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Ten of the NBA's top sophomores (yes, Jeremy Lin included) will convene in Orlando on Friday night to kick off All-Star weekend with the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (the rebranded version of the rookie/sophomore game).
Celtics second-year guard Avery Bradley was not one of the sophomores voted in by NBA assistant coaches, which certainly wasn't a surprise, but Friday's game seems like the perfect opportunity to spotlight Bradley's emergence this season.
After an injury-riddled rookie campaign that limited his ability to even get on the floor, Bradley has seized the opportunity presented this year by injuries (and suspension) to Orlando-bound All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, and Bradley has responded by carving out a growing role as a top backcourt reserve for the Celtics.
Bradley's emergence has featured a handful of breakout-type efforts, including Wednesday's pre-All-Star finale in Oklahoma City in which he chipped in 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with five assists, three blocks and a steal over 35 minutes of floor time in place of Rondo. What's more, his night was highlighted by a trio of dunks, including a stiff-arming poster shot over Kevin Durant in transition.