Anthony Davis a winner in the Rising Stars Challenge

Pool

Seriously, from this day forward, no more allowing Shaq Nostradamus free reign over one of the rosters. Even if it is merely a playful exhibition. Team Chuck raced to an early lead and rolled to an easy victory over Team Shaq, 163-135. No doubt Andre Drummond would have helped, but one shouldn't rely on a single player to shoulder the load in the paint. Despite both teams shooting a similar FG%, Team Chuck crushed Team Shaq on the glass, 51-24.

Even though Kenneth Faried took home the MVP , Isaiah Thomas deserved just as much recognition. His play in the first half was largely responsible for Team Chuck building their insurmountable 20+ point lead. He didn't miss any of his 4 attempts from beyond the arc, got into the paint at will and was one of the first players on the court to attempt to play any defense.

As for the local flavor, Anthony Davis put up a line of 11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist (nice lob to Kawhi Leonard to start the game), 1 steal and 2 blocks in a hair over 20 minutes. While the stats seem nice, especially given the limited court time, most of his production wasn't impressive. After hitting a three point shot in the opening minute, Davis maybe operated at 20% of full capacity?

Normally, it is easy to dismiss the effort level for the simple fact it's a meaningless game. Perhaps Davis was reminded several times by Hornet brass to exert as little energy as possible. To come away from this game without any new injury scares.

However, when playing alongside guys like Faried and Leonard, you wouldn't believe how much lollygagging really stands out. For probably some stupid reason, it just didn't sit well with me - watching our franchise player usually being the last one up the floor. Consistently laughing and smiling with anybody he could engage. Seemingly having the least amount of interest out of any of the other participants. Nothing exemplified my criticism more than when Davis, on a breakaway, shot the most boring layup I've ever seen by a known high-riser during All-Star weekend. Yes, there were some deserved boos.

Oh well, remember that's just my two cents worth, likely making something out of nothing. Players should be allowed to forget to unpack their motors for inconsequential scrimmages. After all, Anthony Davis will be coming home unscathed and ready to finish the season strong. Just can't help wishing the viewing audience would have been rewarded with a little more heart.

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