors.
Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….
During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.
The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.
We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”
This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.
And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.
Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.
He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).
You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.
We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.
There are no words to describe how sad this is.
Ingrid Williams, the wife of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach and former New Orleans Pelicans head coach, Monty Williams, died Wednesday at the age of 44 from injuries suffered in a car accident the day before.
Williams’ car was hit head-on by another vehicle that had crossed over the center divider, according to the Oklahoman.
The Monty and Ingrid had been married more than 20 years and have five children, ranging in age from 17 to 5. Williams is one of the better respected and personally liked coaches around the league, and the tributes have just started to pour in.
Our thoughts are with Williams and his family.