2015 NBA 3-Point Contest Preview and Prediction to Win
By Adam, NBA Basketball Handicapper, Predictem
After the Slam Dunk Contest at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY, the 2015 NBA 3 Point Contest will get underway on February 14, at 8:30pm EST. This year’s participants are a star-studded group. Here they are, with odds to win provided by Bovada, along with each player’s respective 3-point percentage this year:
Stephen Curry (GS) 13/4 - 40.4%
Kyle Korver (ATL) 15/4 - 53.2%
Klay Thompson (GS) 4/1 - 44.6%
Kyrie Irving (CLE) 4/1 - 40.8%
J.J Redick (LAC) 5/1 - 43.2%
Wesley Matthews (POR) 6/1 - 40.2%
Marco Belinelli (SAN) 6/1 - 38.2%
James Harden (HOU) 8/1 - 38.7%
The players will have just 60 seconds to put up 25 3-balls from around the arc. They grab the ball from a rack and shoot. They will also get the opportunity to fill one entire rack of money balls, which will each count for two points.
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When trying to handicap the NBA 3-point contest, note that it is very similar to what is called a catch and shoot shot whereby a player shoots immediately after catching a pass, so here are the 3-point percentages of the participants in catch and shoot 3-pointers this year:
Player - 3FGM - 3FGA - 3FG%
Korver 137 257 53.3%
Thompson 101 222 45.5%
Redick 96 214 44.9%
Irving 51 114 44.7%
Curry 66 161 41.0%
Matthews 117 295 39.7%
Harden 49 126 38.9%
Belinelli 31 82 37.8%
We can also equate the shooting in the contest to shots during the season that are uncontested wide open looks. Once again, Korver is ahead of the pack:
Korver 43/75 - 57.3%
Redick 50/107 - 46.7%
Matthews 71/153 - 46.4%
Thompson 40/91 - 44.0%
Curry 48/115 - 41.7%
Irving 23/60 - 38.3%
Harden 23/63 - 36.5%
Belinelli 12/38 - 31.6%
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
The “Splash Brothers” each have a game this year in which they scored 50 points and hit 10 3-pointers. Curry is the favorite at Bovada (13/4), and became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 three pointers. He was the leading vote-getter this year for the All Star team. He also became just the second player in NBA history to have multiple games with 10 three pointers. This is his fourth appearance in the contest.
Klay Thompson holds the record for most points in a quarter with 37, as well as most three pointers in a quarter, 9. The Splash Brothers are the only teammates to have 400 three pointers in consecutive seasons.
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Although he is the leading scorer in the NBA, Harden is the underdog at Bovada (8/1 odds), but you cannot count him out. Harden has shot 54% and 58% from three point land at the left and right corners this year. Harden may elect to put his money balls at one of these corner positions where he has shot better than most of the other competitors.
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kyrie Irving is at 4/1 odds at Bovada, but was the winner of the three point contest in 2013. On January 28, Irving hit 11 shots from downtown to go with 55 points. Irving has a 49% three point shooting percentage from straight on, which is second best only to Korver.
Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks)
Korver is the leading three point shooter in the NBA in terms of accuracy and set the record for accuracy through the first half of the season. At this pace, Korver could become the first NBA player to finish the year with over a 50% accuracy on three pointers. Korver also boasts over a 50% accuracy at 4 of the 5 locations from which he will be shooting during the contest. This is Korver’s third appearance in the contest and my pick to win it. Bovada has him at 15/4 odds to win.
J.J. Redick (Los Angeles Clippers)
Redick is on pace to set the Clippers franchise record for three pointers and is top ten in field goal percentage, three pointers made, and three point percentage. Redick’s best spot beyond the arc is the right corner where he is shooting over 50%.
Wesley Matthews (Portland Trailblazers)
Wesley Matthews leads the league in three point attempts as well as 3-pointers made, and the field includes the top 5 players in terms of 3-pointers made this year. Matthews’ best spot beyond the arc is the left wing where he is shooting about 43%.
Marco Belinelli (San Antonio Spurs)
Belinelli is the defending champion, but has started only 9 games this year so the sample size is small of what he has done from beyond the three point line. His 38.4% mark is below his 39.5% career mark in terms of 3 point accuracy.
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