NBA All-Star: Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe predicts a rookie win in Friday’s Rookie-Sophomore game
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Yes, Friday night’s Rookie-Sophomore game -- like any All-Star-type game -- doesn’t rank all that high in terms of competitive spirit, fundamentals or strategy.
You’re more likely to see players jog than run hard, play free-spritied rather than execute specific plays, or focus on offense only, leaving defense for another day.
They’re on break, after all: The All-Star Break.
So, with that context now well understood, you can take what Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe said after the rookie practice Friday morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a pound of salt.
‘The sophomores look good,’ he said, ‘but we’re going to come out with a win.’
Stop the presses.
That’s guarantee-esque language right there, the kind usually worthy of a back-page headline in the New York tabloids.
If only the game meant something and the players treated it that way...
The rookie team actually won last year for the first time since 2002, proving that experience doesn’t always win, which is what the sophomore team was making us all believe.
Bledsoe did give his prediction for what we can expect from his team during the game.
‘A whole lot of dunks, especially when we have Blake (Griffin), John (Wall), Wes (Johnson) and me,’ Bledsoe said. ‘You’re just going to see a whole lot of alley-oops.’
For the fans, that should be fun, though dunks are usually to be expected. The only difference this year is that Griffin is one of the most incredible dunkers in quite some time, and that he’s playing guards, such as John Wall, who are uber-athletic and pinpoint passers.
Which means ... Bledsoe is right. Friday night’s game should be full of dunks ... i.e. exciting.
And the rookies might come out with a win too, at least according to Bulls forward Taj Gibson, a former USC star, who said this game will be tougher than last season because ‘of the lack of bigs we have and the bigs they have.’
By ‘bigs they have,’ Gibson means Griffin.
-- Baxter Holmes