NBA All-Star Weekend is likely one of the highlights of the league schedule yearly. This season, the very best of the NBA come to Cleveland for festivities celebrating every little thing nice concerning the sport, capped by the All-Star Recreation on Sunday night time. But when the sport itself stays the crown jewel of the weekend, the occasions on All-Star Saturday nonetheless have the potential to steal the present.
The dunk contest stays a polarizing occasion, however at its greatest it may be an exciting showcase of athleticism and creativity. Whereas this yr’s contest nonetheless lacks huge names, but it surely does function two explosive younger guards who’ve the power to provide us one thing we’ve by no means seen earlier than. The three-point contest does function a number of All-Stars with Trae Younger, Karl-Anthony Cities, Zach LaVine, and Fred VanVleet slated to be within the discipline. There’s additionally a brand new format for the abilities problem, which can function a sure two-time MVP and his two brothers competing towards rookies and members of the Cavs.
The dunk contest and three-point contest will happen on Saturday, Feb. 19 in Cleveland. The All-Star Recreation itself occurs in the future afterward Feb. 20.
Earlier than the festivities get underway, let’s go over the All-Star Saturday occasions and provides some predictions on what we anticipate to occur.
2022 NBA dunk contest predictions, preview, and time
All-Star Saturday kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. The dunk contest would be the third and ultimate occasion of the night time. Right here’s a take a look at who’s competing:
- Jalen Inexperienced, G, Houston Rockets: The No. 2 general choose in the newest NBA draft, Inexperienced is a 6’5 guard with ridiculous hops who might placed on a present. As a highschool star out of Fresno, CA, Inexperienced usually drew comparisons to Kobe Bryant for his bounce across the rim. Whereas he’s had a little bit of an underwhelming rookie season for a rebuilding Rockets staff, the dunk contest provides the kind of platform that may increase his profile across the league. Don’t sleep on Inexperienced’s capability to takeover this contest:
- Cole Anthony, G, Orlando Magic: The son of Greg Anthony, Cole was an elite highschool recruit out of New York who had an underwhelming freshman season at North Carolina. After slipping to the No. 15 choose within the 2020 draft, Anthony has loved a breakout second season within the NBA, averaging 17.7 factors and almost six assists per sport. Anthony is simply about 6’2, which can make his dunks look cooler. He’s put down some huge ones prior to now:
- Obi Toppin, F, Knicks: Toppin is a former lottery choose having fun with a pleasant second season within the league with the Knicks. The 6’9 huge man confirmed off his athleticism on this occasion final yr. Whereas Toppin didn’t win, it seems like he’s under-the-legs dunk from close to the foul line would have been the very best of the night time if he took off one step again. What’s going to he have in retailer for us this yr?
- Juan Toscano-Anderson, F, Warriors: JTA has turn out to be a fan favourite with the Warriors for his continuous hustle and vitality. The 6’6 ahead seems like the largest wildcard of this occasion. He lacks the pedigree of the opposite opponents as an undrafted free agent, however he’s confirmed he’s an explosive athlete across the rim since becoming a member of Golden State.
2022 NBA dunk contest predictions
Jalen Inexperienced has appeared destined to win an NBA dunk contest since early in his highschool years. That is his huge alternative, and we predict he’s up for the problem. Inexperienced is our choose to win the competition.
If he does one thing like this, it may be a wrap early:
2022 NBA three-point contest predictions, preview, and time
The three-point contest would be the second occasion of All-Star Saturday after the Abilities Problem. Right here’s a take a look at the sphere:
- Fred VanVleet, G, Toronto Raptors: VanVleet has upped each his quantity and effectivity from three this yr, and it’s an enormous purpose why he’s a first-time All-Star. VanVleet is pulling down 40.1 % of his threes thus far on 10.1 makes an attempt per sport. The 6-foot guard by no means appears to get uninterested in gunning threes, which ought to serve him nicely on this contest.
- Desmond Bane, G, Memphis Grizzlies: Bane is making the Grizzlies seem like geniuses for taking him with the No. 30 choose within the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s hitting 42 % of his threes on almost seven makes an attempt per sport this yr. Bane’s sport isn’t nearly taking pictures — he’s developed an off-the-dribble sport this yr, and he’s stout defensively — however he’s quietly was one of many league’s higher marksmen from three.
