NBA All-Star Weekend 2013: Projecting Winners for Each Event
NBA All-Star Weekend 2013 is near, and it's time to project the winners for each event.
There are a number of skills competitions and the game itself.
Who are the favorites for each event? Read on to find out.
Slam Dunk Contest
The Slam Dunk Contest is always the marquee event of All-Star Weekend, and this year will be no different.
There are some high-flying participants in this year's field. Last year's winner is back, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, as is top dunker James White of the New York Knicks.
Gerald Green won the 2007 competition and is also a top candidate.
While Eric Bledsoe, Kenneth Faried and Terrence Ross are fine dunkers, the top candidates are really Evans, White and Green.
White is the biggest unknown but he's a legend for his dunks. The competition between him and Green while they played in Russia is legendary.
Evans had an incredible dunk in last year's competition, but he's not as good as White and Green.
Look for White and Green to have the best dunks, with White narrowly edging out Green. White will have free reign to do whatever he wants, and he may be the most athletic player in the league.
He is also an incredible jumper and can leap from the free throw line to slam it down. Look for him to take off from the line and add a few moves before slamming it home.
The Three-Point Contest features a bunch of sharpshooters from beyond the arc.
The most prolific one this season is Stephen Curry, who is shooting 44.9 percent from three. Right behind him is Steve Novak, who's shooting 44.4 percent from three.
Novak might be the favorite. According to Charles Barkley, he's the best shooter in the NBA:
"Steve Novak has officially become the best shooter in the NBA," declared TNT analyst Charles Barkley. "I like Kyle Korver, but I have to elevate Mr. Novak. He can shoot it."
There are other great shooters, like Kyrie Irving and Matt Bonner, both shooting over 40 percent.
The two favorites are probably Novak and Curry. They are both bull's-eye shooters, and being able to stand stationary without any defenders will make their shooting much easier.
Between the two, Novak is probably the better pure shooter. With Barkley on his side, it looks like Novak is the favorite to win and probably will.
The Skills Competition features players dribbling around an obstacle course, making tough passes and then going for a lay up.
Lots of stars are in this competition, like Tony Parker, Jeremy Lin and Jrue Holiday.
The biggest favorite is probably Parker. He's the surest dribbler of the group, and that's the key to winning this competition.
Damian Lillard is probably the next best candidate, as the rookie has shown a smooth handle.
Still, Parker is a huge favorite and is almost assured to win.
Rising Stars Challenge
The Rising Stars Challenge features players in their rookie or sophomore year going up against each other. The two teams—one led by Charles Barkley and one led by Shaquille O'Neal—have plenty of star players.
Team Chuck features Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Kenneth Faried and Ricky Rubio.
Team Shaq features Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Chandler Parsons and Andre Drummond.
It's pretty clear that Team Shaq has the most talent. Irving is a legitimate superstar, and Lillard will probably be the Rookie of the Year.
Look for Team Shaq to take this one easily.
Shooting Stars Contest
The Shooting Stars Contest involves three basketball players—one current, one retired and one from the WNBA—trying to make the most shots in a set period.
There are some big legends in this competition, including Robert Horry and Dominique Wilkins.
The team to beat is Team Westbrook. Westbrook is the best shooter of the current players. Robert Horry is the best clutch shooter of all time, and Maya Moore might be the best women's player.
Look for Team Westbrook to take it handily.
It's East vs. West. The best against the best.
The West team is stuck with Dwight Howard, who's having a down year, and didn't include worthy talent like Stephen Curry.
Look for the East to take this pretty easily in what should be a high-scoring game.
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