Thursday, 20 September, 2018

NBA Rising Stars 2018

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell drives up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Salt Lake City. Mitchell and Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons the leading rookie of the yea Utah basketball fans' guide to the NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles
Edward Snyder | 18 February, 2018, 07:11

The NBA kicked off its annual All-Star Weekend beginning Friday night with the All-Star Celebrity game featuring the first four-point line mark.

Ben Simmons has no intention of proving to the rest of the National Basketball Association fraternity that he should have been an All-Star this season by making a conscious effort to aim for the MVP Award of the Rising Stars game at Staples Center.

Simmons almost posted a triple-double in the Challenge as he had 11 points, 13 assists and six rebounds in the World's 155-124 win over the U.S. Mitchell was good himself with seven points, seven assists, five steals and showed off with a huge dunk in the opening minutes. Eight of the World's 10 players hit double figures, including 21 from Denver's Jamal Murray, the Canadian MVP of this game last season with 36 points.

"I'm going to throw it out there, I like the whole Grant Hill and Jason Kidd co-rookie of the years", Miller said. "I'm the youngest of six, so they keep me grounded and let me know that I'm the youngest in the household".

"I approach every single game the same way, try to compete, to be the best version of myself that day", a smiling Bogdanovic said after the game.

Simmons is averaging 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.9 steals for Eastern Conference's seventh-place Sixers (30-25).




"I told him I would score on him", Bogdanovic said.

Saturday night didn't disappoint either as the night began with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

The game was full of alley-oops and three-pointers while defence was nearly non-existent, a norm for such games. Of course, there will be other factors at play like effort levels (especially on defense) and playing time (actual All-Star Embiid might not get too many). "I actually want to get the assist record", he stated. He's a good shooter, has long arms, and has a feel for the game. You've got bigs that really spread the floor, and it allows the small guys to spread the paint.

Embiid provided the third quarter's best highlight with a nimble spin move into a ferocious dunk while the World padded its lead out to 32 points in the third and 39 in the fourth.

Team Worlds 10 players came from nine different countries with Canada leading the way with two, Murray and Toronto's Dillon Brooks.

Not to be outdone, Dennis Smith Jr. who is also participating in the dunk contest, showed the crowd what he can do with a nice alley-oop finish off a feed from Mitchell.

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