NBA 3-Point Contest 2013: Power Ranking Potential Long-Distance Champs

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 23:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Oracle Arena on January 23, 2013 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Kevin Love is not going to defend his crown in the NBA Three-Point Contest. This isn't a prediction—Love is injured and won't be participating in the event. 

Despite this year's competition lacking the defending champ, or even the man he beat in the finals, Kevin Durant, this field is stacked. 

I'll point out the cream of the crop, but first we'll review all the important details. 

 

Start Time: Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Where: Toyota Center

 

Lineup

Paul George, Indiana Pacers (38.6 3PT%)

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers (42.5 3PT%)

Steve Novak, New York Knicks (44.7 3PT%)

Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets (40.2 3PT%)

Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs (44.6 3PT%)

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (44.7 3PT%)

 

Champion Power Ranking

No. 3: Steve Novak

Steve Novak is a three-point specialist and a pure shooter. 

Novak's numbers are down from last year, and his minutes have become sporadic. However, his sweet shooting touch remains.

Despite facing an endless series of defenders right in his grill, Novak is still draining 44.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Unless they changed the rules of this contest, he will get nothing but open looks—and he will be money. 


No, 2: Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving can do it all, and that definitely includes draining it from distance. There are those in this competition who have a higher shooting percentage from behind the arc, but as a point guard, Irving doesn't have the luxury of being a spot-up shooter. 

The fact that Irving isn't a spot-up shooter actually creates a question mark for him in this contest. The grab-and-chuck style is similar to a catch-and-shoot motion. 

That is nothing to get worked up about, though. Irving has a pure and effortless stroke, and if he finds his rhythm, he will be very tough to beat. 


No. 1: Stephen Curry 

Stephen Curry will nail jumpers off a pass or the dribble. It doesn't matter. His stroke is as smooth as it gets. 

He also possesses a quick release. 

Curry isn't going to have any problem getting through the racks on time with that fluidity and release. He won't have to rush, and at that point, his natural talent will take over.