While the Slam Dunk Contest usually draws the biggest crowd, this year it might be the Three-Point Contest that generates the buzz during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Instead of filling out the field with decent outside shooters, the competition will feature arguably the best shooters in the entire league. Even ESPN's Darren Rovell was excited:
Not only can any of the eight players take home the trophy, but we might see some historic numbers put up by this group. All of this is part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, so make sure to tune in to keep track of all the action.
When: Saturday, Feb. 14
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Time: Events begin at 8:30 p.m. ET
- 1st Event: Degree Shooting Stars
- 2nd Event: Taco Bell Skills Challenge
- 3rd Event: Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
- 4th Event: Sprite Slam Dunk
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|Three-Point Contest Participants and Odds|
|Kyle Korver||Atlanta Hawks||3-1|
|Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors||3-1|
|Klay Thompson||Golden State Warriors||13-4|
|Marco Belinelli||San Antonio Spurs||6-1|
|Kyrie Irving||Cleveland Cavaliers||13-2|
|J.J. Redick||Los Angeles Clippers||7-1|
|James Harden||Houston Rockets||15-2|
|Wesley Matthews||Portland Trail Blazers||15-2|
|*Odds via VegasInsider.com|
Every single person in the Three-Point Contest has a legitimate right to be there. We can start with the last two champions in Kyrie Irving and Marco Belinelli, each of whom has proven the ability to succeed in this type of event.
While it is certainly a different atmosphere attempting to make threes in a game compared to shooting from a rack, Irving and Belinelli already have the confidence they can get it done while wanting to fight hard to bring home another title.
Additionally, this contest features the top five players in the NBA in made three-point shots going into the All-Star break. Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry and Wesley Matthews are each tied at 161 on the year, with James Harden and Klay Thompson right behind them.
This group also includes two legitimate MVP candidates—Curry and Harden have been outstanding in all facets of the game. Magic Johnson certainly agrees with this assertion:
Meanwhile, the big story is the internal competition between Golden State Warriors teammates Curry and Thompson. Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle had high praise for the Splash Brothers last week, per San Jose Mercury News' Carl Steward:
Their own head coach, Steve Kerr, was given an opportunity to pick between them and refused, via Andrew Keh of The New York Times:
Rounding out the group is J.J. Redick, who has been known as an elite shooter throughout his career but is still somehow knocking down a career high of 43.6 percent from behind the arc. It might get to the point where fans are surprised when anyone misses a shot at this event.
Despite all of this competition, the best pick has to be the man who has been the best outside shooter all year long. Korver has made an incredible 52.3 percent of his shots from deep this year, which is better than most players shoot inside the arc.
Of course, the Atlanta Hawks All-Star is not finding success by accident. He recently discussed his workout routine before games with Shaun Powell of NBA.com:
It's a daylong process. I don't shoot shots just to shoot shots. I'm always working in a rhythm, working on mechanics. I've got a checklist of the things I need to do with my form, my legs, my arms, all of my mechanics. I never casually shoot shots, ever. I shoot the same way every time. I shoot the same shots that I'd shoot during the game.
He will likely be shooting with a purpose on Saturday night while prepared to make just about every attempt he takes.
This is certain to be an exciting battle all the way through, but the co-favorite is the best pick to win.
Predicted Winner: Kyle Korver
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