The NBA Three-Point Contest is always one of the better events of All-Star weekends, as it consistently shows off the talents of some of the league’s best shooters.
The 2013 event will be no different, as six competitors (three from the East, three from the West) vie to prove their abilities from beyond the arc. This year has a different wrinkle, however, as the top marksman from each conference will face off in the championship round.
The winner will not only get recognition as a three-point sniper, but also has a chance to bring glory to their entire conference and will contribute points toward claiming the “All-Star Saturday Night Champion” title, with a large donation going to charity.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the event, check the latest odds for each participant to win, predict a winner and more.
Start Time: Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:30 p.m. ET (Third event of night)
TV: Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Tex.
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
Mobile: NBA Mobile
Competitors and Odds to Win (via Bovada.lv)
Stephen Curry (Western Conference, Golden State Warriors) 19/10
Steve Novak (Eastern Conference, New York Knicks) 13/4
Ryan Anderson (Western Conference, New Orleans Hornets) 15/4
Kyrie Irving (Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers) 9/2
Matt Bonner (Western Conference, San Antonio Spurs) 5/1
Paul George (Eastern Conference, Indiana Pacers) 8/1
Predicted Runner-Up: Steve Novak
Novak is a sniper who has made a career out of hitting consistently from beyond the arc. If it weren’t for his long-range ability, he would never have become an integral part of the Knickerbockers bench.
With only a likely exhausted Kyrie Irving—competing in the Rising Stars Challenge the night before and All-Star Game the next day—and mediocre shooter Paul George to contend with to make the final round, Novak is likely to breeze his way through to face the West’s top marksman.
The 6'10" Marquette product is hitting on an eye-popping 44.7 percent of his three-pointers going into the All-Star break this season, a number that ties Steph Curry for highest in this event.
However, Novak has some stiff competition with this next guy just a meager .001 percent behind him in three-point percentage.
Predicted Champion: Matt Bonner
Bonner has been one of the best shooters from three-point land since he broke into the league back in 2004, but he’s never been selected to appear in this contest until now.
This 32-year-old veteran has a career average of 41.6 percent from deep and has raised the bar by hitting on 37-of-83 trey attempts during the 2012-13 season.
The Red Rocket openly campaigned to compete numerous times, notably with a “NapoleanDynamite” spoof in 2011. It seems that the league finally caved to the overwhelming pressure from fans on Twitter—via the “#LetBonnerShoot” hashtag—and he’s not going to let his supporters down.
He knows this event is the only way he’ll ever bring home some hardware for a non-team achievement in the NBA, and it could be the first—and last—time he ever makes an appearance at All-Star Weekend.
The Spurs role player is clearly looking forward to showing his skills, telling Michael Scotto of RealGM:
I am incredibly excited, I don’t know how I’m going to sleep the night before. This is something that, on a personal level, I’ve wanted for a long time. To be finally selected for it, after all these years, seems surreal.
Expect Bonner to closely battle Curry in the first round, but the Red Rocket’s pride and determination will shine through on his way to the championship.
Despite the long odds, Bonner will prevail and be crowned the best marksman in the league—at least for this year.