Given the general apathy presented on Friday and Sunday nights, All-Star Saturday Night has become the centrepiece of the weekend experience. In the past couple years, the NBA has hit a great balance of competition and effortless fun. Whether it’s the bigs vs. smalls tournament in the Skills Challenge, the star-studded Three-Point Contest, or the unheralded dunking freaks in the Slam Dunk competition, there’s a little something for everyone on Saturday night.
There’s a little something for Raptors fans this year too! Kyle Lowry will be one of the participants in the JBL Three-Point Contest, as he comes in shooting a career-high 41.7% from deep this season. He’ll have some big name foes in that portion of the evening. Here’s how it’ll all break down.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Once again, no Raptors representation in the Skills Challenge — which is sad, because I think Jonas Valanciunas would be high value entertainment in this category. Instead, you’re again presented with the big guys vs. the little guys. Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Kristaps Porzingis, and Nikola Jokic(!!) make up the former group, while Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, Gordon Hayward, and Devin Booker hold it down for the 6’9”-and-under category.
JBL Three-Point Contest
The main event if you’re a Raptors fan. You know the drill here — players have one minute to shoot as many as the 25 balls as they can. Money balls count for two, yadda yadda yadda.
Lowry goes up against some good shooters here: Eric Gordon, Kyrie Irving, Wes Matthews, CJ McCollum, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and future Toronto Raptor Nick Young.
Verizon Slam Dunk Contest
With Zach LaVine unable to participate, a bit of air’s been taken out of the room for the Slam Dunk competition. However, the unknown factor turns things up a bit. Derrick Jones Jr. and Glenn Robinson III are maybe the least-recognized NBA players to ever participate in this part of All-Star weekend, but both have the YouTube pedigree to do something special.
Standing in their way is big man DeAndre Jordan and would-be 2016 champ Aaron Gordon. You know, this guy.
Get your popcorn ready.
Where to Watch: 8 p.m. on TSN National