Tonight is All-Star Saturday, where we’ll see a bunch of skills competitions. Here’s a preview:
Date and Time: Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Event 1: Skills Challenge
Eight players show off their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills in a timed format. This used to be a guard-focused competition. But Pelicans post Karl-Anthony Towns won it two years ago and Knicks post Kristaps Porzingis won it last year when big men were included in this contest. Porzingis was going to defend his crown, but he tore his left ACL last week, so he won’t unfortunately.
Here are the contestants:
- Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets)
- Joel Embiid (76ers)
- Al Horford (Celtics)
- Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)
- Buddy Hield (Kings)
- Jamal Murray (Nuggets)
- Andre Drummond (Pistons)
- Lou Williams (Clippers)
I have no idea who’s gonna win this one given how the last two skills competitions went.
Event 2: Three Point Shooting Contest
Players will shoot 25 three point shots, five each from five different spots on the court in the span of a minute. Within four of the spots, one of the five balls is a “money ball” that gives them more points. The fifth rack is made of five money balls. The contestant can choose where this “money rack” comes from.
Here are this contestants, which include one of Washington’s own:
- Eric Gordon (Rockets - Last year’s champion)
- Klay Thompson (Warriors - 2016 Champion)
- BRADLEY BEAL
- Paul George (Thunder)
- Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
- Devin Booker (Suns)
- Wayne Ellington (Heat)
- Tobias Harris (Clippers)
Beal faces stiff competition, but he was the runner up in 2014, so this isn’t anything new to him.
Event 3: Slam Dunk Contest
Four players attempt dunks — along with their creativity. Here are this year’s contestants:
- Victor Oladipo (Pacers)
- Larry Nance Jr. (Cavaliers)
- Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks)
- Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
Oladipo is the only contestant who has previous experience in the NBA dunk contest. We’ll also see a legacy on the line with Larry Nance Jr. Nance is the son of the 1984 (and first ever) Slam Dunk Contest champion, so he has big shoes to fill. Coincidentally, Nance is also playing for one of the two teams his father did as well.