I'm a huge fan of All-Star Saturday Night. In fact, I probably pay more attention to the Shooting Stars contest than I do to the second quarter of some Thunder matchups. And with this year's East vs. West competition, things will be better than ever!
TNT Coverage begins at 7 PM CST, Actual Contest Begins at 7:30 PM CST.
Shooting Stars Competition
This competition is probably the most boring, and probably the most unpredictable. More often than not, it just devolves into who can hit a half-court heave the fastest.
Predicted Winner: Team Harden. James Harden, Sam Cassell, Tina Thompson. Probably the odds-on favorites to win this competition. We all know Harden, who can definitely knock down shots when he's hot. Sam Cassell was an emotional and streaky player, but he was able to play very late in his career, which says something about his shooting ability. Tina Thompson is a well-known WNBA scoring guard, so she rounds out a solid trio.
Team Westbrook: Russell Westbrook, Robert Horry, Maya Moore. This team could definitely challenge for the victory. Westbrook's struggles from the field at times, but that's almost entirely made up for by Big Shot Rob, who made a career on nailing clutch shots. Maya Moore is a WNBA player on the tail-end of her career, but she's a very smart shooter.
Team Bosh: Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, Swin Cash. This team could stand a chance, but Swin Cash will be the X-Factor. She shot atrociously from the field and from the line last year, and generally isn't considered to be a scorer. Wilkins was a great scorer and dunker, but he never shot well from beyond the three point line. Chris Bosh will probably be their best shooter, which doesn't say a lot for their hopes.
Team Lopez: Brook Lopez, Muggsy Bogues, Tamika Catchings. The funniest thing about this team is that Tamika Catchings is probably the best shooter. Lopez is a big, even though he can go out into mid-range. Muggsy Bogues was all about quickness and handles, and wasn't remembered for being an especially good shooter. So consider this team a long-shot, at best.
This is supposed to be a competition determining the most skilled guard in the game. It structured well (or about as well as it can be), but the title will often go to the player who simply tries the hardest.
Predicted Winner: Damian Lillard. He's a rookie, so he's got more to prove than most in the competition. That's all I've got, really.
Other Players: Tony Parker might be inclined to repeat, but it's clear the NBA is making a push for this event to be less about established stars and more about up-and-comers they want to advertise, so I doubt he wins. Jeremy Lin has his fans, but I don't consider him as athletic as Lillard. Jrue Holiday has no real incentive to win. Jeff Teague is the East's best competitor, and I could see him being motivated enough to take it. Rodney Stuckey is garbage.
Three Point Contest
The premise is simple. The best shooter wins. Probably the most fun and fair competition of All-Star Saturday Night.
Predicted Winner: Steve Novak. He's a pure shooter, and his jumper is easy enough to keep him energized throughout the rounds.
Other Players: Matt Bonner is right up there with Novak, and is a legit contender. Ryan Anderson could be up there too, but he's bigger than the previous two, and I've seen him struggle from the field at times. Stephen Curry, Paul George, and Kyrie Irving are all scorers with more diverse games. Out of the three, Curry has the most relaxed jumper and potential to win.
Slam Dunk Contest
This contest is probably rigged, and popular players will win more often than international ones. But it's easily the most memorable, and by far the most entertaining.
Predicted Winner: Kenneth Faried. The Manimal has a lot more star-potential than any other candidate, and he showcased some incredible dunking skills in the Rookie-Sophomore game this friday.
Other Players: Eric Bledsoe has the little man vibe going for him, so I could see him getting to the next round. Jeremy Evans is a excellent dunker and showcased his skills in college, so he should get to the next round, at least. James White is probably the best dunker in the field, but his inclusion is almost a joke. Gerald Green's been here before, and it's hard to see him re-taking the title, despite his creativity. Terrence Ross is decent, but I just don't see anything outstanding about him that warrants his winning.
Overall Winner: Western Conference. The West is the best!
Who do you think will win the All-Star Saturday Night Events? Drop a comment and let us know!