The Pacers are going to have additional players at All-Star weekend beyond presumably Tyrese Haliburton who will likely be an eastern reserve. Given the Pacers surprising play in the first half of the season, this should come as no surprise.
Two Pacers players were chosen to play in the annual NBA Rising Stars Challenge that happens during the All-Star weekend every year.
The opportunity for both players is well deserved as they have had some memorable highlights to start off their careers. Andrew Nembhard tore up the Golden State Warriors (relive that here) as well as hit a game-winner over Lebron (relive that here). Nembhard is playing at a level that he might be one of the best second round picks in recent history (outside of Giannis of course).
Additionally, Mathurin came out of the gates playing like a man with something to prove. He is constantly at a level that has him in the rookie of the year conversation. And he has largely backed up his comments that a player like LeBron James will have to prove to him that he is a better player.
Overall Pacers fans should be thrilled to have multiple talented young players to feature alongside Haliburton during All-Star Weekend. But why should you expect them to show out?
Reasons the Pacers rookies will shine in Utah:
(1) Mathurin will have something to prove, namely, that he is deserving to be seen as the top rookie in this class over Banchero. Many in the media continue to say Banchero is a shoe in for rookie of the year, and Mathurin will be looking to correct those conceptions in Utah.
(2) Nembhard has already shown, and will continue to show, that he was worth a much higher pick than where he fell. This will be his chance to how GM’s how big of a mistake they made in passing on him in the later parts of the first round.
(3) They will each have a teammate to play off of that they are familiar with. All-Star games suffer from unfamiliarity. But Mathuring and Nembhard play together everyday, and it will show on the court in Utah.