NBA All Star Weekend – Losing Its Luster?

NBAALLSTAR_FULLWatching the first three quarters of the NBA All Star game is similar to watching a pickup game at your local YMCA. You will see very little defense, as everyone rushes to chuck up 3 pointers.  The main difference is when you include some of the world’s best athletes you get many more highlight reel dunks in the All-Star game.  That and you probably won’t see too many fat guys on the floor.

You can’t blame NBA players for not going 100 percent.  Their careers are on the line, and the purpose of the weekend to honor the stars of the game.  If they are truly dedicated to their team and their season, you wouldn’t want them to play in a way to risk being injured, although it would make watching the actual All-Star game more interesting.  I prefer to focus on my favorite parts of the weekend.

I enjoyed watching the 3 point contest on Saturday night.  Stephen Curry put on a very impressive performance in the final round and won over the best shooting group I remember watching in a three-point contest.  It is entertaining to see great shooters get hot, and knock down a bunch of shots in a row.  It seems as though Steph hasn’t cooled down in some time – he is having an amazing season.  Here are the results:


2015 Three-Point Contest Results

Player  Team Round 1 Champ Round
Stephen Curry  Golden State Warriors 23 27
 Kyrie Irving  Cleveland Cavaliers  23  17
 Klay Thompson  Golden State Warriors  24  14
 Wesley Matthews  Portland Trail Blazers  22
 Kyle Korver  Atlanta Hawks  18
 Marco Belinelli  San Antonio Spurs  18
 J.J. Redick  Los Angeles Clippers  17
 James Harden Houston Rockets  15



If you watched the Dunk contest, you would have seen Zach Lavine steal the show.  Lavine had an impressive array of dunks including a behind the back dunk, and a couple “through the leg” variations where he almost hit his head on the rim.  He used teammate Andrew Wiggins to assist in one of his dunks.  Next year, they might as well include Wiggins in the actual contest.

I have to admit the crowd seemed a little skeptical during Lavine’s entrance: a live, Quad City DJ, blast from the past performance of the theme song from “Space Jam.”  Crowd members seemed mildly impressed and somewhat confused (in fact, I think I heard someone yell “tough crowd” during the song).  But after Lavine’s first dunk, you knew he was there to dazzle and entertain.  Victor Oladipo also showed some creativity.  His issue was his inability to successfully complete his dunks in the later rounds.   Overall, I give Lavine and Oladipo credit for creativity.  It is really tough to impress a crowd of people

who have seen so many dunks, and still want to see something new.  Maybe next year they should do a throwback dunk competition where each player picks a dunk from a past competition to imitate?

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