Before heading home from New Orleans, the Denver Nuggets were this close from making the airplane just a little bit heavier and bringing home a second piece of hardware from NBA All-Star Weekend. The festivities began on Friday night, where rookie Jamal Murray and second-year big man Nikola Jokić played in the Rising Stars Challenge. Originally slated to also play in the game but sitting out due to a nagging back injury, Emmanuel Mudiay still traveled to New Orleans to cheer on his two teammates and participate in other All-Star Weekend events, such as Basketball Without Borders.
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Nikola Jokić will represent the Nuggets in the 2017 All-Star Skills Challenge set for Saturday, Feb. 18 at 6pm MST at Smoothie King Center.
Denver Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray was named MVP of the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-139 Team World victory.
Three Nuggets, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić, and Emmanuel Mudiay, were selected to play for the World Team during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center tonight at 7pm MST. Mudiay will not play due to a back injury but he made the trip to New Orleans to take part in other All-Star festivities.
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The Rising Stars Challenge is the first official event of All-Star Weekend and marks the beginning of a host of exciting proceedings. It’s something of a microcosm of the actual All-Star game happening on Sunday night, especially created to showcase up-and-coming first and second year players.
The NBA All-Star 2017 Weekend is right around the corner and three Denver Nuggets players will be taking part. Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić, and Emmanuel Mudiay will be a part of the festivities this year.
Sometimes an NBA player’s second year presents even more challenges than the first. Emmanuel Mudiay is in the midst of his sophomore season and it’s been eventful to say the least.
Jamal Murray’s tasted both. He struggled early on and wouldn’t score his first field goal until Nov. 5 when he broke the drought, picking up 9 points against the Detroit Pistons. For a player who was well-known for his scoring ability at Kentucky, this was an inauspicious start. Fast-forward to today and the Nuggets enter the All-Star break in possession of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and New Orleans Pelicans nipping at their heels.
Nikola Jokić’s second year in the league has been a revelation. A major revelation. Most recently, he’s dropped two triple-doubles and scored 40 points in the span of 10 days. He nudged himself into the national NBA conversation while keeping the Nuggets’ hold on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.