The Foot Locker three-point shootout features five very good shooters—and swingman Paul George, who would have been better entering the dunk contest once again. Let’s look at the contestants and determine who has the best shot of taking the three-point shooting title.
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
Stephen Curry (5/2)
Son of one of the NBA’s best marksmen in league history, Dell Curry, Stephen Curry is tied for the favorite in the shootout. Curry’s quick release will help him get through the racks, which ensures he can take his time on the “money ball” at the end of each rack, which counts for two points instead of one.
Curry is shooting 44.7 percent from beyond the arc last year, and he shot 45.5 percent last season. It’s not hard to see why he’s one of the two favorites.
Steve Novak (5/2)
Steve Novak, or “Novakaine” as Knicks fans refer to him, is a deadly shooter to be sure. What I think hurts his chances over Steph Curry is the fact that he’s a little slow moving and getting from rack to rack will steal a second or two from him that could have been used to focus on the shots.
Novak’s form is flawless and he may be the best pure shooter in the league, though, so his status as a favorite isn’t at all in question. Novak is shooting 44.7 percent from three this year, and last year he led the league at 47.2 percent. That’s better than most players shoot from the field.
Kyrie Irving (4/1)
Kyrie Irving is making his first NBA All-Star appearance in just his second NBA season, and he’s the best basketball player in this contest. But it’s a shooting contest, not a one-on-one competition. I’m not insinuating Irving is a bad shooter by any means; he hits 42.5 percent from three this year, which is nearly as good as Curry and Novak.
But nearly as good isn’t going to get the job done with Novak and Curry both being more consistent. All it takes is one streak of going cold to keep a guy from winning, and Irving is a bit streaky.
Ryan Anderson (4/1)
Ryan Anderson has one of the quickest releases in the NBA, and that’s going to help his cause immensely. Anderson’s percentage for his career is under 40 percent though (38.9), so he’s not quite as accurate as the three favorites in front of him.
He won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award last season, and he’s stepped up his shooting over 40 percent this season, but with Curry and Novak both hitting 44 and 47 percent, respectively, it’s hard to imagine Anderson being able to hang with that.
Matt Bonner (5/1)
Matt Bonner is the worst player in this contest, but it’s a shooting contest so the specialist should be right at home. His shot is ugly, which makes it hard for me not to be bias against his chances. Still, Bonner is shooting 44.6 percent from three this season.
Bonner led the league in three point percentage in 2010-11 at 45.7 percent. It’s hard to understand how a guy who has shot near 45 percent in two of the last three seasons isn’t closer in odds to Novak and Curry.
Paul George (15/2)
Paul George doesn’t really belong in this competition. He’s the only contestant hitting under 40 percent on the season (38.6), and unless he just catches fire (possible), he’s going to be eliminated in the first round.