NBA All-Star Weekend is just around the corner which means the announcements for all of the festivities are soon to come. The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t likely to have someone in the All-Star Game, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be represented elsewhere.
The first event that kicks off All-Star Weekend is the Rising Stars Challenge which pits the top rookies and sophomores in the NBA against each other with the USA team taking on the World team.
The NBA officially announced the rosters and both D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram will take part in the game according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
Brandon Ingram and D'Angelo Russell selected to play in Rising Stars game
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) January 25, 2017
This will be Russell’s second straight appearance in the game and he had an excellent showing scoring 22 points and leading the USA side with seven assists. He was joined by Jordan Clarkson who had 25 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
It will be Ingram joining Russell this time and the Rising Stars Challenge could be the perfect place for the rookie to really show the world what he is capable of. Defense tends to be pretty sparse in these games so Ingram will have free range to show all of his skills.
Ingram is averaging 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists this season, but has stepped up in the last 10 games, putting up 12 points per game while raising his shooting percentage from 36.9 to 43.5 percent from the field. Though Russell is currently dealing with a knee injury he having a solid second season, averaging 14.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Unfortunately one Lakers young player didn’t make the cut as Ivica Zubac didn’t make the World roster. The young Croatian has shown some flashes lately, but hasn’t been a regular part of the Lakers’ rotation for most of the year. With Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Kristaps Porzingis on the World team already, Zubac’s chances were extremely slim.