NBA All-Star Weekend is a time of excitement and fun for players and fans alike. The best of the best in the league are recognized for their hard work by being named to one of the two 12-player squads that play in the All-Star game. In addition to the game itself, the NBA also hosts other festivities during All-Star Weekend. Below are predictions for the winners of this year’s All-Star Weekend:
USA versus World: team World
While Team USA boasts the likes of Zion Williamson, Trae Young and Ja Morant, they lack the depth and size to compete with the World team. Without a true center on the USA roster, DeAndre Ayton will be able to feast down low on the block. In addition, Ayton will have first-time All-Star Luka Doncic on the roster to throw him easy lobs. With a duo of talented Canadians in RJ Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a pair of Gonzaga alums in Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, team World will achieve the victory by a close margin.
Skills Challenge: Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie, a guard for the Brooklyn Nets, will get his chance to defend his 2018 crown for the NBA skills challenge. Dinwiddie will take home the title because of his unique ability to pass and knock down threes in a flash. Currently, Dinwiddie is averaging a career-high in points with 21 points per game (ppg) along with 6.4 assists per game (apg). While his three-point percentage this season is on the lower side, he has proven in the past to be a reliable three-point shooter.
Three-Point Contest: Davis Bertans
Davis Bertans, also known as the Latvian Laser, is one of the more underrated members of the contest. After a trade in the 2019 off-season sent Bertans from the Spurs to the Wizards, Bertans has been able to fully showcase his sniping abilities. Bertans is averaging a career-high 15 ppg to go along with his scorching hot 43% from behind the arc. On a nightly basis, Bertans converts around 3.5 threes a game, a number that ranks fifth in the league.
Slam Dunk Contest: Pat Connaughton
While Pat Connaugton is probably the least known participant of the contest, he can use the element of surprise to show the audiences what he is capable of. At the 2015 NBA draft combine, Connaughton registered a 44-inch max vertical jump and a 37.5-inch standing vertical jump. In highschool, Connaughton was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for his performances and also showcased his dunking abilities with a 360 degree windmill dunk.
NBA All-Star Game: Team Giannis
While Team LeBron is the more talented roster on paper, Team Giannis boasts a youthful collection of players that will be playing in their first All-Star game. As the underdogs, Team Giannis will come out attacking the basket and display some of the same intensity as they would in a real NBA game. In addition, Team Giannis also consists of a stronger collection of big men, including Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo. The three bigs will provide a formidable wall for any players looking to attack the rim with ease. With an enthusiastic group of young stars and a stronger interior presence, Team Giannis will earn the victory in a tightly contested battle.