For anyone who is a fan of NBA All-Star Weekend, Saturday has to be your favorite day.
Whether you're a fan of the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, or the Dunk Contest, there is definitely something for everybody.
We're going to make our picks.
NBA Skills Challenge
I love how the Skills Challenge has transformed over the years. It used to just be for guards and guys who play under the rim.
But with so many big men who can handle the ball and shoot it from anywhere, they have reinvented who qualifies for this tournament.
This year for the big men we've got Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis, and Pascal Siakam. All guys who are up for the Most Improved Player award this season.
For the guards we have Patrick Beverly, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Runner-Up: Bam Adebayo
I had a friend send me a short story of Adebayo's pre-draft workout with the Miami Heat. They ran him through some drills and asked him how many three pointers he could make from the corner and he said 60%.
The Heat scouts thought he was crazy, and then he proceeded to make 62% of his threes after 50 shots.
This guy has a different type of mentality and has continued to show constant growth. He plays huge for a 6'9" guy, but also plays very fast and can pass the ball extremely well.
He'll be the best of the big men, but he's going to fall just short to our winner.
Winner: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai has been one of the best untold stories of this NBA season. In just his second season, he is going to be starting for his second different playoff team.
The whole thing about this competition is that whoever actually tries to win will usually win. And Shai, in his All-Star Saturday debut, will be going all out.
And if he's trying, he's winning.
NBA 3-Point Contest
This contest will not be the same without Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, or Klay Thompson, as they are all out with injuries. But it will open it up for some young guys to make a name for themselves.
Five out of the eight participants are in this for the first time. Trae Young, Duncan Robinson, Davis Bertans, Devonte' Graham, and Zach Lavine will all be looking to make their mark.
Devin Booker and Buddy Hield are looking for their first trophies, while Joe Harris will be looking to defend his title.
Runner-Up: Trae Young
There's not much to say about Trae when it comes to bombing threes. We all know what he can do.
But with him participating in the Rising Stars game and starting in the All-Star game, he won't have too much time to focus on this contest.
Winner: Davis Bertans
I don't think there is a less known guy in this field than Davis Bertans. But I swear, I have never seen this guy miss a three point shot.
This contest is perfect for him as he is one of the best spot up three point shooters in the league.
He has no pressure on him, and everything to prove. A perfect combination for an upset victory in the championship round.
NBA Dunk Contest
The premier event of the weekend is always boom or bust. There's never a time where you're like "It was ok." It's either memorable or it's not.
This year's field has to potential to be pretty forgettable. But there are some factors that could make it interesting.
We've got Dwight Howard, Pat Connaughton, Aaron Gordon, and Derrick Jones Jr.
We may be able to scratch Dwight and Pat as the two who won't be in the finals. But we know Dwight is going to have a Kobe tribute dunk, and that will most likely be the most memorable dunk of the weekend. Get your tissues ready.
Runner-Up: Aaron Gordon
It was hard for me to pick him as the runner-up because he's already competed in this contest twice. You would think he would have the upper hand in experience.
But he may have used up all of his best dunks in his loss to Zach Lavine. But I hope he comes up with something innovative and forward thinking, again.
Winner: Derrick Jones Jr.
The man they call "Airplane Mode" can fly above his competition, literally. He looks so weightless when he is gliding through the air.
He will have to come up with some creativity a lot better than he did when he brought out that small wooden airplane the last time he was in this contest. I have a feeling he's got something up his sleeve.
And in a recent interview, he said he's never lost a dunk contest even when he's lost. Thats all the confidence I needed to hear to pick him.
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