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2015 Three Point Contest is Historically Good

Normally an afterthought, this year's NBA All-Star three point contest boasts a historically good field that is sure to put on a great show.

If you don’t have a date and you’re looking for something to keep you entertained on Valentine’s Day, the NBA’s All-Star three point contest boasts a historically good field that is sure to put on a great show. While the Sunday night exhibition game featuring the best players in the world is always the main attraction, this year’s three point contest has the potential to be the most entertaining event of the weekend. This year’s contestants are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, Marco Belinelli, J.J. Redick, and Wesley Mathews. If the players in this year’s contest live up to their potential, the shooting display put on will be the show of the night on Saturday and will generate even more excitement for Sunday’s game. Three of the contestants in Saturday’s three point competition, Curry, Thompson, and Korver (as an injury replacement for Dwyane Wade), will likely be in the game Sunday, which will only make people want to watch them hoist long range jumpers even more.

The three point shot has taken over basketball over the last couple of seasons, and it is crucial to any team’s success in today’s game. In this past month, we saw the number of three point attempts league wide surpass the number of free throw attempts for the first time in NBA history. People will argue on and on about whether they think this is the way the game should be played, but like it or not, the three ball is here to stay.

The field for the competition on Valentine’s day will be historically good, one of the best fields of all time, and certainly the best field the competition has seen in the past few years. In terms of shooting accuracy, all of the contestants are in the top 50 in all-time three point shooting percentage. Among active shooters, all six contestants are within the top 21 in percentage in the NBA. As far as bringing in guys who can fill it up from long range, the NBA nailed it with this group of guys.

Stephen Curry is already being lauded as on of the greatest shooters of all time if not the greatest, early in his career. What he can do off the dribble is almost unprecedented in the NBA. If Curry continues on the pace he has been on, he will likely be considered the greatest long range shooter of all time. He is fifth on the NBA’s career 3FG% list, and is second among active players, behind Jason Kapono, who has generally been a role player and spot up shooter off the bench. Curry’s role as a dominant ball handler and distributor makes his shooting even more impressive. He is the favorite to win this competition, and one could write article after article on how good he has been this season.

Another historic player in terms of shooting percentage from long range is Korver, who this season, has been shooting 53% from beyond the arc. This would put him just shy of his own NBA record for a single season. He is currently sixth on the career 3FG% list, just behind Curry, and third on the active list, again just behind Curry. Potentially making the All-Star team for an injured Wade is probably the bigger deal to Korver, but if you’re a fan of watching pure shooting, it won’t get much better than Korver.

Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson made his first All-Star team and will get to show off his true shooting abilities in this contest. Thompson comes in twelfth on the all time percentage list, and is seventh among active players; he is quietly (maybe not so much anymore) having one of the best all-around seasons in the NBA.

Marco Belinelli may not be the favorite because of the presence of Curry, Korver, and Thompson, but he deserves respect and recognition for winning the contest last season. The Spurs’ sharpshooter will look to defend his title in 2015.

Redick and Mathews are the two wild cards, who in their own right are great long range shooters. They will have their hands full in this competition, but both rank in the top 50 of all time three point shooters at 44th and 48th, respectively. They are 20th and 21st on the active list, and are both having fantastic years shooting the ball this season. Both of these players have as good a career percentage as Reggie Miller. If Redick and Matthews are considered underdogs in a shooting competition, then that’s when you know the competition is stacked.

There have been three point contests in the past with big names, and some of NBA’s greatest shooters have won the competition. Players like Larry Bird, Glen Rice, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Peja Stojakovic, and Dirk Nowitzki have all won it in years past. There has never been a shortage of big names in the contest, but what makes this year’s contest different is the quality of the players and their ability to shoot from long range as well as anyone in the history of the NBA. This contest has often ended up being slightly disappointing, with heavily favored players not performing well for various reasons. If the guys this year shoot the ball on All-Star Saturday night as well as they’re capable of, then we will be in for one hell of a show.

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