The Rubio and Shved Rising Stars Game Review

It’s safe to say that, while the Rising Stars Game is a meaningless exhibition, last night’s wound up being quite enjoyable for Timberwolves fans as the team’s backcourt of Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved was showcased very well in primetime for Team Chuck against Team Shaq.
Both players were not only factors in Team Chuck’s163-135 win, but also made the win even more enjoyable to watch.

Even an All-Star Weekend hater like myself had to admit Rubio’s and Shved’s performance was well worth my time. In fact, even the national types took note, with former player and current CBS analyst Greg Anthony opining on Twitter about the performance and potential of the team’s backcourt:


If you’ve followed me on Twitter and ever seen anyone make even a passing mention to me about the Sacramento Kings’ Isaiah Thomas, who I’ve been a huge fan of since his days at the University of Washington, then you know how much I loved seeing him throw up this alley-oop to Shved.

With the game nearly in hand, and the entire defense literally just standing and watching (Ugh. H8 U, All-Star Weekend), Shved just missed a wide open windmill dunk. Still fun, and watching eventual game MVP Kenneth Faried finish with a windmill of his right after was still pretty neat:

Shved finished with 12 points, 1 rebound, and 4 assists on 5/8 shooting.

Saving the main event, Ricky Rubio, for last, last night’s exhibition was really the perfect platform for Rubio to show off his passing talents on a national stage. Seriously, Rubio’s game was Taylor-made for this kind of thing. Of Rubio’s ten assists, a couple were quite notable, beginning with this alley-oop to Manimal right here.

As if that weren’t enough, Rubio left perhaps an even better pass for later as he drove towards the baseline, guarded closely by Golden State’s Harrison Barnes of team Shaq, and flipped an incredible no-look (Actually, he was looking at the crowd behind the basket!), perfectly-timed pass between Barnes and Team Shaq’s Damian Lillard that found the Wizards’ Bradley Beal on a cut for the slam. Here, just watch here and here.

Rubio may have been the only Team Chuck member not to score in double figures, but let’s be honest, we’re not here to see him shoot. We want to see his remarkable court vision, and watch him hit passing lanes no one else knows exist. And no one is complaining about Rubio’s 5 points (2/4 shooting), 10 assist and one steal performance this morning. Nobody.

Yeah, it may not even have been in the big game (/snickers), but last night was pretty thrilling from a Timberwolves fan’s perspective. Seeing Rubio and Shved play well, and get recognized for their performances was great to see. Kevin Love may not have been able to make the All-Star team this season, but the Timberwolves were still well-represented last night.

About Derek James

In addition to writing for Howlin' T-Wolf, Derek James writes about basketball Hardwood Paroxysm in the ESPN TrueHoop Network and covers the Charlotte Bobcats for SB Nation’s Rufus on Fire. Andray Blatche and Isaiah Rider follow him on Twitter.