With the main event and the game between the best players from both conferences, this edition of the NBA All-Star will give us another show. We’ll see many familiar faces, which already competed on several occasions, but we’ll also see some new and surprising ones.
The Skills Competition is usually populated by point guards with maybe some shooting guards.
This year, however, a few big guys will compete in this competition, and it will be fascinating and amusing to see them handling the ball as the point guards. Houston’s Patrick Beverley won the last year’s game, defeating Brandon Knight in the finals. He will try to defend his title against a few more guards. CJ McCollum from Portland, Jordan Clarkson from Lakers and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas will be Beverley’s biggest opponents.
By biggest, I didn’t mean in size. Interestingly, the several big men will join this year’s competition, and these players are known for their abilities under the rim, rather than handling the ball and creating plays. Anthony Davis will try his luck with the skills. Davis played a guard in high school before grew so big that he had to be moved to the post. DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns will also compete for the first time in this challenge while Draymond Green can be a favorite from the shadow. Green is leading the league in triple-doubles this season.
Slam Dunk competition is always exciting to watch and in the last several years big guys had trouble to win it. A last year’s winner, Zach LaVine will defend the title this time around, and he will be challenged by Denver’s Will Barton, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, and the leading rebounder in the season, Andre Drummond from Detroit Pistons. LaVine and Barton are the favorites, but Gordon is an athletically gifted player and will try to take the title away from LaVine. Drummond is an unlikely winner, but we’ll see what he prepared for the contest.
Three-Point Contest will take a place in between these two, and the MVP of the NBA will defend his title. Steph Curry won the competition last year, and he’s leading the NBA in three-pointers made. Curry’s teammate, Klay Thompson, will be his opponent in the shootout. The Warriors’ shooting guard made 43 percent of his three-point attempts this season. James Harden is another strong candidate to win the contest. He is at the third place in three-points made this year, behind the Golden State duo. Khris Middleton from Milwaukee, Kyle Lowry, a Toronto favorite, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, the youngest participant, JJ Reddick, a sharp-shooter from the Clippers, and Chris Bosh from Miami will all try to take the title away from Steph Curry.