Duke in the NBA: Ingram and Tatum earn spots in NBA Rising Stars Challenge The Blue Zone recaps another busy week in the NBA for some prominent ex-Blue Devils: Tatum and Ingram earn spot in Rising Stars Challenge After a stellar start for the first half of the season, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum have been named to Team USA for the 2018 NBA Rising Star Challenge, held Feb. 17 as a part of the All-Star game festivities. Ingram, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has improved markedly from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign. While his minutes per game have increased, Ingram has seen a marked rise in his field goal percentage and his player efficiency rating. Tatum, the No. 3 overall pick in 2017, has received some consideration for Rookie of the Year in a strong first season for the Celtics. After Gordon Hayward's injury at the beginning of the year, Tatum has taken on a much larger role than expected and has ultimately stepped up to the challenge. In 31 minutes per game, Tatum has averaged 13.5 points per game and has shot 44.3 percent from 3-point range, which places him third in the NBA. Duke is the only school in the Rising Stars Contest to have multiple players representing a college in the game. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics Despite the Celtics' recent struggles, Irving continues to shine. On Saturday, in a matchup between the No. 1 in each conference, the Celtics point guard went toe-to-toe with rival All-Star point guard Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Despite losing in a close one, Irving shot lights-out, scoring 37 points including a 5-of-6 showing from the 3-point line. After the tough loss, the Celtics continued their road trip on Monday, when Irving had a 27 point outing against the Denver Nuggets. Boston's star guard had 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead a late push to down the Nuggets. Irving sat Wednesday in a blowout of the Knicks with a minor injury. After going 2-2 on the road trip, the Celtics now have just a one-and-a-half game lead on the Toronto Raptors in the pole position in the Eastern Conference. Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks Jabari Parker is set to return Friday February, 2nd at home against the New York Knicks after missing over a year of action with a torn ACL. Before the injury, the former number 2 draft pick was having an all-star caliber year for the Bucks. He was averaging 20.1 points per game on almost 50 percent from the field. Despite being on a minutes restriction initially, Parker could provide an offensive spark to a team that is currently in the middle of the playoff hunt. Jahlil Okafor, Brooklyn Nets After sitting out for a long stretch in December to get acclimated in Brooklyn, Okafor's role has continued to grow. Okafor scored the most points he has since last season Saturday against the Timberwolves, dropping 21 in 24 minutes. He came out and played even more Tuesday and finished with 13 rebounds, but had a rough day from the floor, shooting just 2-of-7 and scoring five points. He also scored eight points in 14 minutes Wednesday against the 76ers, helping spark a big Nets' run. Look for Okafor's role to continue to grow on a rebuilding Nets team. J.J. Redick, Philadelphia 76ers Redick returned to the starting lineup Wednesday after missing seven games with a knee injury and was a force when he was on the floor, leading the team in +/- and dropping 20 points on 3-of-4 3-point shooting in a loss to the Nets. Philadelphia had been struggling from deep, shooting below 10 percent from 3-point range in a recent loss to the Bucks.