NBA 3-Point Contest 2021: TV Schedule, Participants and Predicted WinnerMarch 6, 2021
NBA 3-Point Contest 2021: TV Schedule, Participants and Predicted Winner
The NBA has assembled quite the star-studded field for the 2021 3-Point Contest.
All six sharpshooting participants happen to be All-Stars—including Mike Conley, who's replacing the injured Devin Booker in both this event and the All-Star Game. The event has never before comprised only current All-Stars.
The competition should be as ferocious as that sounds. Let's break down all the need-to-know information and predict which marksman will have the last laugh.
What: MTN DEW 3-Point Contest
When: Sunday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Live Stream: Watch TNT
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
A revolutionary sniper with the most single-season threes (402 in 2015-16) and second-most career makes (2,664) in NBA history. Curry is competing for the seventh time and won the event in 2015.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
A former Slam Dunk Contest king, LaVine switched to the 3-Point Contest last year, making him the only other "experienced" player in this field. The first-time All-Star is easily averaging career-highs in three-point makes (3.5 per game) and accuracy (43.5 percent).
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Another former Dunk Contest champion, Mitchell is making everyone forget there were once questions about his jump shot. His 3.3 triples and 38.2 percent perimeter conversion rate are both personal bests.
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Brown averaged 0.6 threes on 34.1 percent shooting as a rookie and 1.3 on 34.4 percent in his third season. Those averages are up to 2.3 and 38.8, respectively. It's amazing what hard work can do.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Tatum has cooled a bit as a shooter, and he's still splashing 2.6 threes per night at a 36.8 percent clip. In two of his first three NBA seasons, he cleared 40 percent from the perimeter.
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
Conley's overdue invitation to the All-Star Game feels like great news for the basketball world. He's also a sneaky-strong threat to take down this field. He's averaging a career-high 2.8 threes on a career-best 42.2 percent shooting.
Predicting this event requires several elements—the biggest of which is luck. Beyond that, you can study everything from shot mechanics (quick, repeatable releases and forms that don't feature high jumps are ideal) and statistical success to shooting range (the two MTN DEW Zone shots worth three points each can decide the contest) and ignitability.
Chances are most formulas you chose will inevitably point back to Curry. But that's true most years, and he has only taken home the title once in six tries.
Three players not named Curry should have your attention, and not one plays in Boston. No offense to Tatum or Brown, but the crystal ball just isn't big on them in this event. Instead, it's interested in LaVine, Mitchell and Conley.
LaVine is having the best shooting season of the non-Curry contestants, ranking fifth overall with 120 triples. Mitchell has never been more accurate outside, and he should be fired up about everything from his frustrations with officials to the disrespect of the Utah Jazz at the All-Star Game draft. Conley has been waiting for his moment forever, and it's coming at a time when his outside shot is at its sharpest.
So who's the pick? Conley—and not for sentimental reasons.
He has been a better shooter for longer than all of his non-Curry competition. Conley's shot is short and sweet, which should help conserve energy and keep time on the clock. The 14-year veteran has also been around long enough to know his game inside and out, so he should know exactly where to place the money ball rack to maximize its impact.
Look for Conley to start his first All-Star experience with a bang.