2014 NBA All-Star Saturday Night preview and open thread

Rob Carr

Discuss Bradley Beal's and John Wall's performances in the Three Point and Slam Dunk contests respectively here.

We were pretty impressed to see that we had a good amount of activity during yesterday's open thread for the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge, despite the fact that it was Valentine's Day, where basketball may not have been the biggest priority for some of you. Tonight, it's All-Star Saturday Night at the Smoothie King Center in Nawlins. You can watch it starting at 8:00 PM on TNT.

There will be a East vs. West format with all four events as they will compete for a total of $500,000 in charity money with the winning conference getting $100,000 and the losing conference getting $25,000. The Eastern Conference will compete for the American Heart Association and UNICEF, while the Western Conference will go for Teach for America and the Wounded Warrior Project.

And now, a run through of the rosters for each event. For more detailed rules, click here.

Shooting Stars Event

A team of three players which consists of an NBA player, a WNBA player, and a retired NBA player (who is called the Legend) will shoot the ball from various locations. Conference teams compete against each other, then the conference winners play each other.

This year's Shooting Stars event is notable because two of the teams will feature father/son duos on the same team. One father/son duo is in the Eastern Conference with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Tim Hardaway Sr. The other father/son duo is in the Western Conference with Stephen and Dell Curry. The Curry duo, plus San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon, is my prohibitive favorite for this event.

One more notable thing about this year's lineup is that we have an NBA/WNBA duo based in State of Oklahoma with Kevin Durant (maybe there's a semi-rumor about him coming home?) and Skylar Diggins. Both Durant and Diggins also share the same agent: Roc Nation Sports. Hmmmm....

Eastern Conference Teams

  • Team 1 has Tim Hardaway Jr. (Knicks), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), and Tim Hardaway Sr. (Legend)
  • Team 2 has Chris Bosh (Heat), Swin Cash (Chicago Sky), and Dominique Wilkins (Legend)
  • Western Conference Teams

  • Team 1 has Stephen Curry (Warriors), Becky Hammon (San Antonio Stars), and Dell Curry (Legend)
  • Team 2 has Kevin Durant (Thunder), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), and Karl Malone (Legend)
  • Skills Challenge

    Teams of two players will go through an obstacle course in a relay format. John Wall participated in this event back in 2011 and 2012 but came up empty-handed both times.

    Eastern Conference Teams

  • Team 1 has Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) and DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)
  • Team 2 has Michael Carter-Williams (76ers) and Victor Oladipo (Magic)
  • Western Conference Teams

  • Team 1 has Trey Burke (Jazz) and Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  • Team 2 has Goran Dragic (Suns) and Reggie Jackson (Thunder)
  • Three Point Contest

    In case you missed it yesterday...

    We finally get to the part of the night where we can root for Bradley Beal.

    The aim of this game seems simple: there are just five racks of five balls positioned around the three point arc. And each rack has four regular balls and a money ball. That's all, right? Not exactly.

    This year, four racks are of the regular variety of four regular/one money. But one rack is made of five money balls, AND the competitor gets to choose where he wants this rack to be. That makes things interesting.

    Beal will be on the Eastern Conference team with Aaron Afflalo (Magic), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), and Joe Johnson (Nets). The Western Conference team will have Marco Belinelli (Spurs), Stephen Curry (Warriors), Damian Lillard (Blazers), and Kevin Love (Timberwolves).

    This is a pretty deep list of three point shooters, and I haven't seen Beal in a three point contest yet. Still, I'm a homer and think he's going to win this one for us.

    Slam Dunk Contest

    What will John Wall do TONIGHT?

    Now, it's time for us to see John Wall bring down the house.

    There will be two rounds in the event. First a freestyle round which includes 90 seconds of unlimited dunks for each team. The winning conference of that round gets to decide the order of the subsequent battle road of head to head East vs. West matchups. First conference to win three head to head battles will win the contest.

    Wall will represent the Eastern Conference along with Paul George (Pacers) and Terrence Ross (Raptors). The Western Conference team consists of Harrison Barnes (Warriors), Damian Lillard (Blazers) who is now in his THIRD event of the night, and Ben McLemore (Kings).

    Looking at the field of dunkers in this competition, it's safe to say that this will be one of the most star studded ones in some time, as Wall, George, and Lillard are also All-Stars.

    Enough from me. Let's enjoy the competitions and root for Bradley Beal and John Wall to win the Three Point and Slam Dunk Contests.

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