All-Star festivities continued in New York with the myriad of events that are part of All-Star Saturday. The stars that shined the brightest by far were Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves and Steph Curry of the Warriors with each blowing out their competition in their respective events.
2015 NBA 3-Point Contest
Curry came in as the favorite in the 3-point competition but the field was stacked with marksmen, one of which was his fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson.
The fiercest competition going in was thought to be Kyle Korver of the Hawks who leads the league in 3-point percentage at 52.3 percent which would be the second highest percentage in league history only behind his own NBA record of 53.6 which he set in 2010 when playing for the Utah Jazz.
The field also included the last two champoins of the event, the defending champ, Marco Belinelli, and Kyrie Irving who won it in 2013.
The first round lived up to the billing of this year being one of best shooting fields in the competition with 4 players scoring 22 or more points in the first round.
Steph Curry’s 23 points in the first round in most years would have easily qualified for the 2nd round, but not this year with this high level of competition, he barely makes the cut. Curry edges out Wesley Matthews who scored 22 points and advanced to the 2nd round joining Kyrie Irving (23) and the 1st round leader with 24, Klay Thompson.
It is in that 2nd round where Curry caught fire, hitting 13 shots in a row which is the 2nd longest in the event’s history and totaling an event record 27 points for the round, easily beating Thompson and Irving who scored 14 and 17 respectively.
Video highlights of Curry’s 2nd round:
As you heard from the video, Kenny Smith kept asking who’s the best shooter in Golden State but the better question for Curry might be who’s the best shooter of all time. After Saturday’s performance by Curry he might be making a strong case that it’s him.
2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
In terms of competition it was quite the opposite in the event capper of the night, the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest where it was Zach LaVine and just a bunch of dudes playing for 2nd place, a very distant 2nd place.
In an event that has mostly dull moments since its heyday back in the 80s with only a few exceptions since that time, Saturday night LaVine’s performance in the contest was one of those exceptions.
LaVine dazzled the crowd from the outset, setting the bar high wearing Micheal Jordan Space Jam gear and scoring a perfect 50 from the judges.
LaVine’s 2nd dunk was just as impressive which also scored a perfect 50 from the judges.
LaVine doesn’t disappoint in the final round where he and Victor Olidipo battle it out. In his final dunk he gets assistance from fellow rookie and teammate Andrew Wiggins and leaves no doubt as to who is the slam dunk champion in 2015.
Borrowing another line from Kenny Smith who summed up LaVine’s performance by stating, “He was born for this contest.”After LaVine’s dunking exhibition on Saturday the NBA world would wholeheartedly agree.