Welcome to your Daily NBA Fix for Saturday, Feb. 15, where there will be a bit of a different feel because it’s the All-Star break, meaning there is no “real” NBA action to recap. But we’ll take a look at the action from All-Star Friday, including the youngsters getting to rock an All-Star-esque vibe and celebrities doing things with a basketball.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have your Fix! After all there was the Rising Stars Challenge (with a corporate name that will remain anonymous here, because hey … they’re not paying us for naming rights), with Team Hill (selected by GM Grant Hill and coached by Indiana Pacers associate head coach Nate McMillan) topping Team Webber (selected by GM Chris Webber and coached by Oklahoma City Thunder assistant Rex Kalamian), 142-136.
Defense? There were rumors, but very little seen at New Orleans Arena Friday night.
Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons copped MVP honors (even if his trophy broke before it could be presented to him by the dude from the anonymous corporate sponsor—let’s just say the company hasn’t done anything to persuade me to choose them for anything … other than breaking trophies). Drummond scored 30 points and had a Rising Stars Challenge-record 25 rebounds (they keep records for this?) on 12-of-21 shooting to pace Team Hill to the win. And he even made 6-of-8 from the foul line, which may have had Pistons interim coach John Loyer screaming, “Save some of that, big man!” ]
Drummond nearly out-rebounded Team Webber by himself; Team Webber finished the night with 28 boards. Tim Hardaway Jr. of the New York Knicks scored a game-high 36 points for the C-Webbs, hitting 7-of-16 from 3-point range. That appeared to be Team Webber’s strategy against Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas and Miles Plumlee’s interior size—just keep chucking 3s. Team Webber took 42 of them, made 12, and that was pretty much that.
Mason Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns had 20 points for Team Webber, Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and a game-high nine assists and Anthony Davis of the hometown Pelicans scored 16 points to go with eight rebounds.
The game featured two nine-man rosters made up of rookies and second-year players and rather than four quarters, the game was played in two 20-minute halves.
As far as the whole defense thing goes? Well, Team Hill was 54-for-93 (58.1 percent). Team Webber was 58-for-103 (56.3 percent), so no, the kids didn’t play a lot of D.
Here are some highlights: