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An Annotated All-Star Saturday Night Recap

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A look back at day 2 of NBA All Star weekend.

NBA: All-Star Saturday Night Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Didn’t get a chance to watch the second night of the 2019 NBA All Star weekend, or maybe the lack of Spurs failed to drag you in? We have you covered with a complete recap of the skills, three-point and dunk contests before the main event kicks off on Sunday.

TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE

Jayson Tatum eked out a victory over Trae Young in the final. The competitors are required to dribble through mannequins, pass the ball through a stationary target, take another ball the length of the court for a layup, before going back down to the other side to make a three point shot from the top of the key.

One of the more interesting and playful things, yet possibly could have been construed as cheating, was seeing Luka Doncic attempt the three point shot from halfcourt in order to get a shot attempt up before the other participant made it down to the assigned 3 point spot, almost like a personal 2-for-1 end of clock situation. Tatum not only borrowed on Doncic’s concept, which resulted in several unsuccessful attempts, but successfully swished his one and only try from that distance before Young could finish his first attempt. Nikola Jokic made a beautiful one-handed fling into his passing target and playfully attempted to run away from Tatum’s hug after their round.

One of the more endearing moments in the evening came when Tatum was asked about what he would do with his trophy. Tatum instantly stated he would give it to his mother and signaled his love to her in the crowd.

WINNER: Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

My Ideas for Tweaking This Contest:

  1. Instead of a three pointer to complete the challenge, competitors should make a half court shot.
  2. If the Pop-a-Shot game can utilize a moving basket, contestants should be passing to a moving target.

MOUNTAIN DEW THREE POINT CONTEST

Hometown favorite Stephen Curry converted his last 10 shots — advantageously placing all of his money balls (worth 2 points) on the final rack — to get in the lead spot with 27 points after the first round. Buddy Hield and Joe Harris occupied the final two spots heading into the final round with 26 and 25 apiece. It’s worth noting that Kevin Harlan brought up Davis Bertans’ top ranking in 3 point shooting this year immediately after Hield’s turn. Spur alumnus Danny Green debuted a modified set shot that resembled Larry Bird’s wrist-flick style to a 4th place finish at 23 points. Legacy entrant Dirk Nowitzki notched 17 points, including a cringe-worthy airball and an inadvertent bank shot off the backboard from the corner, and would have been the easiest candidate that the #LatvianLaser could have replaced more than adequately.

Harris started the second round hotter than the previous one with a score of 26. Curry extended his streak to 19 consecutive makes spanning the two rounds but lost his momentum over the middle racks and came up just short with 24. Hield was unable to get things going consistently from any spot on the court and finished third in the competition.

WINNER: Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets)

My Ideas for Tweaking This Contest:

  1. Designated passer for one or more stations to create more of an in-game shooting experience.
  2. Invite at least one Spur each year to bring this contest some legitimacy.

SLAM DUNK CONTEST

Round 1

John Collins

  • Collins grabbed the bottom left corner of the backboard and did a reverse right hand dunk to the tune of 40 points.
  • For his follow-up Collins donned an airman’s outfit in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen - along with an early 20th century prop airplane, and promptly damaged the plane.

Hamidou Diallo

  • Diallo took a feed off the bottom left of the backboard from Russell Westbrook for a windmill dunk that resulted in a 48.
  • Diallo went one better than that by bringing Shaq out as a prop, revealing a Superman shirt underneath his outfit, and executing a tomahawk jam over Shaq, while finishing with his right forearm completely in the net as an homage to 2000 Vince Carter.

Miles Bridges

  • Bridges rimmed out a pass off the backboard followed by a between the legs dunk effort on three occasions before the hometown crowd and received only 33 points.
  • On his second attempt, Bridges, assisted by his point guard Kemba Walker and adorning Larry Johnson’s jersey, took a pass off the backboard and completed a 360 alley-oop for 50 points.

Dennis Smith Jr.

  • On his first dunk, Smith, like the Knicks, missed his first four attempts, before recovering on a reverse 180 dunk to the tune of 45.
  • Smith scored a 50 by bringing out rapper J-Cole to assist him, while wearing J-Cole’s high school jersey, on a soaring one-handed alley-oop. J-Cole then attempted a dunk of his own which did not go so well.

Championship Round

Dennis Smith, Jr.

  • On clearly tired legs from the efforts made in previous round, Smith converted a nominal dunk for 35 points.
  • Smith , attempted an alley-oop over Dwyane Wade from a Curry feed, and after several unsuccessful tries and some intercessory prayer from Wade, was rewarded with a gracious 50 from the judges for his participation.

Hamidou Diallo

  • After Smith’s underwhelming attempt, Diallo threw down a tomahawk one-hander with his eyes at rim-level for 43 points.
  • Diallo won the event by scaling one of the Migos on an emphatic two handed jam.

WINNER: Hamidou Diallo (Oklahoma City Thunder)

My Ideas for Tweaking This Contest:

  1. Pool of contestants can only come from the players voted in for the All-Star Game
  2. Monetize the event to make it worth an All-Star player’s while to participate.

All-Spurs/All-Stars

Again because this is a San Antonio Spurs community and its players were absent from All-Star Saturday, I have subjectively listed the franchise’s all-time 3 point shooters and dunkers for your review and feedback.

Top 10 All-Time Spurs 3-Point Shooters

  1. Manu Ginobili
  2. Danny Green
  3. Patty Mills
  4. Robert Horry
  5. Sean Elliott
  6. Davis Bertans
  7. Bruce Bowen
  8. Michael Finley
  9. Brent Barry
  10. Marco Belinelli

Top 10 All-time Spurs Dunkers

  1. David Robinson
  2. Manu Ginobili
  3. Jonathon Simmons
  4. Alvin Robertson
  5. Tim Duncan
  6. Edgar Jones
  7. Alvin Robertson
  8. Sean Elliott
  9. DeJuan Blair
  10. Greg Anderson

Up Next

All-Star Weekend concludes in Charlotte tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM CDT when seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge helps Team LeBron take on Team Giannis. The backend portion of the Rodeo Road Trip resumes in Toronto on Friday, February 22 at 5:00 PM CDT.