The NBA stars have converged in New Orleans, Louisiana for this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend. On Saturday, four popular sidelights will be on tap namely the Slam Dunk, Three-Points Contest, Skills Challenge and Shooting Stars.
Who will reign the air this year? Who will rule behind the arc? Below is the complete schedule and list of participants in each event. Plus the betting lines and their chances to win their respective events:
Odds to Win Slam Dunk Contest Paul George (3.38) – Indiana Pacers Terrence Ross (4.25) – Toronto Raptors John Wall (4.80) – Washington Wizards Harrison Barnes (5.20) – Golden State Warriors Ben McLemore (7.00) – Sacramento Kings Damian Lillard (10.00) – Portland Trail Blazers
The slam dunk format will undergo a significant change in 2014 featuring multiple rounds. The first round will be the “Freestyle” where each dunker will have one minute and thirty seconds to attempt as many dunks as they can. The judges will choose a winner between the East and West and the winner will earn the advantage of deciding whether its dunkers will attempt first in the next round called the “Battle Round”.
This next round will pit East players vs. West players and the judges will decide who will win in this head-to-head match-up and the losers will be eliminated. The conference which wins three battles first will be named the Slam Dunk Contest champions. From among these three, the fans will vote for the evening’s Slam Dunker of the Night.
Prediction: Guessing the winner in this one will be a tough one but go with the conference with the better and more creative dunkers. And that is George, Ross and Wall. And between the three, Ross is the most explosive and artistic. The Raptor takes this one for his second straight slam dunk title.
Odds to Win Three-Point Contest Stephen Curry (3.50) – Golden State Warriors Kyrie Irving (5.05) – Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Love (6.35) – Minnesota Timberwolves Arron Afflalo (6.80) – Orlando Magic Damian Lillard (7.20) – Portland Trail Blazers Bradley Beal (7.20) – Washington Wizards Marco Belinelli (9.40) – San Antonio Spurs Joe Johnson (11.70) – Brooklyn Nets
The eight players will compete in a two-round format. For the first, each player will have a minute to shoot as many balls as possible during that span. The highest scorers from the East and the West will advance to the championship round. The champion will earn their conference’s charities $100,000.
Prediction: Love surprises and comes out of the West as Beal wins the East. Love over Beal in the championship round.
Odds to Shooting Stars Contest Team Curry (3.10) Team Durant (3.60) Team Hardaway Jr (3.75) Team Bosh (3.75)
In the Shooting Stars event the participants are Tim Hardaway Jr., Tim Hardaway Sr. and Elena Delle Done for Team Hardaway Jr.; Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, Swin Cash for Team Bosh; Stephen Curry, Dell Curry and Becky Hammon for Team Curry and Kevin Durant, Karl Malone and Skylar for Team Durant.
Prediction: “Team Hardaway” is already a winner with the pun.
Watch the NBA All-Star Saturday events via NBA League Pass.