2015 NBA All Star Weekend is next week (Feb 13-15) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Saturday is the day where the exciting activities are scheduled; Degree Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. The Dunk Contest has lost its luster the past few years, but the Three-Point Contest has been competitive and this year might be the best assemblage of deadly long-range shooters since the contest been in existence.
— NBA (@NBA) February 6, 2015
Here’s the order in which they will be competing:
1) Wesley Matthews – Portland Trailblazers
2) J.J. Redick – Los Angeles Clippers
3) James Harden – Houston Rockets
4) Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers
5) Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
6) Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors
7) Kyle Korver – Atlanta Hawks
8) Marco Belinelli – San Antonio Spurs
Curry, who surpassed LeBron James this season as the top vote-getter in NBA All-Star Balloting, became the fastest player to hit 1,000 3-point field goals in NBA history on Jan. 8 when he accomplished the feat in his 369th game. He drilled 10 treys in a season-high 51-point performance against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 4, becoming the second player in league history (along with J.R. Smith) to have multiple games of at least 10 makes from long-range.
Thompson, a first-time All-Star, set an NBA record for most points in a quarter on Jan. 23 against the Sacramento Kings, piling up 37 in the third period of a career-high 52-point barrage that included 11 threes and a league-record nine in one quarter. Curry and Thompson are the only teammates ever to combine for 400 treys in back-to-back seasons.
Harden, the league’s leading scorer (27 points per game) and the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for both December and January, ranks fifth in both 3-pointers made (130) and attempted (336).
The four All-Stars will be flanked by players who are more than qualified to participate in the air raid competition, which includes Irving, the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest winner. Irving sank a Cavs record 11 three-pointers during a career-high 55-point outburst against Portland on Jan. 28, a performance that helped him earn NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors.
Korver leads the NBA in 3-point accuracy at 53.2 percent, and his 53.6 percent shooting through 41 games was the highest mark in league history at the halfway point of the season. Set to make his third appearance in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and first since 2005, Korver is on track to become the first player among qualifiers ever to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
Belinelli defends the 2014 crown by shooting last in this year’s contest. Matthews leads the NBA in 3-pointers made (151) and attempted (376). The Clippers’ Redick is enjoying a career year from deep, connecting on 43.2 percent and threatening to shatter his previous high of 165 triples in a season (he is currently at 114).
In the two-round competition, five shooting locations are positioned around the 3-point arc. Four of the racks contain four orange balls (each worth one point) and one multi-colored “money” ball (worth two points). The fifth rack will be a special “all money ball” rack, which each participant can place at any of the five shooting locations. Every ball on this rack will be worth two points. The players have one minute to shoot as many as the 25 balls as they can. The three competitors with the highest scores in the first round advance to the championship round. Complete rules can be found at mediacentral.nba.com.
No disrespect to the other contestant, but I consider the last four shooters “Murderer’s Row” and I believe the winner will come out of this group. I think after the smoke clears, KYLE KORVER will be the new “King of the Three”.
Who do you think will win this contest?