According to BasketballInsiders.com's Eric Pincus, the list of participants for the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Shootout, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 15, and broadcast by TNT, is just about set:
The pool for the three-point shootout has yet to be named but the early list, subject to change, includes Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Marco Belinelli (San Antonio Spurs) representing the West.
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) is expected to have a chance to defend his title. Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) is also believed to be getting an invite.
The sixth participant isn’t clear just yet, but the final shooter would come from an Eastern Conference franchise.
Tough, if not impossible, to argue with those named by Pincus.
Each of those five is shooting better than 37 percent from deep this season. Irving, last year's winner, actually checks in with the lowest three-point percentage, converting 37.2 percent of his long balls.
Love won the three-point contest in 2012. Injuries prevented him from attempting to defend his title last year, so this will be a defense of sorts for him.
The world is still waiting for Curry to win one of these, though.
Curry leads the league in three-pointers attempted per game with 8.4 and is connecting on 39 percent of them, an incredible clip when you consider the volume. Last year, he bowed out in the first round, watching as Matt Bonner and Irving battled in the finals.
But this has been a year of firsts for Curry, who made his first-ever All-Star team—as a starter, no less. Kevin Durant also recently offered the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter the highest of praises via Twitter:
Winning this year's contest would certainly strengthen his case as the best shooter ever. All-Star Weekend accolades are essentially worthless, but Ray Allen, one of the greatest shooters ever, nabbed a three-point contest title in 2001.
After receiving more than a million All-Star votes, Curry called the whole experience "surreal," per The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell. Outshooting the league's best three-point gunners would make his All-Star endeavor even more fulfilling.
Not that it will be easy. Five other players will be coming for him.
The sixth challenger has yet to be picked, but as Pincus notes, there are no shortage of options. He names Anthony Tolliver of the Charlotte Bobcats (44.5 percent) and Mirza Teletovic of the Brooklyn Nets (43.6 percent) as potential participants, either of whom, in addition to Love, Irving, Belinelli and Korver, would be tough outs.
"The game has been good to me,” Curry said after learning he would be an All-Star starter, via Bonnell.
For someone, maybe Curry, it's going to get even better.
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