Monroe 'steals' show at NBA Rising Stars (with video) - Detroit Free Press

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One of the highlights from the NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday in Orlando came when Pistons center Greg Monroe prevented another highlight.

In the waning seconds of the game, won by Team Chuck (not the team Monroe and Brandon Knight were on), Wizards guard John Wall stood at the three-point line, waiting for a teammate to sprint to the hoop for one last alley-oop. When no one obliged, Wall decided to set himself by lobbing the ball into the painted area.

But there was one problem. Monroe, the lone defender in the area code at the time, was standing on the left side of the paint. When Wall lobbed the pass, Monroe swooped in to steal it, passed it ahead to Cavs rookie Tristan Thompson for a dunk on the other end.

On commentary for TNT for the game was analyst Kenny Smith, who, after playfully booing Monroe for his "effort," said, "Greg, you'd better not do that again."

See video of play.

As for the game, Monroe had 19 points (8-for-12 shooting) and a team-high 10 rebounds for Team Shaq in 27 minutes. He told after the game what it was like to play in the game again after participating in last year's event as a rookie.

"It was a lot of fun," Monroe said. "I wish we could have gotten the win, but it's just a show for the fans, a chance to highlight the young players coming up in the league. I had a lot of fun and I'm pretty sure everyone else did, too."

Monroe and Knight both started for Team Shaq. The rookie point guard played just under 22 minutes and had 14 points and seven assists.

"Playing with all of these guys – a lot of guys you grew up playing with – and sharing this experience with them and sharing the All-Star atmosphere was a lot of fun," Knight said to "Playing with Greg made it a lot more special. Just him being there made the event that much better."

Kyrie Irving, the top pick in last year's draft and front-runner for Rookie of the Year, had 34 points to lead Team Chuck to a 146-133 victory.

Tonight, the NBA All-Stars take the floor in Orlando. No Pistons are in the game. Detroit resumes the regular season Tuesday when it hosts Philadelphia.

26 Feb, 2012

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