The NBA’s prime younger expertise was on full show through the Jordan Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend in Utah on Friday evening. The format for the annual exhibition has shifted over time with the intention to make the sport extra aggressive, and this time round it featured 4 groups coached by distinguished former NBA gamers — Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Deron Williams served as coaches for the three groups comprised of NBA rookies and sophomores, whereas Jason Terry led a squad comprised totally of G League gamers.
The 4 complete groups competed in a three-game mini-tournament that featured the always-exciting Elam Ending — the primary two video games had been performed to 40 factors, and the championship sport was performed to 25.
Team Pau bested Team Deron 40-25 within the first sport of the match, thanks largely to New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, who accounted for 13 of his group’s 40 factors. Led by New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (13 factors), Team Joakim took down Team Jason 40-32 within the second sport to arrange a championship battle between Team Pau and Team Joakim. Those two groups engaged in a aggressive affair, and in the end it was Team Pau that pulled out the 25-20 win to say the crown.
After hitting the game-winning basket within the closing sport to propel Team Gasol to victory, Alvarado was rewarded with the MVP Award.
Just as he does throughout his common play with the Pelicans,set the tone for his group, and he confirmed precisely why he is turn out to be a staple in New Orleans’ rotation on the massive stage.
The mini-tournament was a good way to kick off All-Star weekend, and the NBA deserves some credit score for using a format that promoted participating, aggressive play. We can solely hope that the remainder of the weekend proves to be equally entertaining.
Here are three key takeaways from the 2023 iteration of the Rising Stars Game:
1. Alvarado known as his shot
First, there was Babe Ruth. Now, there’s Jose Alvarado. Just earlier than he drilled the game-winning triple within the title sport, Alvarado known as his shot to Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who was seated courtside, and the second was caught on digital camera:
You must have faith to thrive within the NBA, and Alvarado clearly is not missing in that division. In a contest stuffed with the league’s prime younger stars, Alvarado shined the brightest.
2. Elam Ending = Game winners
The Elam Ending means one factor for basketball followers: game-winners. Every sport performed with the Elam Ending ends with a made basket, and that provides a layer of pleasure to the closing moments. As a consequence, basketball followers had been handled to a few separate game-winning pictures on Friday evening. In the primary sport, Keegan Murray sank a triple to ship Team Pau to the championship:
In the second sport, it was Quentin Grimes’ flip to sink a triple to ship his group to the title sport:
Then there was Alvarado who hit this shot to seal the deal for Team Pau:
Given the way it promotes thrilling endings, it is simple to see why the Elam Ending has gained recognition within the basketball world.
3. A glimpse of the longer term
Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite is broadly anticipated to be a top-two choose within the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft, and the Rising Stars Game afforded us an early alternative to see him compete towards present NBA gamers. Henderson did not play his finest ball, because it regarded like he was urgent a bit early on with the intention to make an announcement.
He shot simply considered one of 5 from the ground and he had three turnovers. On the constructive facet, he additionally accrued two steals, two assists and 4 factors in his lone sport. It most likely wasn’t the precise impression Henderson hoped to depart, however it was nonetheless neat to get to see him sharing an NBA court docket with guys he’ll be competing towards subsequent season.