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Buddy Hield predictions for the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge

The New Orleans Pelicans rookie hopes to put on a show for the home crowd.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy Hield will appear in Friday's Rising Stars Challenge and play for the World team. The game will air on TNT at 8:00pm CST, and as a sidenote, I am happy to report that both Kevin and I will be in attendance.

Give me your predictions on what you think Buddy Hield’s final box score line will look like and what odds do you give him to walk away the winner of the game’s MVP award?


Buddy will likely play very well as he is one of the best outside shooters on the World team and bigs like Nikola Jokic and Kristaps Porzingis will demand a lot of attention. I believe one of the big men — Jokic, Porzingis or Karl-Anthony Towns will be the MVP, but Buddy will show well for the home team. I'd expect 15-20 points mainly from good looks on open threes, but not much else from him.


This could go one of two ways, in my opinion. First, he could be terrible. I see this as a possibility, kind of like his performance in summer league with the moment perhaps being too big for him.

Or, what I think will happen, he will come out and knock down a few threes at the beginning of the game, be 4-6 from the field by half and Gentry will call the coach of his team and tell him that, no matter how scorching hot Buddy is, limit him to six minutes in the second half.

Overall line: 12 points, 3 boards, 3 assists, 3 three-pointers in 18 minutes.


I think Buddy will shine in the Rising Stars Challenge. Hield is a player that was once accustomed to being featured which of course is not his current role with the Pelicans. I think he'll relish the opportunity to let it rip again against a number of guys who were in college less than a year ago. I think Hield will lead all scorers while putting up a healthy stat line in the friendly confines of the Smoothie King Center.

Optimism supreme: 27 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in about 28 minutes of action. I also give him 60-40 odds of winning MVP.


I don't see Buddy making much of a splash in the Rising Stars Challenge. Maybe, *maybe* he hits a couple of threes and finishes in the 9-12 point range, but other than that, no. Give me Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell or Devin Booker for the game’s MVP. I've got a sneaky feeling Booker plays well.


Joel Embiid sitting out the contest, while playing in front of his New Orleans home crowd, should propel Buddy Hield to a healthier line than we’re typically accustomed to seeing during this regular season. In addition, having to likely check Devin Booker in spurts and watching an ultra-aggressive Jamal Murray alongside could coax Oklahoma Buddy Buckets to emerge out of his shell for a few hours.

Considering the game should wind up north of 140 points per side, there’s room for a lot of impressive individual totals. I think a good template for Buddy is Booker’s rookie performance in last year’s event: 23 points on 9-13 from the field and 5-8 from downtown.

That said, I won’t be betting on Buddy to take home the MVP honors, not with four super sophomores — KAT, Porzinigis, Jokic and Booker — playing in the same game. At least one of those guys are sure to shine the brightest.


Buddy, playing in front of his home crowd, will do well. I think he’ll post a line of something close to 15/3/3, but it won’t be nearly enough to claim the MVP. Let’s say the odds of lifting that trophy are about 10/1.


I do not watch All-Star weekends and it is a pure exhibition, but for Buddy’s sake I hope he lights it up and drills home 10 triples. He can shoot the rock, after all. But sorry: No stat predictions from 33 Trigger today.


Buddy should have a nice game because there will be plenty of open shots. He should be ready to jack from 30 feet! If he catches fire, he could totally win MVP, but I'd look at someone like Nikola Jokic, KAT, or Kristaps to actually win the award. Still, let's be hopeful: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 3-pointers in 20 minutes.


Buddy Hield isn’t winning the MVP because unless he goes insane behind the arc big men dunking repeatedly against no defense rack up massive stats. Even with the non-existent defense big men are going to hunt Buddy if he drives to the basket for highlight blocks, not shy away from potential posters. Buddy will press and score 15 points on 5-15 shooting (all behind the arc) while collecting a couple rebounds and assists.