New Orleans is setting the stage for the most exciting part of the season in 2017. The All-Star weekend is upon us and the rosters for the events are some of the best we have ever seen. No matter what the popular opinion is, I have my bold predictions for the winners of the “big three” events: the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, The Three-Point Contest, and the All-Star Game itself.
The Verizon Slam Dunk Contest
Compared to last year’s contest, I feel as though this one will pale in comparison. Although we have the returning Aaron Gordon, he is a little banged up, and we didn’t even know if he was going to be participating. The other three competitors are DeAndre Jordan, Glenn Robinson III, and Derrick Jones Jr. DeAndre Jordan has the unfortunate pleasure of following a disappointing big-man entry in Drummond last season, however, Jordan knows how to dunk flashy, and he’s been doing it in a game for season upon season.
Glenn Robinson is, in my opinion, going to be the disappointment of the contest. He certainly has the hopping ability to compete, but judging by dunk film I’ve watched, even in college, Robinson doesn’t have the flash to upstage veteran dunkers like Gordon. My dark horse for the dunk contest is NBA rookie Derrick Jones Jr. This kid has tremendous dunking ability. His dunk mixtapes are like watching something out of a dream. With the flash of Zach LaVine with a little bit less hopping ability, I have no doubt that he will be the winner.
JBL Three-Point Contest
This event is insanely exciting. There is such a wide range of shooters competing that it’s hard to tell who will win. The contestants are Eric Gordon, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Wesley Matthews, CJ McCollum, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Nick Young. I’m going to go ahead and rule out the guys that I don’t believe will compete with the higher tier shooters, and focus on Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and CJ McCollum. Kyrie Irving is on a whole other level when he shoots, however his form may hinder him. Because he’s short, he takes a longer time to get back on the ground after a jump shot. He also likes to bring the ball all the way down to his mid torso before a shot, which can add time to his run. McCollum has some of the same problems, however, his release is much quicker. Now obviously, my favorite to win is Klay Thompson. He tied the all-time record in the three-point contest with 27, and I believe he has the ability to top it this year.
NBA All-Star Game
Lets just get straight to the point here. I think that the West are going to dominate the East in this game. The All-Star game is obviously not about defense, but instead about scoring. It’s just fact that the West have more firepower than the East on the offensive side of the floor. With Harden, Durant, Curry, and Davis all starting, not to mention Russell Westbrook coming off of the bench, I don't think that the East will be able to match that kind of firepower. I also believe that James Harden will win the All-Star MVP award, and have an explosive game, as he has more to prove than most of the guys out there.
Please comment and debate me if you think my predictions are wrong in any way. Have a safe and fun All-Star weekend.