Today should be quite the event filled night, especially for basketball fans. It’s day one in NBA All-Star weekend, so Nithin and I sat down to make some predictions on tonight’s events.
Skills-Challenge: (Jrue Holiday, Brandon Knight, Jeff Teague, Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin)
Ben: Unlike in prior years, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge is more geared toward young point guards, rather than the more accomplished ones. With that said, I’m going to pick Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday to win the competition. I remember watching our own John Wall struggle to hit that first jump shot in the competition, which ultimately doomed his chances at victory. Holiday probably has the best jump shot out of all the competitors, and he doesn’t lack much quickness. With that said, I think Holiday will surprise some people.
Nithin: It appears Tony Parker may not have gotten the memo that this event now appears to be geared towards the up-and-coming guards in the league. But regardless he’s in the event and my pick to run away with the whole thing. He is the defending champ and going up against a group of guys who have never done this before. I thought about going with the dark horse hometown pick of Jeremy Lin but he may accidentally turn the ball over while navigating the course. (editors note: OUCH)
Three Point Shootout: (Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Steve Novak, Ryan Anderson, Steph Curry)
Ben: It’s going to be tough to pick against Golden State’s Stephen Curry, but I’ll go out on a limb and pick Ryan Anderson to win it all. Why? Because I’m a pretty big fan of his. Not only does he seem like a down to earth NBA player (rare nowadays, thanks Ernie), but he has a sweet jump shot. I think his quick release will help him tonight.
Nithin: Stephen Curry. Next question
Slam Dunk Contest: (Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Evans, James White, Terrance Ross, Gerald Green, Kenneth Faried)
Ben: Unlike last year, this dunk contest really has potential to be great. It’s hard to pick against any of these guys participating. In my opinion, you can’t pick against a guy who can dunk the ball between his legs…from the free throw line(!!!). Sure, James White only has two dunks on the season, but if you take some time to Google some of his dunks overseas, you’ll be in awe. Of course, we’ve all seen past competitors with a bit of hype behind them fail (see Shannon Brown), but I think ‘Flight’ will steal the show. Does that make him a good basketball player? Nope, but he’s an awesome dunker.
Nithin: This may be the most intriguing of all competitions during All-Star weekend because it truly is wide open. We have the dunk contest veteran in Gerald Green, the fan favorite in Eric Bledsoe and the defending champion in Jeremy Evans. But let me pose this question to all of the intelligent readers out there. Who’s got the most appropriate nickname for an event where the sole goal is to dunk the ball? The answer ladies and gentlemen, is James ‘Flight’ White, and my pick to win it all. Yes it is true that I have no clue who he is (did he at least used to play for the Wizards?) and a little research has led me to learn that he has only dunked twice this year. To me, the obvious answer is that he was saving up his hops for this purpose while the rest of the contestants were foolishly getting minutes during the season. Smart man, I say. Future dunk champion as well.
Well, I hope you guys will enjoy the events as much as I will.