NBA All-Star Weekend: Who’s going to win these events?by FOX Sports
NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the key dates on the NBA’s calendar every year.
This season’s All-Star Weekend carries even more significance than usual, with special tributes planned to honor the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.
The jerseys will also include tributes to the seven other victims of a fatal Jan. 26 helicopter crash, as well as former NBA commissioner David Stern, who passed away on Jan. 1.
Lastly, the game will include a new fourth quarter format, dedicated to Kobe.
Things will kick off on Saturday night with the USA vs World showcase game, featuring the league’s top rookies and second-year players. It will be followed by the 3-Point Contest, Skills Challenge, and the Dunk Contest, all leading up to the All-Star Game on Sunday.
The 3-Point Contest boasts a loaded field, full of some of the league’s best snipers.
Damian Lillard is injured and won’t be participating in the contest, but he was replaced by one of the NBA’s brightest young stars, a guy who has competed in this event before.
Does that give Booker an inside advantage? Maybe, but the two guys to keep an eye on here are Duncan Robinson of the Miami Heat and Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.
Robinson comes into the event with the highest 3-point percentage of the contestants at (43.8) and he has taken the league by storm this season:
Robinson has a chance to win this thing.
As for Hield, he enters as the contestant with the most made threes this season (207), and he can heat up fast.
We’re going to go with Hield to win.
The Dunk Contest features three returning participants – Dwight Howard, Derrick Jones Jr., and Aaron Gordon, and one newcomer – Pat Connaughton.
Howard has participated twice and won the event once.
But this contest is going to come down to Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon.
Gordon participated in one of the best Dunk Contests in NBA history in 2016, going toe-to-toe with eventual champion Zach Lavine.
This year might be the year he takes it home, and he’s been abusing rims all season long.
Jones Jr. is probably Gordon’s closest competition from a pure athleticism standpoint, so expect a head-to-head showdown between the two for the trophy.
We’re picking Jones Jr.
That leaves the Skills Challenge, the contest with the widest variety of participants.
Derrick Rose pulled out of the challenge due to injury and has been replaced by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The favorite here has to be defending champion Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
The wild card is Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.
This event is usually dominated by perimeter players, but Adebayo has proven to be one of the most versatile players in the league at his size, averaging 4.9 assists per game all while showing adept ball-handling and passing ability.
Still, we’re going with Tatum.
Enjoy the festivities!