Sports fans can watch the NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2017 live stream online and televised coverage on Friday night, as the young future stars from the league compete. It will be the United States players taking on international stars once again with Team USA vs. Team World. Brandon Ingram, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, and Devin Booker are among those featured in the latest exhibition of rookie and sophomore talents, which helps launch NBA All-Star Weekend 2017.
Two squads of at least 10 players will compete in a dazzling basketball game which is heavy on dunks, sweet passes, and fast break excitement, but short on the defense. According to NBA.com, the BBVA Compass Rising Stars matchup features a Team USA roster led by Los Angeles Lakers stars Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell, along with Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Jahlil Okafor of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Karl-Anthony Towns from Minnesota.
Phoenix also sends Marquese Chriss to the game, while Spurs rookie Jonathon Simmons, Hornets player Fank Kaminsky, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, and Pacers center Myles Turner complete the lineup. Of the players mentioned, Okafor has been part of ongoing NBA trade rumors and was benched for several games by his team as they entertain offers. It should be interesting to see his level of participation in this annual All-Star event.
Their opponents on Friday night are Team World, which features the young international stars of the league. Among them will be New York Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis, who was nearly named as a replacement on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. His teammate Carmelo Anthony will replace the injured Kevin Love instead. Porzingis will also be featured during All-Star Saturday night as one of the big men competing in the Skills Challenge.
Joining Porzingis for the world’s squad will be Nuggets forward/center Nikola Jokic, Nuggets forward Juan Hernangomez, Pelicans guard Buddy Hield, Jazz forward Trey Lyles and Jazz guard Dante Exum. This season’s frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, was selected for the world roster, but due to a meniscus injury, he won’t participate.
Instead of Embiid, Oklahoma City Thunder guard/forward Alex Abrines takes his place. Embiid’s teammate Dario Saric, another leading rookie of the year candidate will also be involved. Rounding out the team will be Denver’s Jamal Murray and OKC’s Domantas Sabonis. Basically, the team is comprised mostly of the Nuggets, Jazz, and Thunder’s international stars with a few other players joining the mix.
NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2017
- Matchup: Team USA vs. Team World
- Venue: Smoothie King Center (New Orleans)
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: TNT
- Online: TNTDrama, SlingTV Blue
While a lot of All-Star games tend to be blowouts, last year’s edition of this game was a close one. Team USA was able to edge out Team World 157-154 in a high-scoring affair. Minnesota Timberwolves star Zach Levine snagged the MVP Award with 30 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Porzingis put in 30 points for Team World, while Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins scored 29.
Heading into tonight’s contest, Team USA are the favorites to win. As of this report, Paddy Power sportsbook lists the United States at five to nine odds or -180 on the moneyline. Their opponents are currently six to four, or +150 underdogs to win the matchup, which could really go either way. However, one has to think the experience of rising stars Russell, Towns, and Devin Booker may help lead the U.S. to victory.
Friday’s NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2017 edition will tip off at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Television viewers can catch the action on TNT. Cable and satellite TV subscribers with TNT can also watch the game live online through the TNT Drama website.
For a way to watch the Rising Stars Challenge live streaming online for free, new subscribers for SlingTV can enjoy the service for a week, free of charge. The Sling Blue package currently features TNT among its channel lineup. That means new customers can check out Friday’s action, as well as All-Star Saturday night and the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]