Sunday, February 17, 2013

NBA 2013 All-Star Weekend: Rising Stars Challenge

Image: CBS Sports
The 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend is being staged as one of the most exciting event in the league for this season and rightfully so with a showcase of individual talents lined up over the weekend's activities. The first part of the weekend basketball showcase kicked off last Friday via the Rising Stars Challenge featuring rookie and sophomore players. This year features the battle between Team Chuck and Team Shaq once again and here is a breakdown of the players that make up the roster:

Team Chuck:

Tristan Thompson
Anthony Davis
Kenneth Faried
Kawhi Leonard
Bradley Beal
Ricky Rubio
Nikola Vucevic
Brandon Knight
Isaiah Thomas
Alexey Shved 

Team Shaq:

Kemba Walker
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Damian Lillard
Kyrie Irving
Andrew Nicholson
Klay Thompson
Harrison Barnes
Chandler Parsons
Dion Waiters
Tyler Zeller

Team Chuck vs Team Shaq (source:

This is the second time that the Rising Stars challenge in the NBA All-Stars consisted of a mix of rookie and sophomore players. And it helped to bring forth exciting action on the court as fans were treated to several highlight plays, dunks, and all things in between.  

Kyrie Irving was the MVP from last year's Rising Star Challenge and he registered 32 points along with 23 points from his Cavaliers teammate Dion Waiters, who is also part of Team Shaq. As if it were any sign of how exciting this game would be, Spurs' Kawhi Leonard slammed the ball to the hoop via an alley-oop pass from Anthony Davis within 20 seconds since the game kicked off.

However, Team Chuck was on fire leading to halftime wherein they were firing from all cylinders. They have landed several 3-point shots and dunks that were virtually uncontested. In fact, all of the players fielded in for Team Chuck had converted a 3-point shot but Tristan Thompson. But in order to make up for that, he has four dunks under his name.

Ricky Rubio, who has had a pretty strong return this season from Minnesota Timberwolves after suffering an injury, and made 10 assists. Later in the game, though, Brandon Knight and Kyrie Irving stole the show after their short individual duel. But the real star of the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge was Kenneth Faried who bagged 40 points and 10 rebounds. His shots drew some of the loudest cheers from the fans on the bleacher

In the end, Team Chuck won over Tem Shaq via a 163-135 victory.  

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