NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2013: Under the Radar Players Sure to Impress
The NBA Rising Stars Challenge will take place during the NBA's All-Star weekend and will showcase some of the most talented young players in the sport today.
The All-Star game itself will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17, but the Rising Stars Challenge will tipoff on Friday, Feb. 15.
This year's version will pit Team Chuck, chosen by Charles Barkley, against Team Shaq that has been picked by Shaquille O'Neal.
Much of the attention will be on rising stars such as Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis to name a few, but there are other young players who are sure to impress.
Let's take a closer look at who fits the bill.
Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets, Team Shaq (Sophomore)
Parsons might be well known to Rockets fans, but this potent offensive threat has yet to make a name in the NBA as a whole.
Not only is Parsons scoring the ball effectively, he is also a solid all-around player. On the year, Parsons is averaging 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game as the Rockets cling to the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
He's shot at a solid clip from the field (47 percent) and is improving his long range game (36 percent) from his numbers last season (33 percent).
Parson's season high for points scored in a game is 31 against the New York Knicks, but the 24-year-old forward clearly has the goods to affect this game in multiple ways.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, Team Chuck (Rookie)
When the Wizards drafted Beal, they were hoping he could be a secondary scoring option to take some pressure off of John Wall, and he's done just that.
Beal is the second leading scorer with the Wizards as he's averaging 13.3 points per game. On top of that, Beal is adding 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest.
Granted, the Wizards would love for his shooting to improve from the field (39 percent) and long distance (37 percent), but there's no question he's making an impact in just his first season.
In Washington's second to last game before the All-Star break, Beal dropped 28 points on the Milwaukee Bucks in a winning effort. He might still be devleoping, but Beal has the abilities to take this game over by putting the rock in the net.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, Team Shaq (Sophomore)
Thompson has been a great addition to the Warriors and is a major reason why his squad is having a successful season thus far.
In his second season, Thompson's numbers are up in every major statistical category. He's averaging 16.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.
Thompson's shooting numbers are down slightly, but that's mostly a result of more minutes and more attempts. Still, Thompson is shooting 41 percent overall with a near 39 percent success rate from the three-point line.
Not many people are talking about how great of a season Thompson is having, but this game should be a great showcase of his talents. As long as he continues to grow, Thompson should be an important piece to the Warriors' puzzle for years to come.
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