It’s that time of the year again. All-Star Weekend. With a mix of celebrities, several competitions and the actual All-Star Game itself, the NBA takes the cake in this department. This year should be no different. In fact, with all of the star power, the weekend could be better than ever.
This event features two former champions. Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love won in 2012 and Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving won in 2013, so obviously they are two of the top contenders.
Often times this is a tough contest to judge. Some players thrive in an in-game situation and some aren’t as good in competitions like this. For others, it’s the opposite. Either way, I’ll still make a fearless prediction.
Joe Johnson, SG, Brooklyn Nets, 39.3% 3-point field goals
Johnson has had a rough season, averaging just 15.1 points per game, but he’s actually shooting better from beyond the arc than his career average (37.0%). At 10/1 odds, Johnson has the longest odds to win the contest and he is not the pick (you can see the complete odds for this event here).
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers, 40.4% 3-point field goals
Lillard is very excited about the competition. He is already a household name among basketball fans, but he wants to appeal to the casual fan by competing in every event. Lillard obviously has a sweet stroke, but because he’s competing in every event, he could struggle in this competition.
Marco Belinell, SG, San Antonio Spurs, 44.8% 3-point field goals
Despite having the best shooting percentage in the contest, Belinelli has the second-worst odds to win the contest. Belinelli’s career 3-point percentage is 39.5% and he has benefited from having superior talent around him (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, etc…) and playing for one of the game’s all time great coaches (Greg Popovich).
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards, 43.0% 3-point field goals
Beal’s athletic ability and 3-point shooting look like they will make him the perfect running mate for John Wall in Washington. The 3-point shooting also makes him a real threat to win the contest. He’s been excellent from beyond the arc this season.
Arron Afflalo, SG, Orlando Magic, 42.5% 3-point field goals
Afflalo’s 3-point shooting is one of the reason he has had the best season of his career and probably should have been an All-Star. Despite being the focal point of the Magic offense, he is posting a career-high in almost every category. Afflalo may use the new rules to his advantage by placing a whole rack of money balls in the corner, his favorite spot.
Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers, 36.9% 3-point field goals
Irving is the defending champion so he’s certainly earned this spot, but his season has not gone as planned and he is actually having the worst season in terms of 3-point shooting of anyone in this field.
Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves, 37.0% 3-point field goals
Like Irving, Love is a defending champion who has struggled to shoot from beyond the arc in comparison with the other competitors in this contest. Like Irving, he’s proven he can thrive in this environment before.
The Favorite (and my pick)
Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors, 41.5% 3-point field goals
Yes, there are players shooting better from the outside and yes, there are two former winners in the field, but how can you not go with Curry? He can create space and hit his own shot, he can catch and shoot and bury triples and he can hit big time dagger 3-pointers down the stretch in games, so why would anyone believe he can’t win this competition?
Tags: All-Star Weekend Arron Afflalo Bradley Beal Brooklyn Nets Cleveland Cavaliers Damian Lillard Golden State Warriors Joe Johnson Kevin Love Kyrie Irving Marco Belinelli Minnesota TImberwolves Orlando Magic Portland Trail Blazers San Antonio Spurs Stephen Curry Three Point Contest Tracking Washington Wizards