The 18 rookies and sophomores who will compete in All-Star weekend's Rising Stars Challenge were announced today. Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, and John Wall will all participate in the premier event, with teams being selected by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal on February 16th.
- With a 23-point, 10-assist performance in the Knicks win over the Wizards tonight, Jeremy Lin remains one of the league's most interesting story lines, says the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. Lin will have to keep it going without teammates Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, who according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone are scheduled to miss at least two more games. Where Baron Davis fits in with all of this is anybody's guess.
- ESPN recently deemed Kevin Durant as the league's best player under the age of 25. ESPNChicago.com responded by asking whether the correct answer might be Derrick Rose instead.
- As reported by ESPNLA's Dave McMenamin, Laker guard Steve Blake returned to practice today and will be a game time decision for tomorrow night's showdown against the Celtics. His return would bring a calming influence to one of the league's shakier back courts. The addition would also allow rookie Andrew Goudelock to focus more on creating shots for himself as opposed to faciliating for others as the team's backup point guard.
- Bob Young of the Arizona Republic presents a detailed case as to why Steve Nash deserves to be an All-Star now more than ever before. With his numbers still teetering on excellent at the age of 38, wherever Nash chooses to go after his days in Phoenix are up should shift the odds for next year's championship race.