Watching shooters catch fire is in some cases a lot more rip-roaring than a monster dunk. Although most NBA fans will probably be more excited for the dunk contest and even for the celebrity game tomfoolery, the three point contest is something of epic proportions when all participants drain the 23 foot 9 inch shot with ease at soaring rates.
Last year, New York Knick fans had someone to cheer for in Steve Novak. Novak’s 17 points wasn’t good enough for him to advance out of the first round, causing Knick fans everywhere to pop open a bottle of Hennessy and drown in their own tears (not really). Of course, the dream championship match-up last year was Steve Novak vs. Matt Bonner. But that never came to fruition, well, one half of it did, because Novak’s shooting stroke took a Monstars-esque plunge into the sewers of Houston.
This year, returning three point champ Kyrie Irving will attempt to preserve his title against Bradley Beal, Arron Afflalo and Joe Johnson coming out of the Eastern Conference, and Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Marco Belinelli and 2012 three point contest champion, Kevin Love coming from the Western Conference. The new East vs. West format that was implemented by the NBA last year is going into this year again.
Irving unexpectedly won after firing on all cylinders in the championship round, scoring 23 points, three more than Spurs marksman Bonner.
Now, the question is, just like with everything else involving a champion of some sort: Can, in this case, Irving repeat?
As Kevin Garnett (can’t believe I’m quoting him) once rambunctiously said “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”
With the influx of very admirable long ball shooters in this contest, especially Curry, who knows what’ll happen. Beal could max out by scoring 30 in a round (probably not), Johnson could tie Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono‘s record of 25 points in a round (that probably won’t happen either), Mark Price hovering down from the rafters hitting a trey in the process (that shall happen) or Pat Garrity will…alright, I’ll stop there.
Lillard is definitely one of my favorite players in the league right now; he was last year, too. No, I’m not a closet Lillard fan, even though it’s fine to be one. Watching him at Weber State was an overall joy to watch, as is watching him in the NBA right now. And considering that he’s partaking in every All-Star Weekend event, talk about being epic.
I know, I know. You’re really eager to know who I want to take the silverware home. Because I’ve gone out on a limb predicting winners of the three point contest for essentially my whole life, I’m going out on a limb and saying that Curry will be the Western Conference representative while Beal represents the Eastern Conference in the championship round.
As much as I love Beal’s corner three shooting prowess (the Wizards are corner three kings), I think Curry ultimately wins the contest with a score of, let’s say, 22, while Beal puts in 18.
Curry’s shot release is heavenly artistry; it’s more than a second defter than Carmelo Anthony‘s release, which is still pretty darn fast, but not as quick. Go Curry.
The consensus of people have him down as their favorite. And Knicks’ fans should remember his 54-point performance forever, specifically his 11-of-13 downtown barrage.