Three-Point Shootout Deserves Star Power
It’s that time again, NBA fans. The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is right around the corner, which means All-Star Saturday Night, for better or worse, is also on the agenda.
Luckily, a consistent bright spot for All-Star Saturday Night has been the three-point shootout with many All-Star caliber players taking part in the competition. Just last year, superstars Kevin Durant and Kevin Love went head-to-head in the championship of what was an exciting competition right down to the end.
Even with the reigning three-point contest champion Love out of the contest and unlikely to return to action for at least the next month, the NBA still has sufficient star power to make the shootout interesting.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at who should be going up against one another in the NBA’s 2013 Three-Point Contest:
Ray Allen, Miami HEAT:
Arguably the best tbree-point shooter of all time, even though he might not consider participating, Allen would more than fill the Miami HEAT void in the three-point contest. For last season’s competition, both Mario Chalmers and James Jones were able participants but neither has been as consistent from behind the arc so far this season. Allen, on the other hand, continues to be a master marksman from long range despite participating in his 17th NBA season. Not only would Allen’s 43 percent shooting from deep this season be a welcome sight, but his star power alone would help to carry the event leading up to the slam dunk contest.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets:
When Anderson moved from the Orlando Magic to the New Orleans Hornets this offseason, many believed the open looks would dry up with Dwight Howard no longer clogging up the post. To the contrary, after finishing last season with the most triples by a wide margin, Anderson entered Tuesday’s NBA action leading the league once again with 137 three-pointers made. Despite not possessing a consistent threat in the paint all season, Anderson continues to prove he’s one of the best three-point shooters in the game. Shooting a personal best from behind the arc this year and leading the Hornets in points at 17 a game, Anderson deserves to compete against the best shooters in the league yet again in 2013.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors:
Finally putting together a mostly injury-free start to an NBA season, Curry has had an excellent year – especially from three-point range. Second in the NBA in both three-pointers made (133) and three-point percentage (45.2 percent), Curry has played like the best pure shooter in the game midway through the 2012-13 season. Especially after being snubbed for an All Star spot in the midst of the best overall season of his career, it’s imperative that the NBA get the 24-year-old budding star into All-Star Weekend. Even though ankle issues have sprung up once again as of late, it’s tough to imagine Curry not taking advantage and finding some way to participate in All-Star Saturday Night.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder:
While not among the league leaders in three-pointers made or three-point shooting percentage, Durant is another player with the star power to help carry the event. Just last season at All-Star Saturday Night in Orlando, Durant faced off against Kevin Love in the championship round and came up just short to the 2012 champ. The NBA’s current scoring leader at 29.6 points per contest would be another superstar name to help spruce up the event. Who wouldn’t want to see Ray Allen and Kevin Durant going head-to-head in the final round of the Three-Point Shootout?
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks:
Long reigning as one of the most potent sharpshooters in the NBA, Korver is having one of his best seasons from beyond the arc in 2012-13. Currently sporting the highest three-point percentage in the NBA this season – shooting nearly 47 percent from behind the arc – Korver should be a shoe-in to compete in the three-point competition. Also ranking in the top-five in three-pointers made this season, Korver has the reputation to guarantee himself as a tough-out in any round of the competition. The current record-holder for the best three-point percentage over a season in NBA history (53.6 percent in 2009-10), Korver would be a worthy addition to help round out the six contestants.
Steve Novak, N.Y. Knicks:
One of the most explosive three-point shooters in basketball, Novak is having one of his best seasons from distance halfway through the year. In the midst of the most robust action over the course of his six-year NBA career, Novak is making the most of his increased playing time. Featuring the third-highest three-point shooting percentage in the NBA this season (44.3 percent), it’s clearly a no-brainer to have Novak in the mix come NBA All-Star Saturday Night. Especially when you consider this would be Novak’s first invite to the Three-Point Shootout, leaving the proven marksman out in the cold should not be an option.
Other Viable Options
Randy Foye, Utah Jazz:
Quietly this season in Utah, Foye is putting together another stellar season from behind the arc to add to his resume. Foye ranks among the top-10 in the NBA in both threes made (100) and three-point percentage (43.7 percent) and would be a sleeper to win if added to the contest.
James Harden, Houston Rockets:
Despite not being a particularly efficient three-pointer shooter throughout his career, the hometown effect of Harden taking part in the three-point contest should not be overlooked. One of the best scorers in basketball, averaging 26 points per game this season, the first time All-Star Harden would be an exciting edition to this bunch and would almost assuredly put on a good show for the hometown fans.
J.J. Redick, Orlando Magic:
One of only eight NBA players to have hit over 100 shots from three-point range this season, Redick has earned the right to be at least considered for this competition. Neither Foye or Redick are as flashy as many of the other likely contenders for the Three-Point Shootout, but both would be worthy participants.
Who would you like to see participate in the 2013 Three-Point Competition? Let your voice be heard in the comment section below!