Brandon Knight had 10 points, six assists (with just one turnover) and four rebounds as he helped Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 163-135 in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday. As Dan predicted in the game thread, the game’s fast tempo highlighted Knight’s strengths as a passer — he’s much more comfortable pushing the ball and finding teammates on the break than he is running a halfcourt offense. He had several nice passes in the game, including a nice lob to Kenneth Faried, who scored 40 points and won the game’s MVP award one night before he’ll participate in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Knight, to his credit, was one of only a couple of players who made any effort whatsoever defensively. Unfortunately, he picked an inopportune time to make that attempt:
Knight did immediately make amends with a contested three off the glass at the other end:
(PS – Love C-Webb’s reaction in that video. It’s still a crime that Shaq is on TNT’s studio show and C-Webb isn’t)
Knight’s shooting line was somewhat suspect — he shot just 4-for-14. But it would’ve looked much better had that little one-on-one with Irving in the fourth quarter hadn’t started a ‘try to top this’ between the two. Knight beat Irving off the dribble a few times after that play in the fourth, but got off wild attempts inside that missed. He did shoot 2-for-5 from 3-point range.
Knight wasn’t the best player on the court, but he handled himself well against a collection of young stars. Obviously, as these games tend to be, it was sloppy with a lot of breakaway dunks with guys standing around and watching. There wasn’t anything near as amazing as Greg Monroe‘s trolling of John Wall last year, but Faried was incredibly fun to watch, particularly his sometimes comical attempts to block just about any shot, no matter how little a chance he had at it. And Irving’s ball-handling was just on another level. Knight was far from the only player who had no chance of staying in front of him. He was just the only player to make an honest effort at it, and he should be commended for that.