Rising Stars Challenge - Team USA vs Team World: Predictions, Odds, MVP Favorites

Team USA defeats Team World, 147-143. Rising Stars Challenge MVP: (G) Ja Morant (MEM).

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How to Watch

What: 2020 Rising Stars Challenge: Team USA vs Team World

Where: United Center, Chicago

When: Friday, 14 February 2020, 9:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Team World (Away)

Roster:

  • (G) Nickeil Alexander-Walker – New Orleans Pelicans – Canada – Rookie
  • (C) DeAndre Ayton – Phoenix Suns – Bahamas – Sophomore
  • (G) RJ Barrett – New York Knicks – Canada – Rookie
  • (F) Brandon Clarke – Memphis Grizzlies – Canada – Rookie
  • (G) Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks – Slovenia – Sophomore
  • (G) Shai Gilegeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder – Canada – Sophomore
  • (F) Rui Hachimura – Washington Wizards – Japan – Rookie
  • (F) Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – Detroit Pistons – Ukraine – Sophomore
  • (G) Josh Okogie – Minnesota Timberwolves – Nigeria – Sophomore
  • (C) Moritz Wagner – Washington Wizards – Germany – Sophomore

Projected Starting Five: (G) Luka Doncic – (G) Shai Gilgeous Alexander – (G) RJ Barrett – (F) Rui Hachimura – (C) DeAndre Ayton

Top Performers

  • (G) Luka Doncic – 32.8 MPG | 28.8 PPG | 9.5 RPG | 8.7 RPG
  • (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – 35.5 MPG | 19.5 PPG | 6.1 RPG | 3.1 APG
  • (C) DeAndre Ayton – 33.0 MPG | 18.7 PPG | 12.0 RPG | 1.6 BPG

Team World continues the trend of looking like an incredibly disciplined and balanced side.

While they have few players that will jump out of the gym, they are loaded with talent and intelligence at every position.

Every year we tend to count out Team World, but they’ve proven time and again that they have the skills to compete with the high-fliers of the USA.

Don’t expect Luka Doncic to be too involved in this match. Only playing a few minutes makes sense for the sophomore and first-time All-Star.

He is coming off of an ankle injury and will certainly be saving his health and energy for Sunday evening.

Look to DeAndre Ayton to make an impact in this game. Overlooked as a member of the Suns, we’ve seen big men put up big numbers in these games due to their willingness to get on the glass.

For fun NBA Prop Bets check out our latest Prop Drop video.

Team USA (Home)

Roster:

  • (F) Miles Bridges – Charlotte Hornets – Michigan State – Sophomore
  • *(C) Wendell Carter Jr. – Chicago Bulls – Duke – Sophomore
  • (G) Devonte’ Graham – Charlotte Hornets – Kansas – Sophomore
  • *(G) Tyler Herro – Miami Heat – Kentucky – Rookie
  • (F) Jaren Jackson Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies – Michigan State – Sophomore
  • (G) Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies – Murray State – Rookie
  • (G) Kendrick Nunn – Miami Heat – Simeon HS – Rookie
  • (F) Eric Paschall – Golden State Warriors – Villanova – Rookie
  • (F) PJ Washington – Charlotte Hornets – Kentucky – Rookie
  • (G) Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks – Oklahoma – Sophomore
  • (F) Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans – Duke – Rookie
  • (G) Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers – Alabama – Sophomore

* denotes player will not compete due to injury.

Projected Starting Five: (G) Trae Young – (G) Devonte’ Graham – (F) Miles Bridges – (F) Zion Williamson – (C) Jaren Jackson Jr.

Top Performers

  • (G) Trae Young – 35.2 MPG | 29.7 PPG | 9.1 APG | .370 3P%
  • (G) Ja Morant – 29.8 MPG | 17.6 PPG | 7.0 APG | 1.0 SPG
  • (G) Devonte’ Graham – 35.2 MPG | 17.9 PPG | 7.8 APG | .372 3P%

Team USA continues its trend of having shocking athleticism and scoring ability from deep.

They will certainly get out and play a running game, as their combination of speedy guards and athletic bigs is something that Team World could have trouble contending with.

