This weekend the Boston Celtics will have four current players, plus two former players competing in the NBA’s All-Star Weekend out in Los Angeles.
???? Rising Stars + #NBAAllStars ???? pic.twitter.com/NDpjKAgHVP— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 15, 2018
Point guard Kyrie Irving is making his fifth appearance in the All-Star Game and will be reuniting with former teammate LeBron James on Sunday night.
James selected Irving in the All-Star Game draft, where team captains James and Steph Curry drafted players like they were back in the schoolyard.
Irving will be starting on “Team LeBron” alongside James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins, who’s currently injured (Achilles).
So far this season, Irving is averaging 24.7 points-per-game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field in 32.8 minutes-per-game. In addition to his high level of scoring, he’s averaging 3.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and a steal per game.
RELATED: LeBron Drafts Kyrie To Be Starting Point Guard In NBA All-Star Game
Forward/Center, Al Horford, will be competing against his Celtics teammate, as he’ll be coming off of the bench for “Team Steph” in his fifth All-Star appearance. He’ll also be competing in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night.
Horford is averaging 13.2 points-per-game in 32.2 minutes-per-game, while shooting 50.8 percent from the field. He’s snagging an average of 7.7 rebounds-per-game to go with 5.1 assists and a block per game.
Al Horford grabs a steal on the Indiana fast break and Jaylen Brown finishes on the other end! pic.twitter.com/P2TvvEZKHG— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 10, 2018
Rookie Jayson Tatum and sophomore Jaylen Brown have been selected to play in the NBA Rising Stars Game on Friday night.
Both young bucks will be playing on the “U.S. Team,” with the likes of Kris Dunn (Bulls), De’Aaron Fox (Kings) and Donovan Mitchell (Jazz).
Tatum is having a solid rookie campaign this year, averaging 13.5 points-per-game, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and an impressive 43 percent from three. And he’s grabbing five rebounds a game on average through 31 minutes-per-game.
Sophomore slump? Not so much for Brown. He’s upped his points-per-game from 6.6 to 14 points on 46 percent shooting. And he’s shown that he can be aggressive on the boards, increasing his rebounds-per-game from 2.8 to 5.4 rebounds. He’s even seen his minutes almost double, from 17 minutes-per-game last year, to 31.6 minutes this season.
You can catch the Rising Stars Game this Friday night at 8:00 p.m. on TNT.
Prior to the Rising Stars Game, former Celtics Paul Pierce and Nate Robinson will be playing in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN. Pierce won the Three-Point Contest in 2010 and Robinson is a three-time Slam Dunk Contest Champion.
RELATED: Paul Pierce’s Number 34 Is Forever Enshrined In Celtics History
On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will be announced, with the All-Star Saturday Night to follow at 8:00 p.m. on TNT. The Saturday night special will feature the Skills Challenge, followed by the Three-Point Contest and closing out the night will be Slam Dunk Contest.
.@NBAAllStar you guys sure you don't want this in the dunk contest? pic.twitter.com/SRPhol9SNi— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 9, 2018
Skills Challenge Contestants: Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets), Joel Embiid (76ers), Al Horford (Celtics), Lauri Markkanen (Bulls), Buddy Hield (Kings), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), *Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Lou Williams (Clippers).
Three Point Contest Contestants: Eric Gordon (Rockets), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Paul George (Thunder), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Devin Booker (Suns), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Tobias Harris (Clippers)
Slam Dunk Contest Participants: Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Larry Nance Jr. (Cavaliers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
Closing out All-Star Weekend will be the NBA All-Star Game, tipping-off Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on TNT.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (40-19) will play the first of back-to-back road games next Friday, February 24, against the Detroit Pistons (28-29). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com