NBA All-Stars 2012: Sizing Up the Three Point Contestants
With All-Star weekend 2012 right around the corner and with all the hoopla building up in Orlando, the NBA's best will be showcasing all of their abilities for their families, friends and fans. One of the weekend's events is the three-point competition, which started in 1985 and was won by the legendary Larry Bird.
This is not an event where great athleticism is the key to victory but having a steady hand and a strong mind can help one prevail. Just like in any other sporting event a little bit of luck can never hurt one's cause in route to victory.
A great jump shot or set shot and a hot hand were keys to Larry Bird's and Craig Hodge's three victories in years past. Other than these two, there have been only three two-time winners in past contests.
This years contestants are Ryan Anderson, Mario Chalmers, Kevin Durant, James Jones, Anthony Morrow and Kevin Love. Let's take a closer look at this year's contestants and their chances on winning this year's event.
Ryan Being Ryan
The 23-old Sacramento, California native has truly found his touch in Orlando this year. In his four years in the league his shooting percentage has risen to an all time high of 43% so far this year.
The owner of a quick release and being on his home court should bode well for the young 6'10" forward. How Anderson responds to the pressure of the All-Star event and the pressure of doing well at home should dictate his performance.
South Beach Gives You the Mario Brother
Mario Chalmers will hope that his shooting on Saturday will be as warm as the weather opposite his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. The fourth year point guard has more of a reputation of being a strong defensive player on the talented Miami Heat team.
This year that has changed with Chalmers shooting almost five threes per game. On top of that, he shoots a healthy .456 percent from downtown as well. I wonder if his slow release will hurt him in this kind of competition. It's not like he will be getting passes from Lebron and Wade.
Durant Durant Singing His Tune from Way Downtown
Kevin Durant knows hows to score in bunches and I mean to the tune of 28 points per game. Known for his ridiculous range and ability to score on pretty much anyone, it will be interesting to see how he fares against the 2012 competitors.
Of all the participants, Durant has the lowest three point shooing percentage at 36 percent. Even at 6'10", he does possess a quick release and that should keep him in the mix, but after last year's first round score of only six points you have to wonder how he'll fare this year.
The Champion Is Back
James Jones returns to the 2012 event as the favorite and champion. Of all the competitors , he plays the least amount of minutes so he should be coming into the event with fresh legs.
A career 40 percent three point shooter, Jones made it look easy last year scoring 16 points and 20 points in the two rounds en route to victory. He does get his shot off quickly and with precision and these are two keys to winning.
The Darkhorse of the Competition
Morrow has found himself in a nice position in New Jersey holding down the two guard position. With Deron Williams running the point, Morrow has gotten plenty of open looks so far. Those open looks have resulted in plenty of deep threes entering the basket for the Nets.
The North Carolina native has always had the reputation as a sharp shooter so it's a surprise that this is his only his first time in the competition. He is one shooter to watch out for because he is a streaky shooter with a quick release and when he is hot, let the threes rain.
A Center with Range
In a contest that is normally dominated by guards, Kevin Love will be the lone PF/C participating. Early in his career, the Santa Monica native was not known for his shooting prowess, shooting a paltry 11 percent from downtown as a rookie. Through perseverance and hard work, Love has improved that average to 41 percent last year and currently 35 percent while shooting over four threes a game so far.
He does have a fluid stroke and is somewhat of a set shooter which should help him in this type of competition. As a first time contestant he will have cold feet or rise to the top and surprise all others.