All Access: Alexey Shved's First Day At All-Star Weekend
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Timberwolves rookie Alexey Shved arrived in Houston for the 2013 All-Star Weekend on Thursday and wasted little time getting acquainted with all the extra things that go into the mid-season classic each year.
Shved went through the media gauntlet on Thursday at the players’ hotel, talking with some of the NBA’s main media outlet partners while also doing the requisite photo shoot for NBAE. He did a quick interview with ESPN/ABC as well as answered questions about his rookie season and how he prepares for a game with NBATV.
Shved took it all in stride, hopping off the plane earlier in the morning with his girlfriend, brother and agent and essentially reached the hotel and began the circuit. Once he was finished, he had the chance to enjoy the rest of the day in Houston before Friday’s festivities. They’ll have practice and media availability in the morning, then they’ll be part of the NBA Cares community project before playing for Team Chuck in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at 8 p.m. CT on TNT.
He’s certainly earned the right to be part of the festivities.
Shved is averaging 10.5 points per game this year while averaging 4.4 assists per night, but his impact on the Wolves is just as much felt intangibly as it is in the stat sheet. With Minnesota essentially losing three starting shooting guards to injury—Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger and Malcolm Lee—to injury within the first six weeks of the season, Shved stepped into the starting lineup seamlessly.
He had already played significant minutes in the fourth quarter up to that point, and whichever spot coach Rick Adelman has needed him to play, he’s filled the role. Currently, he’s seeing extended minutes shifting between the 2 and the 3 as the Wolves use a three-guard lineup more frequently due to Andrei Kirilenko’s absence.
Perhaps the two biggest assets in Shved’s game are fearlessness and court awareness. His teammates have lauded him for being willing to take big shots in big moments while also being able to use his athleticism to penetrate the lane from time to time. He doesn’t always make the shots from distance, but he hasn’t shied away from the opportunities as a rookie. From a ball facilitator standpoint, Shved often shows signs of brilliance thanks to his unique court vision. He is capable of making Rubio-like plays when given the space to do so.
Shved will play on Team Chuck with Rubio on Friday, potentially giving the world a chance to see the two playing side-by-side in the same back court. Hopefully for the Wolves, it will be a precursor of things to come as this rookie continues to dazzle and propel himself into fan favorite status among the Target Center faithful.
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