Friday night is going to be a big night for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While most NBA players will away from basketball for All-Star Weekend, four members of the Cavaliers will be on the floor for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
The game will feature the top first-year and second-year players in the NBA and will include Cavaliers Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. Irving, Waiters and Zeller will play for Team Shaq, while Thompson will play for Team Chuck.
For a team with a record of 16-37, which is the third-worst in the NBA, it’s significant that the Cavaliers have so many players in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. That significance, though, can be looked at in two very different ways.
On one hand, it could be said that while the Cavaliers have a terrible record this season, at least they have some good young players that they can build around in order to improve. The team may be bad now, but the future looks bright.
On the other hand, it could be said that any team that has four first-year and second-year players as their main guys of course is going to struggle. When Anderson Varejao was injured and before Shaun Livingston, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington were brought in, the four Rising Stars were the main scorers and rebounders for the Cavaliers. It’s great to have young players to build around, but when teams are as young as the Cavaliers are this year, they are going to lose a lot of games.
NBA teams simply can’t expect to win a lot of games when their main players are all so young. Even if the young guys are good, they are going to lose a lot of game unless they have some veterans to help them.
Despite all of the losses the team has suffered through this season, though,Friday night and really the whole weekend could be very important for the Cavaliers.
The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge is an opportunity for the young players on the Wine and Gold to play on a big stage and get some national attention. This will be a night to forget about all of the losses and just go out and put on a show with all of the other top young talent in the league.
The game will also be an opportunity for the young Cavaliers to show fans that while their team may have a poor record this year, it does have some talent and is headed in the right direction.