Golden State Warriors teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson spearhead the eight-man lineup for the 2015 NBA Three-Point Shootout in New York City on Feb. 14.
Golden State Warriors teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson highlight a star-studded, eight-man lineup for the 2015 NBA Three-Point Shootout on Feb. 14.
NBA.com's Lang Whitaker breaks down each of the shootout's eight participants:
- Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs -- Belinelli will defend his Three-Point Shootout crown. He has appeared in just 30 games this year and has shot just .382 from three-point distance, the lowest percentage among this year's competitors.
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors -- Curry owns the distinction of being the fastest NBA player ever to make 1,000 career three-pointers. He drained 10 triples in a 51-point ouburst against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 4.
- James Harden, Houston Rockets -- the NBA's leading scorer at 27.0 points per game and fifth in the league in three-pointers made and attempts
- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers -- with his 100 three-pointers made this season, Irving has the fewest made among the field. However, he has what it takes to win the contest, as evidenced by his 11 threes against the Portland Trail Blazers several weeks ago.
- Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks -- Korver leads the league in three-point accuracy at 53.2 percent. He is on pace to be the Three-Point Shootout in NBA history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three-point line and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
- Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers -- Matthews is the league leader in three-pointers made (151) and attempted (375).
- J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers -- Redick's 43.2 percent clip from the three-point area represents a career-best. He is desinted to surpass his previous high of 165 threes with his current 114 made three-pointers.
In the Degree Shooting Stars competition, Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash will attempt to win their third title. The team of Anthony Davis, Scottie Pippen and Elena Delle Donne will attempt to thwart that aspiration. Whitaker confirms Stephen Curry will also participate alongside his father, former Charlotte Hornets sharpshooter, Dell.
For the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, seven of the eight contestants are point guards. Among those point guards are the Utah Jazz's Trey Burke, the Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, the Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague and the Washington Wizards' John Wall. The only non-point guard participant is Chicago Bulls All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler, per Whitaker.
The final event is the Sprit Slam Dunk Contest. The four-player field is comprised of the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Zach LaVine, the Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo and the Brooklyn Nets' Mason Plumlee, per NBA.com.
TNT will air NBA All-Star Saturday from the Nets' Barclay Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., says Whitaker.
In another development, the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony is excited to be this year's NBA All-Star Ambassador. During last year's All-Star Game, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah reportedly asked Anthony to consider the Bulls when he tests the market. Anthony is happy he'll be able to interview his fellow NBA players in New York City, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk:
"That was kind of the talk of All-Star weekend last year. I've had that experience maybe twice now, last year and then the [All-Star Game] in L.A. a couple of years back right before I got [traded] to New York.
"Now it's my turn! Now it's my turn to extend the favor.
"I think everybody will be on their own kind of zone on All-Star weekend. The real effect that they will feel will be during the game here at the Garden, kind of seeing what the Garden has to offer, not just for the New York Knicks but for [big events overall].
"And that is the big moment -- that Sunday in the All-Star Game. So the Garden will be lit up, it will be bright. There will be a lot of people in there. It will be loud and it will be exciting. So for other players to see that, I am pretty sure that will be impressive.
"I think it will create some great momentum here in the city just by having All-Star Weekend in New York. That energy that will be surrounding the city starting on Monday all through the week...And just for me to kind of be that ambassador for the city for the weekend, that means a lot that I can represent New York here in my hometown. Kind of welcome everybody here to have a good time for the weekend."
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