NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2013: Big Men Who Will Showcase Their Skills

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06:  Kenneth Faried #35 of the Denver Nuggets goes up for a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  The Nuggets won 112-105.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge will showcase some of the best young talent the NBA has to offer, and that includes some up-and-coming big men who will participate in this game.

This event will take place on Friday, Feb. 15 during the NBA's All-Star weekend.

Some of the top bigs set to participate in this game are Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets and Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Let's take a closer look at each of these players and what they bring to the table.


Anthony Davis, Power Forward, New Orleans Hornets

Davis was the undisputed No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft and has proven his worth thus far for the Hornets. Davis is averaging 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

Not only is Davis a respectable scorer for New Orleans, he has also proven to be a strong interior presence on the defensive end and rebounding the ball. With a little more work, Davis is a surefire candidate to be the Defensive Player of the Year in the years to come.

However, this year hasn't come without struggles for the rookie. Davis battled an injury earlier in the year that forced him to miss nearly a month of action.

After a tough stretch of games that spanned from Feb. 6 to Feb. 11, Davis had one of his best games of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 13 with 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.


Kenneth Faried, Power Forward, Denver Nuggets

Faried has become well known for his incredible athleticism and impressive dunks, but he is quickly becoming a solid all-around player for the Nuggets.

On the season, Faried is averaging 12.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, one assist and 1.1 steals per game. Every night he takes the floor, Faried is a threat to post a double-double.

In the month of February alone, Faried has notched four double-doubles and fell one rebound short on Feb. 1 against the Hornets, which would have given him five for the month in just seven games played.

With a lot of young and inexperienced players on the floor in this game, Faried will no doubt shine and I fully expect to see him dunk on at least one unlucky individual.


Tristan Thompson, Power Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers

Building on a decent rookie campaign, Thompson's numbers are improving in his second year in the NBA. Not only do the Cavs have Kyrie Irving on their roster, but it appears they have a big in Thompson to complement him.

Thompson is averaging 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds this season as a full-time starter. Both of those numbers are up from his rookie campaign. More importantly, his field goal percentage is creeping up toward the 50 percent mark, which is important for a big man like Thompson.

The former Texas Longhorn's block numbers are slightly down from last season, but that should improve once he becomes a smarter defender.

Thompson has a great opportunity to dominate down low in this contest and show just how impactful he can be in the paint.