The spotlight will be on Chauncey Billups February 13th at American Airlines Center (6 p.m. MST) as he faces Boston's Paul Pierce, Golden State's Stephen Curry, Phoenix's Channing Frye, New York's Danilo Gallinari and reigning champ Daequan Cook of the Miami Heat in the NBA Three-Point Shootout.
You can have the dunk contest Nate Robinson ... I'll take the three-point contest any day of the week. I've often wondered if I like the three-point shootout more than the dunk contest for the lone fact that I can't really do any above the rim acrobatics, it's quite possible. I can however catch fire from three-point land and have been fascinated with shooting from beyond the arc for years.
Growing up I never really had much of a shot. If it wasn't a layup ... I wasn't making it. As I got older I worked tirelessly at developing my shot. (I don't really know why I worked so hard to get a decent outside shot, it wasn't like I had realistic Hoop Dreams.) I sort of prided myself on being a Sam Perkins type player in my pick-up days. I typically found myself guarding guys in the post and hanging out on the offensive end by the three-point line.
I love the three-pointer and I love watching guys sink threes in college and in the NBA to change the face of a game. And there is nothing better than the NBA Three-Point Shootout for me.
1986 - Larry Bird, Boston
1987 - Larry Bird, Boston
1988 - Larry Bird, Boston
1989 - Dale Ellis, Seattle
1990 - , Chicago
1991 - Craig Hodges, Chicago
1992 - Craig Hodges, Chicago
1993 - Mark Price, Cleveland
1994 - Mark Price, Cleveland
1995 - Glen Rice, Miami
1996 - Tim Legler, Washington
1997 - Steve Kerr, Chicago
1998 - Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2000 - Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2001 - Ray Allen, Milwaukee
2002 - Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2003 - Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2004 - Voshon Lenard, Denver
2005 - Quentin Richardson, Phoenix
2006 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2007 - Jason Kapono, Miami
2008 - Jason Kapono, Toronto
2009 - Daequan Cook, Miami
And here is a list of this year's contestants and how their numbers from deep this season:
|3pt%||3pt Made||3pt Attempted|
*Cook received an automatic berth since he won the contest last year.
My list of snubs (maybe these guys turned down the opportunity to participate?).
- Jared Dudley of the Phoenix Suns. He's shooting a league leading 47.1% and has made 73-155 bombs.
- Aaron Brooks of the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are in the playoff hunt and don't have an All-Star ... it would have been nice to see Brooks get some love. Brooks has hit 117-299 bombs (39%) and his 117 makes ranks third in the NBA.
Mo Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mo is shooting 42.9% from deep and has connected on 97 of his 226 attempts.
To win the NBA shootout you have to have high endurance (it gets tiring), get in a groove and be able to shoot all the balls in the allotted time period.
Channing Frye: It will be difficult for 6'11'' Frye to get to all his shots? He'll move a bit slower than the rest of the field, although Dirk Nowitzki was able to take home the trophy as a seven-footer in 2006. He does have a sweet stroke, but does he have the endurance?
Danilo Gallinari: He's shown he can make a lot of threes in D'Antoni's system as he leads the league in makes, but he's a volume shooter. Can Gallinari find his stroke and be consistent? That's his biggest obstacle.
Daequan Cook: He is the reigning champ and pride could take over along with some experience with the contest. Cook is shooting the lowest percentage, by far, of all the participants and he has the least amount of made threes as well. I don't see a repeat performance on the horizon for Cook.
Stephen Curry: The rookie has been lights out some nights this season and he went 6-6 against the Nuggets from three-point land back on January 5th, but will the rookie wilt under the spotlights? He hasn't done so this season, but he's also participating in the rookie/sophomore game and he could be a little mentally preoccupied from that ... uh what? I think Curry has a great shot to win this contest.
Paul Pierce: Pierce is a dagger type shooter and not really a volume guy. Pierce doesn't have a quick stroke, but he can be deadly from beyond the arc. You don't really think of "The Truth" as a bomb threat, but like Melo he can be a dead ringer from deep.
Chauncey Billups: Mr. Big Shot is a rhythm shooter. His favorite shot is the transition three and loves to pull up to give his team a big momentum changer. Billups has been deadly from deep as he shot 47.8% from long range in the month of January, earning the nickname Battleship King from yours truly (because he's sinking everything!). I don't think Billups is really a volume type guy and he's isn't a quick release guy so this contest could prove difficult for him.
As much as I'd like to think that Billups could walk away the winner here ... I think that Stephen Curry will take the crown this year.
Who do you have? Post your vote in the comment section and I'll send the first person to post the correct winner a Denver Stiffs T-shirt.