- Luke Kennard, G, Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers guard has been hitting from deep all yr with out Kawhi Leonard and Paul George within the lineup. Kennard is hitting 43.4 % of his threes on 6.1 makes an attempt per sport. He’ll have assist from Duke followers in all places.
- CJ McCollum, G, New Orleans Pelicans: McCollum was traded to New Orleans on the deadline after spending his complete profession with the Path Blazers. The 6’3 guard has been on hearth since becoming a member of the Pelicans, and can look to maintain his sizzling taking pictures going within the three-point contest.
- Patty Mills, G, Brooklyn Nets: The long-time Spurs guard joined the Nets as a free agent this season, and he’s been a needed addition to a membership that’s spent a lot of the yr with out Kyrie Irving. The Aussie guard has alongside been recognized for his three-point taking pictures capability, and this can be a likelihood to stamp his proficiency from deep without end.
- Karl-Anthony Cities, C, Minnesota Timberwolves: With apologies to Dirk Nowitzki, KAT has a powerful case as the best huge man shooter ever. Cities is hitting 41 % of his threes on six makes an attempt per sport. He’s the one middle on this contest.
- Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls: LaVine made the All-Star staff for the second time in his profession because the scoring dynamo who has helped lead the Bulls to the highest of the Japanese Convention. LaVine is coping with knee soreness and it’s potential he might be changed within the contest. He’s making an attempt to turn out to be the primary participant to ever win each the dunk contest and three-point contest.
- Trae Younger, G, Atlanta Hawks: Younger is beginning the All-Star Recreation for the primary time in his profession as a result of he’s placing up online game numbers with the Hawks. Younger carries such a giant burden for his staff that we hardly ever get to see how good of a pure shooter he actually is. This might be his second.
What are the three-point contest guidelines?
Every competitor is allotted 70 seconds for the course. There’s a most of 27 balls out there in 5 places across the courtroom. “Cash balls” might be positioned on the finish of every rack and are value two factors. There will even be one rack full of cash balls. The three gamers with the best rating from the opening spherical advances to the championship spherical. From the NBA: “Like final season’s three-point contest, there will even be two Mountain Dew Zone spots additional again on the wings with one ball value three factors.”
2021 NBA three-point contest predictions
We’ll choose CJ McCollum to win the three-point contest. Only a hunch.
2022 NBA expertise contest predictions, preview, and time
The abilities problem would be the first occasion of All-Star Saturday. It incorporates a new format than the one we’ve seen the previous couple of years with three groups :
- Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey, and Scottie Barnes make up the rookie staff.
- Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen will symbolize the Cavs in Cleveland.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers Kostas and Thanasis will compete because the third staff.
2022 NBA expertise contest guidelines
There might be three rounds within the expertise problem adopted a championship spherical to find out the winner. Right here’s the way it works.
• Capturing spherical: There might be 5 completely different spots on the ground between 10-feet and 30-feet. Gamers will shoot from every location with their teammates rounding. Shot have completely different values primarily based on location. Gamers can’t shoot the identical shot twice. The winner of the primary spherical will get 100 factors towards their staff rating.
- Passing spherical: Gamers could have 30 seconds to go into three transferring targets. The passes could have completely different values primarily based on how tough they’re. “Every staff should make no less than one go try at every goal, and particular person gamers can’t make consecutive passes on the similar goal.” The profitable staff will earn 100 factors in the direction of their rating.
- Relay spherical: There might be a relay course all gamers from the staff should full. The course might be timed and quickest time wins. The course consists of outlet passing right into a transferring goal from the baseline, a dribbling problem by means of cones, a brief shot close to the basket, a three-pointer from the nook towards a defender, and a full courtroom dash to attain. The profitable staff will earn 200 factors to the rating.
- Ultimate spherical — half-court shot: The 2 groups with the best scores will advance to the championship spherical. Groups must make a halfcourt shot as rapidly as potential. The primary staff will set the time and the second staff must beat it. The clock could have 90 seconds max.
Abilities contest prediction
We’ll take the rookies to win.