Rating the NBA All-Star 2021 3pt Contest
Updated: Apr 5
Howdy everyone, in my last post on the Blog I rated the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge for its entertainment and overall spectacle. It earned a solid 7 out of 10. Now it is time for me to rate the second event of Sunday’s NBA All-Star proceedings in Atlanta, the 3pt Shooting Contest.
The 3pt Shooting Contest is an extremely popular event amongst the NBA fraternity and its fans. It holds greater significance these days because the NBA has shifted its focus on 3pt orientated offence. That may have something to do with one of Sunday’s competitors; Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Now, Curry is considered one of the greatest 3pt Shooters of all time, and his very inclusion in the 3pt Contest was enough to get pulses racing on Sunday Night.
He was joined in the contest by:
-Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics (my beloved Boston Celtics)
-Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics (yes, two of the best young players in the league come from the same team, what a happy coincidence)
-Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz (A late inclusion and First Time All-Star in his 14th Season)
-Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz (Former Dunk Contest Champion)
-Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls (Another former Dunk Contest Champion)
So, how did the 3pt Contest on Sunday play out?
Well, first off it is best to give you a heads up on the format.
Around the 3pt line, there are 5 racks, spaced around the 3pt Arc. 2 of them sit in the corner of the court, 1 sits directly in line with the basket at the top of the 3pt Arc, the other 2 Racks are placed equidistant between the top of the 3pt arc and the corner of the court. Each rack has 5 balls set upon it. 4 of the racks have 4 Standard balls and 1 Money Ball. A Standard Ball is worth a score of 1 and a Money Ball is Worth a Score of 2. The 5th Rack is known as the Money Ball Rack, and has 5 Money Balls, meaning it is worth a potential score of 10 if the Competitor can make each shot from the rack. The Player can place the Money Ball Rack wherever they like, either in one of the 2 corners, at the top of the 3pt arc or in-between. In addition to the 5 Racks there are 2 Mountain Dew Balls (there’s a lot of product placement in American Sports) these are worth a score of 3 in the contest and are placed a short distance back from the 3pt line (this represents the extended shooting range of today's NBA Players). Each player has 70 seconds to complete the challenge and make as many shots as possible. The 3 highest scorers advance to the Final round to do it all over again.
The favourite going into the contest was most definitely Steph Curry, could anyone stop him?
First up was Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtic’s, he made some clean shots, but unfortunately, it would seem the occasion got to the first time all-star as he could only muster up 17 points. This put his chances of advancing under threat. He was followed by Jayson Tatum, the second Celtic in the competition. He started strong, 4 shots made on the first rack and finished with a respectable 25 points. A solid effort that could see him advance. The Celtics were followed up by Chicago’s Zach Lavine, a former Dunk Contest Champion. 3 out of 5 on his money-ball rack, and a final total of 22. Mike Conley followed that with an impressive 24 points. A great haul for the first time All-Star player. His Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell was up next. He needed 22 to avoid elimination, and he got exactly that. A tight contest at this point. That was until finally, Steph Curry stepped up with an exhilarating 31 points. He didn’t even break a sweat.
This meant the Final would be contested between Steph Curry, Mike Conley and Jayson Tatum. Tatum was first up in the Final Round. Unfortunately, he failed to surpass his first-round score, falling short with only 17 points. Mike Conley was the only man who could upset the favourite in Steph Curry. Conley laid down a great score of 27, in previous Finals that would give you a shot at winning the contest outright. Curry would need to replicate his first-round performance to win the 3pt title. He started off cold, only making the money ball on the first rack. However, after making both Mountain Dew shots and 4 of 5 on his money-rack, he really got into his stride. It all came down to the last rack, the last ball and Curry surpassed Conley’s total by one point.
Steph Curry is your 2021 3pt Contest Champion.
It went down to the last basket, the drama we all crave from All Star Action.
In my opinion, this was the most exhilarating part of NBA All-Star in Atlanta. Fans of the game these days are giddy over high-quality 3pt shooting and I am no different. Seeing elite shooters go up against ‘The’ elite shooter was great to see. The contest also had my two favourite Celtics in Brown and Tatum. Finally, the now two times 3pt Champion Steph Curry put on the show we all knew he would and I’ll say it again, it came down to the last shot.
I shall rate the contest a 9/10 on the entertainment scale. Why not 10? Well, a little bit of me being picky and wanting a Klay Thompson style player being healthy to compete, or Tatum to match his first-round intensity in the final. That would have made it a 10.
So that was the 3pt Contest, next up I’ll rate the Dunk Contest.