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NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2013: Team Chuck Or Team Shaq?

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The biggest and most important event aside from the announcement of the 2013 NBA Hall of Fame class, is the BBV Rising Stars game tonight on TNT. While it’s essentially a B-team All-Star game, the Rising Stars game is a way for the NBA to see what it’s future looks like and judging from the sheer talent on both rosters, the future looks incredibly bright.

Both Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley held a draft to create their rosters and they hand picked the best of the rest in the NBA to form what they think will be a winning team. But the real question is who has the better roster and who is going to come out on top in tonight’s contest?

Right off the bat, it looks like Team Shaq has the best roster, at least on paper. He’s headlining his roster with Portland Trailblazers rookie sensation Damian Lillard, a guy many believed should have actually been on the All-Star roster rather than in this game. But in addition to Lillard, Shaq has perhaps the next great point guard in the NBA in Cleveland Cavaliers clutch artist Kyrie Irving.

Irving has ice water in his veins and he’s only getting better after every game he plays. Irving had a great rookie campaign past season but this year he’s truly starting to come into his own and Cavaliers fans are starting to not think LeBron James leaving was such a big deal. Between Irving and Lillard, Shaw has put together two of the best young point guards in the league and there’s no way his team is going to suffer when they’re on the court.

On the other side, Team Chuck seems to have less fire-power but a lot more size and bulk. While Shaw has stacked his roster with the likes of Irving, Lillard, Kemba Walker and Dion Waiters, Barkley went for size and experience over speed and shooting ability.

That’s not to say Bradley Beal isn’t going to have a great night shooting, but him Barkley has chosen players that can shut down their opponents defensively and still manage to produce some serious offense. New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis headlines Barkley’s roster with the likes of rising stars Rickey Rubio, Kawhi Leonard and Tristan Thompson to provide offensive flow and defense. Interestingly enough, Barkley chose two Minnesota Timberwolves guards on his team in Rubio and rookie Alexey Shved.

This perhaps serves as a commentary as to the direction the Timberwolves are headed in the next few years, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

When it comes down to it, Team Chuck has some seriously talented players on it’s roster but the fire-power and youth on Team Shaq might be too much to handle. It will no doubt be one of the better events of the weekend and we’re almost guaranteed to see a high scoring affair that will ignite great hope for the future of the NBA.

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Tags: BBVA Rising Stars Challenge NBA NBA All-Star Game

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