Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry hit 13 shots in a row during last year’s NBA three-point contest to finish with 27 points a year ago. This Saturday, he will defend his crown against fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Bucks swingman Khris Middleton, Suns rookie Devin Booker, Clippers sniper J.J. Redick, Heat big man Chris Bosh and last season’s MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets. So who has the best chance to knock off Steph?
In the two-round, timed competition, five shooting locations are positioned around the three-point arc. Four racks contain four orange balls (each worth one point) and one multi-colored “money” ball (worth two points). The fifth rack is a special “all money ball” rack, which each participant can place at any of the five shooting locations. Every ball on this rack is worth two points. The players have one minute to shoot as many as the 25 balls as they can. The three competitors with the highest scores in the first round advance to the championship round.
There is no dribbling in the three-point contest, so this is as close to catch-and-shoot (any jump shot from beyond the three-point line where a player possessed the ball for two seconds or less and took no dribbles) as a player gets.
So far this season, Curry is 112 for 239 on catch-and-shoot threes (46.9 percent), slightly higher than his overall average of 44.9 percent from long range. One out of every four of Curry’s shots comes in this fashion, so he should be primed to defend his title.
Harden, on the other hand, has had the least success, going 64 for 166 (38.6 percent), although it accounts for just 15.8 percent of his total shot selection.
But the player to watch will be Redick, who leads this field in catch-and-shoot field-goal percentage from beyond the three-point line, hitting 101 of 207 shots taken (48.8 percent). Perhaps more importantly, those shots account for almost 37 percent of his total.