It’s that time of year again; despite the shortened season All-Star weekend is upon us. Here at Buckets Over Broadway we thought, what better way to spend the day leading up to tonight’s events than with a little roundtable action. Bradley, Jaron and I took a look at each competitions and predicted the winners; here are the results:
Haier Shooting Stars:
Bradley: Team Orlando
I want to go with Team New York but I just don’t know how much I trust Landry Fields and his line drives. Team Orlando has the home court advantage.
Jaron: Team Orlando
This one is the toughest to make a prediction on considering it’s hard to predict a “half-court shot” but I’m going to choose Team Florida. Jameer is a fairly good shooter from beyond the 3-point line, as was Dennis “3D” Scott during his career. I don’t know much about Marie Ferdinand-Harris but the 3P% of both Nelson and Scott is enough for me to choose Team Florida over Team Atlanta, Team New York (I definitely would have chosen them if Fields didn’t regress drastically in terms of 3P%), and Team Texas.
Scott: Team New York
I’m gonna go with the homer pick here: Team New York has two good shooters in Alan Houston and Landry Fields and a WNBA player I’m not even going to pretend I know anything about. It really doesn’t matter who wins this contest, as I am sure this is probably the event most glossed over by its viewers, yet for some reason I find it strangely compelling—mostly because there is something enjoyable about watching old, big dudes shoot half-court shots.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge:
Bradley: Kyrie Irving
Especially after watching him in the Rising Stars game I have to say that this kid can do it all. I expect him to ride the wave from Friday night.
Jaron: Kyrie Irving
You can’t go wrong with Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving, Tony Parker, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams. All of these guys are the top Point Guards and excel in a multitude of categories. However, speed and accuracy plays a large role in this contest so that eliminates turnover-prone PGs for me (That includes the 3 W’s: Wall, Williams, and Westbrook). Yes, I know Deron has usually excelled in this event for years but this is the most turnovers he’s had in his career. So now we are left with Rondo, Irving, and Parker. Rondo has come back from injury and has been out two games due to suspension so it’s quite possible Rondo may not be in “true” form for this event unfortunately. That leaves just Irving and Parker. Irving is a very young, athletic, and speedy Point Guard. And it’s his year frankly as he led, what many deemed to be a sub-ten win team, to 13 wins at the All-Star break. Irving beats Parker by 4 seconds max.
Scott: Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving was amazing last night, and it would be a nice story to see take the skills comp tonight. Granted, it won’t be easy with competition like Parker, Westbrook, Williams and Rondo but his speed and jump shooting ability should be an asset.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest:
Bradley: Kevin Durant
I just don’t believe this guy can miss with no one guarding him.
Jaron: STEVE. NOVAK.
Wait he’s not in this? What gives? No, the guy shooting 46% from three-point land is somehow absent for this (Great decision there Stern), but James Jones, Kevin Love, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Morrow, Mario Chalmers, and Kevin Durant are participating in this year’s event. To me, this one comes down to two players from Florida teams: Ryan Anderson and Mario Chalmers. Both are shooting very well from beyond the three-point line but to me, it comes down to attempts. Chalmers has 149 attempts from beyond the line, while Anderson has 228 attempts. I’m going to have to take Anderson because he has the higher amount of attempts, which shows that he is used to shooting a large number of three pointers a game, which is something important to keep in mind regarding this event considering it’s more about stamina than 3P% due to the fact you have to chuck three after three with little time to spare. So for that reason, plus the fact he’ll be in front of a home crowd somewhat, I’m going to take Ryan Anderson.
Scott: Kevin Love
Why not, it’s about time somebody from the TimberWolves won something.
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest:
Bradley: Chase Budinger
Hate to play the race card on this one but, I mean, how often do you see a white dude get up that high? Case in point: Brent Barry did something we all saw before but everyone went nuts anyway
Jaron: Paul George
It pains me to write about this. It really does. I have always loved the Dunk Contest. That is, until Nate Robinson pretty much destroyed the entire thing in Dallas along with DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Wallace, and Shannon Brown. That was terrible and I thought it couldn’t get any worse than that. Nate’s schtick became incredibly stale and the other competitors weren’t impressive. And of course, there wasn’t any star power. The star power returned the next year though in Blake Griffin and frankly, it was great. It was a thrill watching it as I saw some of the best dunks in a while. But before I discuss this year’s dunk contest and how much of a joke it is let me just say one thing: Blake Griffin’s car dunk was not impressive. He jumped over the hood of a car. That’s not that long in terms of height. In fact, Nate Robinson dunking over Dwight Howard is much more impressive considering Dwight is 6′ 11″ and the hood of a car is much, MUCH shorter than that. Anyway, regarding this year’s contest, it’s a joke. It’s a laugher. It’s an embarrassment. PAUL GEORGE? DERRICK WILLIAMS? JEREMY EVANS? CHASE BUDINGER? Where’s the star power? Where? I’m sure the casual NBA fan hasn’t heard of any of these guys. Just put an end to this event if you can’t even get one star. Anyway, I’ll pick Paul George to win because I recall him having a sick in-game dunk the week LeBron and Griffin had spectacular dunks
Scott: Jeremy Evans
Let’s face it; the dunk contest has become a shadow of its former self. The once great exhibition of athleticism and creativity has now become a circus. This is something that has been slowly developing through the years; it started with the “dunk wheel”, was brought to a new level with Dwight Howard, and came to a ridiculous head last season after Surge Ibaka’s stuffed animal dunk and Blake Griffin’s car commercial.
In response to this, the NBA has pretty much given up on the dunk contest this year, changing the rules to limit the amount of dunks (now 3 apiece) and rounds (down to 1) and eliminated the judges all together—the winner will be determined by fan vote. However, the good news is that we have some contestants that can actually dunk, and there won’t be one player that wins based on their star power like Blake last year, who shouldn’t even have made it out of the first round. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we have seen the end of the ridiculous props.
Anyway, getting to the point; Jeremy Evans will win this contest. He is an incredible dunker and if you haven’t seen him dunk check it out on YouTube because you’re missing out. Oh ya, and the runner up will probably be Paul George.