While the best pick up game in the world takes place tomorrow night, Saturday night is one of the most entertaining days on the NBA schedule. The dunk contest has had it’s up and down’s over the years, with the latest resurgence coming after Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon put on a show in 2016. We picked a winner from each event tonight.
The events start at 8 p.m. on TNT
Skills Competition (1st Event)
Luka Doncic (Mavericks), Trae Young (Hawks), De’Aaron Fox (Kings), Mike Conley (Grizzlies), Nikola Jokic (Nuggets), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Kyle Kuzma (Lakers), Nikola Vucevic (Magic)
Prediction: Trae Young
Big men have won 2 of the last 3 skills challenges so it would not be surprising to see Jokic or Vucevic pull it out, but we are going with Trae Young. He is quick, passes the ball at a high level, and everyone knows that we his shot is on he is one of the best shooters in the league.
3 Point Contest: (2nd Event)
Seth Curry (Trail Blazers), Stephen Curry (Warriors), Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks), Buddy Hield (Kings), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Kemba Walker (Hornets), Danny Green (Raptors), Devin Booker (Suns), Joe Harris (Nets)
Prediction: Stephen Curry
This is a loaded field, but it would not be very smart to pick against the best shooter of all time in Stephen Curry. He has not participated since losing out to teammate Klay Thompson in 2016, but he won the event in 2015. Some potential sleepers could be Seth Curry who like his brother Stephen is coming home to Charlotte, or Buddy Hield who is having his best season of his career. Returning champ Devin Booker is set to participate and could re-peat if he is on tonight.
Slam Dunk Contest: (Last Event)
Dennis Smith Jr. (Knicks), Miles Bridges (Hornets), Hamidou Diallo (Thunder), John Collins (Hawks)
Prediction: Hamidou Diallo
This is a tough one to pick. All 4 are obviously great athletes, and big men are hit or miss when it comes to the dunk contest so we will see with John Collins, although Collins did put on a show last night in the Rising Stars Challenge. The hometown favorite Bridges will be tough to be beat, and Dennis Smith Jr. could easily steal the show with his vertical ability. Smith Jr. will be looking to come back from last years contest in which he felt he left a lot on the table. Ultimately we think Diallo will come out on top with his length and vertical, but as you can see by the highlight videos below, you can’t really go wrong with any of these guys.
Bonus Pick: All Star Game MVP
Prediciton: Russell Westbrook
Stephen Curry would be the obvious choice here due to the fact he is one of the best players on the planet, and the fact that the game is in his hometown so there is no doubt he will be looking to star. These games are built for players like Westbrook with not much defense being played until the later stages of the game. He could end up with a monster triple double with the amount of play-making opportunities an all star game provides.