The NBA rolls out the red carpet and throws an All Star Weekend like no other of the major sports. Many fans prefer the lineup on Saturday night over watching the actual All Star Game on Sunday evening. Tonight, at 8:00 pm Eastern on TNT, the NBA will trot out its wildly popular trio of events: the Skills Challenge, the Three Point Shootout and the Slam Dunk Contest. These contests will feature some of the best young talents in the NBA, showcasing what they do best: ball handling and agility, long distance shooting and acrobatic dunks!
The Skills Challenge
Returning champ Damian Lillard, of the Portland Trail Blazers, looks to defend his crown against a host of new contenders below.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder
My Prediction: Victor Oladipo of the Magic will come out as this year’s champ. He’s got great raw ability and should shine in this event.
Three Point Shootout
Kyrie Irving will try to hold off the following marksmen and repeat as the 2014 Shootout Champion! Kevin Love is looking to reclaim his title that he won in 2012. He couldn’t participate last season due to a broken hand.
Arron Afflalo, Orlando
Bradley Beal, Washington
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
Joe Johnson, Brooklyn
Marco Belinelli, San Antonio
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Damian Lillard, Portland
Kevin Love, Minnesota
My Prediction: I’d love to see Marco Belinelli take it, but I don’t think that he’ll be able to keep pace with Steph Curry, who will bring home the title.
Slam Dunk Contest
Defending dunk king, Terrence Ross of the Raptors, hopes that the fans will vote him in as the 2014 champion over the likes of Paul George and Damian Lillard. As was reported in an earlier Inquisitr article, the fans will be making the decisions, not judges! The field is rounded out below.
> Paul George, Indiana Pacers
> Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
> John Wall, Washington Wizards
> Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
> Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
> Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
My Prediction: This event always comes down to creativity, and is almost impossible to predict – However, John Wall is my choice.
Damian Lillard becomes the first NBA star to participate in all three events in the same year. It would be quite the feat if the Blazer star could capture the trifecta and reign supreme in each event. However it comes out, the NBA All Star Saturday Night will surely be exciting TV for all the fans.