Point guard Kyrie Irving, who was last season’s Rookie Of The Year, will be playing in the 2013 NBA All-Star game, while Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller will be playing in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, which is basically the All-Star game for rookies and second-year players. The Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday, Feb. 15, while the All-Star game will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17.
All four players have done well so far in their pro careers, and they deserve to be honored in this way.
Irving, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is averaging 23.9 points per game, and is shooting a solid 47 percent from the field. He has the highest scoring average of any point guard in the NBA, and has the sixth-highest scoring total out of all players.
Irving is also passing out 5.5 assists and recording 3.6 rebounds per game. In addition to the great numbers, he is a leader and he wants to take shots in big moments. Irving is on his way to becoming the best point guard in the league, and he will get a lot more national recognition now that he is playing in his first All-Star game.
Thompson, who was the fourth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is averaging 11 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 49 percent from the field and has really stepped up his game with veteran forward/center Anderson Varejao out of the lineup.
Waiters, the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is scoring 14.5 points per game, which is the second-highest average among all rookies. He is also averaging 2.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, and has been a solid contributor for the Cavaliers. He has been a little inconsistent, but has had some big games for the Wine and Gold.
Zeller, the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is averaging 8.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 block per game. He has been a key player for the Cavaliers, and has also been stepping up his play recently.
But what does all of this All-Star Weekend recognition mean for the Cavaliers?
For this season, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. The Cavaliers may have some great young players, but they also have a terrible record. The team is too inconsistent and it has fallen apart far too many times in the fourth quarters of games. It’s nice to see the young Cavaliers playing on the national stage, but it would be better to see them actually winning a few more games in Cleveland.
For the future, though, it means a great deal. These four young Cavaliers all have pretty good numbers, and they are forming a solid nucleus for the Wine and Gold. If the Cavaliers can keep this group together and maybe add a few other young players and veterans in the next few years, this team is going to be one to be reckoned with.
In addition, if a certain LeBron James really comes back to Cleveland in a few years, then the Cavaliers will definitely be a force again.
Cavaliers fans should enjoy All-Star Weekend this year. This season may not look great in the record books, but there are a lot of positive things going on. The Cavaliers are building for the future, and a lot of that future will be on display for the country during the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend.