The All-Star Weekend is NBA’s yearly showcase of the best of the best. This year is looking more star-studded than ever – and that’s not an exaggeration.
The 2016-17 season has been a year of breakouts: records being tied and broken left and right, and too many stars deserving of headlines every other week. The All-Star Weekend at New Orleans from Feb. 17 to 19 will be brimming with basketball talent. What NBA All-Star Weekend predictions will come true?
As usual, the weekend being a lighthearted affair – none of this touches the regular season W/L records. Still, there will be winners, and there will be losers. Here are a few NBA All-Star Weekend predictions on the ones who come out on top:
Skills Challenge: Isaiah Thomas
There are a few legitimate stalwarts on the list – both guards and big men – capable of having a good night and coming out on top. But Isaiah’s been having, arguably, the best season of all. The King In The Fourth has inserted himself into NBA MVP talks and has led the Celtics to the second seed in the East. He’s quick, he’s got handles, he can shoot, and he can be a playmaker. His biggest liability? Defense, due to his height – but that’s a non-factor in the Skills Challenge.
He’ll likely beat out John Wall in a tight contest between the East’s finest guards. Joel Embiid would have been the dark horse, but is sadly missing the contest due to an injury.
Three-Point Shootout: Kyle Lowry
Among NBA All-Star Weekend predictions, this event is the hardest to predict. Any shooter can have a great or a bad shooting performance on any given night. Since the shootout eliminates most other factors – athleticism, handles, etc. – we’ll only look at three point shooting percentages to make an educated guess.
Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson are both shooting 41.8% from downtown this season. But Lowry’s the one with something to prove.
Slam Dunk Contest: Aaron Gordon
The favorite of many, one of the best Slam Dunk contests ever was held last year. It was a distinctive of a return to basics, largely eliminating props and gimmicks to feature the best of the league’s high flyers. Zach LaVine beat out Aaron Gordon then, in a neck-and-neck contest. But this year, expect that Aaron Gordon is focused on going all-in once again.
Derrick Jones Jr. and Glen Robinson III will have outside chances. But DeAndre Jordan is unlikely to even make the second round. He’s athletic, but not exactly known for spectacle and flash, which the Slam Dunk contest adores.
All Star Game: West (MVP: Kevin Durant)
Like him or hate him, Durant’s having a pretty good debut season with the Warriors. It will help that we’ll probably see an All-Warriors line-up on the floor at some point of the competition. That kind of comfort may help Durant get buckets without worrying about defense (All-Star Game doesn’t care about defense). The West will power through to their sixth win in the last eight years.
Two possible cases that might change this. One, LeBron goes ultra competitive with Durant and actually tries really, really hard to blaze the way for the East. Two, Durant and Westbrook get into a spat and start boxing each other at courtside. Hey, it could happen.
Any NBA All-Star Weekend predictions of your own? Let us hear them in the comments below!