On Friday afternoon, Miami Heat rookie guards Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn were both named to represent Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend 2020. Nunn is averaging 16.2 points, 3.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and .9 steals per game for the Heat this season, who currently sit at 32-15, with seven games to go until the All-Star Break.
Nunn began the year on fire, scoring at least 17 points in each of the first five games of the year, and is one of the leading scorers for the Heat, and is shooting 36% from deep on the year. Nunn has scored over 30 points twice this season, and over 20 points 13 times. Nunn has started in all 44 games he played in, but has missed the last three games with injury.
Herro is averaging 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and two assists per game for the Heat, on 39% shooting from 3-point range on nearly six attempts per game. In Nunn’s absence, Herro has started at the point guard position, and has started in six of 44 games played in.
Nunn and Herro are the first set of Heat teammates to make the Rising Stars roster since Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem did so in 2004 and 2005. The duo of Wade and Haslem averaged 23.5 points, 5.2 assists, 10.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 0.9 blocks combined, compared to Nunn and Herro, who average 29.3 points, seven rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.4 blocks combined.
Joining Nunn and Herro on Team USA are Miles Bridges, PJ Washington and Devonte’ Graham of the Charlotte Hornets, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Eric Paschall of the Golden State Warriors and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, who is replacing Wendell Carter Jr. of the Chicago Bulls, who will not play due to injury.
Players on the opposing team, Team World, include Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Pelicans, Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, Brandon Clarke of the Grizzlies, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner of the Washington Wizards, Svi Mykhailiuk of the Detroit Pistons and Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Joining Nunn and Herro at All-Star Weekend are forwards Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who were named as All-Star reserves last night.
Adebayo will also participate in the Skills Challenge, averaging 4.3 assists per game this season, and showing a great ability to bring the ball up the court and a new-and-improved mid-range shot. Adebayo takes nearly 15% of his shots between 10 and 16 feet, making 45% of such shots. The official rosters for the Skills Challenge have not been released, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Derrick Rose will be competing in the event in his hometown of Chicago.
The Dunk Contest participants and 3-point Contest participants also have not been officially released, but it is confirmed that forward Derrick Jones Jr. will be competing against Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic, and Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, in the event. It is also heavily expected that Duncan Robinson will be competing in the 3-point contest, where Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings will be competing. Robinson is shooting 44% on nearly eight 3-point attempts per game this season.
All-Star Weekend begins on Valentine’s Day at 5 p.m. with the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Announcement, with the late Kobe Bryant to be named to the Hall of Fame. The Rising Stars game is at 9 p.m. that night, with the Skills Challenge, 3-point Contest and Dunk Contest beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 and the All-Star Game beginning at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16.