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What: 2020 NBA All-Star Saturday Night
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
When: Saturday, 15 February 2020, 8:00 PM EST
How (TV): TNT
We’re ONE WEEK AWAY from the #TacoBellSkills on TNT at #NBAAllStar 2020! pic.twitter.com/Qb130DKT1n
— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 9, 2020
The 2020 NBA Skills Challenge brings together some of the NBA’s top playmakers and shot-creators. Between the backcourt and the frontcourt, this may be one of the most diverse pools we’ve ever seen.
Eight players will compete for the Skills Challenge crown, including three former Skills Challenge Champions. Three big men line the field as well, looking to win one for the frontcourt after back-to-back years of wins for the backcourt.
Here is Bam Adebayo dunking on Rudy Gobert. pic.twitter.com/Q4SPGAgfFR
— ahhhhhh (dats me yellin) (@NekiasNBA) February 13, 2020
Adebayo is one of the most surprising players of this NBA season. He has stepped up his play and has been awarded a position as an All-Star. He has the vision and ability to make some noise in the Skills competition, but his lack of speed and shooting may be his undoing. Save for some lucky, or timely shots, it is unlikely that Adebayo can win.
LeBron James just got clamped by Patrick Beverley with the game on the line, oh my….. pic.twitter.com/MJjldJYYcQ
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) December 26, 2019
Winner of the 2015 Skills Challenge, Patrick Beverley returns in hopes of winning another crown. Famed for his defense, Beverley has already proven he has the skillset to win this competition. After five years and now at 31 years old, we’ll see if Beverley can stay up to the challenge physically.
Spencer Dinwiddie. Game. pic.twitter.com/AfuFDy09HS
— Wobson Tatum (@WorldWideWob) February 11, 2020
Dinwiddie is the 2018 NBA Skills Challenge Champion. Certainly a favorite for the competition, Dinwiddie has the handle and the speed to stand at the top of the competition. He has struggled shooting the ball this year though. Should his jump shot come into play, his 30.9% rate from deep isn’t very encouraging.
Keeping Up With The Canadians ??
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | vs. @cavs
2 BLOCKS#ThunderUp | @okcthunder
Keeping Up With The Canadians is presented by @McDonaldsCanada. pic.twitter.com/qUxVO9s8UV
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) February 6, 2020
The Canadian sophomore was certainly deserving of an All-Star spot this year but just missed the cut. Gilgeous-Alexander has improved in all areas of the court this year and looks to be a dark horse candidate to win this match. Shooting, movement, passing, and speed are all in his favor.
Khris Middleton (28 PTS, 11 REB & 8 AST) filled the boxscore UP in the @Bucks 46th win of the season! ? pic.twitter.com/MANwtLMz2A
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 11, 2020
This isn’t quite the competition you would expect to find Khris Middleton in. He isn’t exactly fleet of foot or dazzling on the ball, but his composure and efficiency make him an interesting prospect in this match. Middleton certainly has the ability to shoot the ball, can he keep the pace though?
DOMANTAS. SABONIS. HAMMER. @Lakers 86@Pacers 91
?: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/ZrrPwvReyp
— NBA (@NBA) December 18, 2019
A generation later and we finally get to see Sabonis’ skills in the NBA Skills Competition. The second-generation NBAer is a fantastic passer and ball-handler for his size. But to say that shooting is his forte would be a massive overstatement.
Spicy P! ?️
If Siakam would have dunked this after dropping Anthony Davis it would have been the best play of the season ? pic.twitter.com/CzkRxp3KAr
— Outside The Paint Podcast (@OTPaintPodcast) November 11, 2019
Likely the best chance for the big men, reigning NBA Most Improved Player and NBA All-Star Starter Pascal Siakam has all of the skills to dominate this competition. Lightning-quick even amongst guards, Siakam will be one of the favorites going into this competition. Notoriously streaky from range, his shooting could be his downfall.
JAYSON TATUM ????? pic.twitter.com/3l4gAoxEd9
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) February 14, 2020
Reigning Skills Challenge Champion Jayson Tatum enters the competition as a favorite to win. Excellent on the ball, a clutch shooter, and the speed to beat anyone in a race, the first-time All-Star has only the clock to worry about.
WSN Picks: (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder.
Surprise Pick: (F) Pascal Siakam – Toronto Raptors.
Phoenix @suns guard @DevinBook has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured @trailblazers guard @Dame_Lillard in the #MtnDew3PT at #StateFarmSaturday. #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/P4WL5DWbb4
— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 13, 2020
The NBA Three-Point Contest is back with some minor changes. An extra ten seconds is added to the clock and there are two shots available six-feet behind the three-point line which can add three-points to a competitor’s total. Shooters will have more opportunities than ever to close the gap, making for the best three-point shootout in years!
It is difficult to choose who might be the winner in a contest between the best three-point shooters in the NBA. Sometimes lined with convenient additions based on location, this years pool is filled with the best, regardless of renown.
The easy money lies on former Champions Joe Harris or Devin Booker to win another three-point shooting title. But don’t count out the big guys – Duncan Robinson and Davis Bertans have the size to maintain their energy throughout the competition, as their set-shooting posture has proven beneficial.
WSN’s Pick: (G) Joe Harris – Brooklyn Nets.
Underdog Pick: (F) Duncan Robinson – Miami Heat.
Check out our latest Prop Drop video for tips on bets like “Who will take the 3 point shootout?”.
Your 2020 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest Participants:
-Derrick Jones Jr.
-Pat Connaughton pic.twitter.com/mGImG7ZPjI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2020
Time to recognize the main event of the evening! The NBA Slam Dunk Contest has an excellent pool of competitors this year. Size and power versus bounce and creativity. What will win out this year?
Judges: Dwyane Wade, Candace Parker, Scottie Pippen, Common, Chadwick Boseman
One week away and @DwightHoward is already in Dunk Contest mode ???
(?: ABC) pic.twitter.com/keW1Jl7LCo
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 9, 2020
2008 NBA Slam Dunk Champion Dwight Howard returns twelve years later with an eye on another dunk contest trophy for his collection. Big men are generally at a disadvantage in these types of competition and at Howard’s age there are questions about his athleticism and creativity. Always a showman, Howard is certain to have a plan of action.
Daily Derrick Jones ✈️ dunk! pic.twitter.com/qt1891iT0l
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 5, 2018
Derrick Jones makes his return to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest after failing in his endeavor in 2017. Losing out to Glenn Robinson III, Jones put it into fans’ minds that he is more than capable of being a champion. His in-game highlights speak for themselves.
Aaron Gordon prepping for the #NBAAllStar Dunk Content ? pic.twitter.com/FEQJLd6jOR
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 7, 2020
Aaron Gordon returns to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in hopes of redeeming his last appearance. After failing to impress in his second showing in the Dunk Contest, Gordon will hope to inspire fans with memories of his creativity from his battle against Zach Lavine.
Pat Connaughton warming up for the dunk contest ? pic.twitter.com/V7Cm1ubzXa
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 5, 2020
There’s a movie title that suggests the odds are against Connaughton, but his performance in games says otherwise. Connaughton can jump with the best of them. While his creativity hasn’t quite been on display, an underdog can be one of the most dangerous competitors.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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