If you’re still feeling nervous about the Cavaliers’ future, perhaps the Rising Stars Challenge in Houston can provide a little relief.
After all, three of the game’s top four scorers are members of the Cavs.
The game, which kicked off NBA All-Star weekend in Houston, was between players in their first or second season.
Cavs point guard and reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving scored 32 points, and Cavs rookie guard Dion Waiters added 23 for Team Shaq, which dropped a 163-135 decision to Team Chuck. The teams are named after Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, respectively. O’Neal and Barkley conducted a draft to determine the rosters.
Cavs rookie center Tyler Zeller also played for Team Shaq, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds.
Meanwhile, the lone Cavs representative on Team Chuck, second-year power forward Tristan Thompson, finished with 20 points and 10 boards.
Irving, Waiters, Zeller and Thompson all start for the Cavs.
“We’re on the rise,” Waiters told reporters in Houston. “Once we build that trust, everything else will fall in place. Watch out the next couple of years. We’re coming.”
Irving made the play of the night, with a crossover dribble and fallaway jumper that tricked defender Brandon Knight of Detroit, sending Knight to the floor (see below).
Irving will represent the Cavs in Saturday’s Three-Point Contest and Sunday’s All-Star Game.