After a long run, the 2021-22 NBA season is paused for the All-Star Weekend. Always one of the hottest spots on the league calendar, All-Star Saturday Night is the precursor to an All-Star game – it will once again feature three star-studded events: the Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk Contest.
The night began with a skills challenge, which featured three teams in the competition – Team Ravens (Scotty Barnes, Kid Cunningham, Josh Gede), Team Caves (Garrett Allen, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley) and Team Antitoconmo, which includes Giannis and his brothers Thanasis and Alex. In the end, it was the Cavs who came out with the title after Evan Mobley scored the team’s second attempt from half the field to claim victory on the ice.
It followed the 3-point competition and featured eight participants – Luke Kennard, Patti Mills, Fred Vanfleet, Trae Young, Zach Lavigne, Desmond Bunny, CJ McCollum and Karl Anthony Towns – facing the shooting title of the year. Kennard, Towns and Young eventually made it to the final round with the Timberwolves star emerging as the winner with a score of 29 in the final round.
Tonight concluded, as always, the Slam Dunk competition, in which Cole Anthony, Juan Toscano Anderson, Obi Tobin and Galen Green showcased their skills and athleticism for the highest honor. At the end of the night, Tobin was the third Knicks player to win that honor.
Here are three quick takeaways from a busy night.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns broke the record in a 3-point competition
In perhaps the most shocking finale of the night, Townes came home as the winner of the 3-point competition after putting up 29 points in the final round to defeat Kennard & Young. That final score broke the record for most points scored in the final round of the 3-point competition, surpassing the 28 points scored by Devin Booker in 2018.
Cities have already entered this event after declaring themselves “Greatest man shooter of all time” And while someone by the name of Dirk Nowitzki might want to have a word with him about this title, having a 3-point quiz title definitely helps his argument. Towns is the first center to win the event, and the first senior man since Kevin Love in 2012 to win the award.
It was a great performance from Towns, who are going through a solid season with the Timberwolves looking to find a place in the playoffs this season. Towns’ shot at 41 percent from a 3-point zone is just part of the reason Minnesota has been playing so well this season, and his dominant play on attack has earned him another All-Star pick this season. Saturday night’s win was a great moment for Towns, who has been quietly leading a Timberwolves who seem to be starting to figure things out after several years of toiling at the bottom of the Western Conference.
2. Immersion competition is not what it used to be
It seems like every year we watch an event dunk contest, only to be instantly let down during the first two minutes after the first contestant misses three or four attempts in a row. That was the general tone on Twitter and among commentators, who were clamoring for the NBA to finally take a 3-point contest so there’s at least some excitement guaranteed to end the night.
While the league likely wouldn’t consider it, the dunk competition couldn’t be said to have lost some of its juice just six years ago when Zach Lavigne and Aaron Gordon were He takes her out in the final round In what is pretty much considered one of the best dunk competitions ever. Part of the problem is the lack of star power in the event. While players like Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and Michael Jordan used to compete for the crown, we’re now seeing lesser-known names for regular fans, so the expectation is off the bat low. It’s also hard for players to dive really uniquely when we’ve seen such a wide range of attempts. Add to that the fact that sometimes it takes three, four, or five tries before a guy tans one, and by that time, all the excitement is gone.
I’m not sure of the solution for the league because I don’t think incentivizing slam dunk will attract the big names everyone wants to see. But maybe just looking outside the NBA players and bringing in other players that are taken into consideration professional dunkers Who really threw some Jaw dipped It will bring some attention back to the event.
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3. The NBA should be a one-on-one tournament rather than a skill challenge
The skill challenge has seen a lot of overhauls, and honestly, at this point, it shouldn’t be an event anymore. You can tell some of the guys competing in it are going half-speed, the rules have been quite confusing this year, and despite a great finish with rookie Evan Mobley of the Cavaliers hitting halfway to win it, there isn’t much excitement there.
But did you know Will be Is it really exciting that the NBA should be on Saturday night? 1 on 1 mini tournament. Let’s take this back to basketball on the court, where the guys are vying for the ultimate bragging rights. Players can call up a player in the league they think they can take 1 on 1 and the player he calls out It must be Accept the challenge. The NBA can increase the pre-event matches, let the trash talk and be competitive. That would be more fun than watching the latest version of the skill challenge, and I feel like some players will actually take part in the competition and make it interesting.
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