Like Luka Doncic, don’t expect first-time All-Star Trae Young to play a large role in this match. While his play is tailor-made for an entertaining Rising Stars Challenge, Young is certain to want to reserve his energy for his debut in the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Beyond him, all eyes are on Ja Morant. The explosive rookie has forced the Memphis Grizzlies into playoff position and was nearly named an All-Star himself this season. His ability to get up and down the court, dish the ball, and finish strong make him a leading contender for the Rising Stars MVP award.

Biggest Snubs

(G) Terence Davis – Toronto Raptors – Ole Miss – Rookie

Undrafted rookie Terence Davis has made quite a name for himself in his first year. Averaging 8.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 60.4% effective field-goal shooting, Davis is one of the most impactful rookies in the league. there are questions abound regarding why he was overlooked, but as Davis has said, it’s nothing new to him.

(C) Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks – Western Kentucky – Sophomore

Here’s a player that assistant coaches may have straight out forgotten about. A member of the lowly New York Knicks, it’s not difficult to imagine why. Despite that, Robinson has improved his scoring and rebounds, while contributing two blocks per game. Next to Luka Doncic, Robinson is the top in win shares.

(G) Matisse Thybulle – Philadelphia 76ers – Washington – Rookie

Thybulle gets a bit of the OG Anunoby treatment this year. Certainly deserving based on his contributions to his team, Thybulle doesn’t make the cut because of a rather pedestrian per game box score. He has been massive in the Sixers’ rotation and victories though, more than qualifying his place in the squad.

Honorable Mention: Jaxson Hayes (NOP), Landry Shamet (LAC), Donte DiVincenzo (MIL), Duncan Robinson (MIA), Kevin Huerter (ATL)

Rising Stars Challenge Predictions

It’s only been five years that the Rising Stars Challenge has enjoyed the World versus USA matchup, and it’s been exciting, to say the least. Of those five matchups, the World Team has won three. This will be an excellent chance for Team USA to bring the series level though.

After Doncic and Young, Team USA owns three of the most talented individual scorers in Kendrick Nunn, Devonte’ Graham, and Ja Morant.

Their ability to push the pace and score in isolation is exactly what powers an offense in this exhibition. They will more than likely employ a running game in order to outpace Team World.

Don’t discount Team World though. Between Ayton, Hachimura, Wagner, and Clarke, they have the ability on the glass to close any gaps against the USA Team. Don’t discount the teamwork of the four Canadians on the roster as well. Barrett, Clarke, and the Alexander brothers have been playing together for years on their national team, chemistry is nothing to scoff at.

For the World Team to be competitive, they’ll have to keep the score close until the end where they can take advantage of their superior half-court play. Team USA will be trying to run them out of the gym with every opportunity.

Rising Stars Challenge MVP Favourites

(G) Trae Young (ATL) & (G) Luka Doncic (DAL)

These two will never be rid of each other. However, the main reason they find themselves attached at the top of this list is that how much they play in this match remains a mystery. With so much attention going to them as All-Star starters, a modest night on Friday wouldn’t be a surprise. If they do get an extended run though, both are game-changers.

(G) Ja Morant (MEM)

Ja Morant has led his Memphis Grizzlies into the playoffs race as a rookie. As he enters the Rising Stars Challenge, why shouldn’t he be able to command his side to victory as well? Morant is a fantastic distributor and a high-flier that teammates will want to feed in transition. He’s not a strong shooter though, which will be his only drawback when trying to fill up the box score.

(C) DeAndre Ayton (PHX)

It is easy to overlook the big man in these types of games, but there is a historical precedent to their success. In such an up and down game, big men have found success doing the dirty work and making easy baskets. Andre Drummond, David Lee, and Kenneth Faried have all won MVP honors off of a blue-collar approach to the game. Ayton has its ability and more.

(G) Devonte’ Graham (CHA)

Graham came out of nowhere to play a massive role for the Charlotte Hornets this season. He’s had the experience of being the primary ball-handler all year and will have more than enough opportunity in this game. Shooting 37.2% from deep on almost ten three-point attempts per game, Graham has the capacity to get hot and never look back.

WSN Picks

Team USA defeats Team World, 147-143.

Rising Stars Challenge MVP: (G) Ja Morant (MEM).

For recent NBA odds visit DraftKings Sportsbook, William Hill NJ, or bet365 NJ.

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