The NBA Three-Point Contest is adding a new wrinkle for All-Star Saturday night that will test players' ability to hit from long distance.
Mountain Dew has announced the implementation of the "DEW Zone," which will give players the opportunity to hit a pair of shots from six feet beyond the three-point arc. Each of the shots is worth a total of three points, meaning players can add an additional six points to their score. Players will use a green, Mountain Dew-sponsored ball for the attempts.
To compensate for the change, players will be given 1:05 to complete their racks of balls, up from the standard minute.
The rule change may give an advantage to Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, who will be participating in his first career Three-Point Contest. Young ranks high among NBA players who shoot with no conscience, regularly taking threes from just a couple of steps inside the half-court line.
Damian Lillard should also get a boost from the long-distance attempts; they don't call him "Logo Lillard" for nothing.
The new format also helps highlight the proliferation of long threes. Players shoot so many threes in today's game that seeing them chuck up a bunch is old hat. Extending the range will add some new strategy to the event, along with giving fans an added dose of excitement.
A player can reach a maximum of 40 points in a round, up from 34 in 2019. Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris won last year's contest with 26 points in the final round.
Changes to the Three-Point Contest come as part of an altered All-Star Weekend where the game itself has a new format, highlighted by a fourth quarter that does not include a clock.