NBA All-Star weekend is finally here, and at least one player from every team will be represented. The Indiana Pacers have just two players who are participating in events during the weekend—Paul George and Gerald Green.
George will be entering the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and the All-Star Game, while Green stapled his name in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition.
What are the chances that George and Green will win their respective events? Let's take a look at their competition and how they matchup against every other participant.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
In my opinion, George should have been in the slam dunk contest instead. But make no mistake, he's still a very prominent three-point shooter who can compete with the best of them.
Compared to the other contestants, George is actually shooting the lowest three-point percentage in this season, standing at a modest 38.6 percent. However, his percentage shouldn't judge his performance in the upcoming contest.
A lot of it has to do with the player's release and shooting form. Respected three-point gunners Matt Bonner and Steve Novak have proven to be great catch and shooters, but neither of them take as many threes per game as George.
In fact, Bonner has the second highest three-point percentage out of everyone, but he's firing less than two threes a game. He also has a very sluggish shooting stroke, and may have difficulty launching all of the basketballs before time expires.
Stephen Curry will probably have the best chance of winning this competition. He has the highest eligible three-point shooting percentage in the league, while attempting a staggering seven treys a game. He also has a quick, consistent release on his shot.
George, on the other hand, has a great shooting stroke himself. It's smooth and clean, and doesn't change when he continues to fire away. It's not as quick as Curry's, but it's still fast and accurate. George's shooting stroke reminds me of Tracy McGrady's. It's so effortless at the release and every shot looks like it could go in.
If anything, George is more of a scorer than a pure shooter. In games, he usually has to put the ball down on the floor before he takes a shot. He can hit his spot-ups, but that's not one of his strengths. It will be very interesting to see how George handles grabbing a ball from a rack and shooting it while standing still.
George's chances of winning: 30%
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Unlike the past few years, the 2013 dunk contest will feature eight participants instead of four.
Green participated in the event twice already, winning in 2007 and losing to Dwight Howard in 2008. Only him and Jeremy Evans are previous winners of the competition, but they shouldn't sleep on the rest of the contestants.
Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe are primarily power dunkers, but they can still pull out something creative under the big stage. To me, Terrence Ross seems like a finesse dunker and his 6'6" frame would make any dunk look spectacular.
James White is undoubtedly a high flyer, but does he still have the legs at 30 years old now?
Green was drafted six years ago, but he's still young. He already performed a bunch of exceptional dunks to fill in his resume, such as the alley-oop windmill last year and a one-handed tomahawk earlier this season.
Green has a very good chance of winning, and is probably even the favorite since everybody knows about his tremendous leaping ability and creativity. There are very few players in the NBA with Green's athleticism, finesse and body control in mid-air.
Green's chances of winning: 70%
2013 NBA All-Star Game
George took significant strides this season in his all-around game, so he definitely deserved to be selected as an All-Star.
Throughout the game, George will be given the opportunity to showcase his skills. The Pacers are a small-market team, and a big stage like the All-Star game would help George garner more recognition and fame, which he deserves.
I can see highlights upon highlights of George receiving alley-oops passes from teammates and displaying his full shooting range.
However, he probably won't be able to majorly contribute to an East victory. At the end of the game, it's unlikely that the young George will remain on the floor. If the game gets competitive down the stretch, Coach Eric Spoelstra will probably go to a superstar lineup like most coaches would do, because it's their best shot at winning the game.
I would've liked to see some more Pacers participate in the All-Star weekend festivities, but it would still be an exciting affair for those involved. Green is the most sensational dunker in the game today, and George's growth and development is a story in itself. I'm looking forward to seeing both of these players perform.