As we approach the NBA break, more details are emerging about All-Star weekend. We know Alicia Keys will be performing at halftime of the main event and we also can pass along particpants in the Sprint Slam Dunk, Taco Bell Skills Challenge and Foot Locker 3-point contest. All events, including the Sears Shooting Stars competition will take place Saturday night February 16th, with the main event on Sunday. Everything will be carried LIVE on TNT from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
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Participants in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition have been annouced and its a new format pitting Eastern against Western Conference in all events. There will be two rounds with the highest scorer from each side squaring off for the title.
Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Eric Bledsoe, LA Clippers
Jeremy Evans, Utah
Kenneth Faried, Denver
Gerald Green, Indiana
Terrence Ross, Toronto
James White, New York
Evans is defending his crown, so he must be given consideration. Green is a fantastic dunker and is my pick to represent the Eastern Conference. I am going out on a limb and picking point guard Bledsoe to not only unseat Evans, but defeat Green to take the Slam Dunk crown!
Much like the Slam Dunk event, the Foot Locker 3-point shootout will feature a battle between the two conferences. The top scorer from each will square off for the 3-point title. Ryan Anderson is the lone returnee from last year with Kevin Love injured and unable to defend his title.
Foot Locker 3-point shootout
Paul George, Indiana
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
Steve Novak, New York
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans
Matt Bonner, San Antonio
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Anderson is the top shooting stretch four in the Association and has experience from last season, but I expect Curry to outlast both he and Bonner in a very close competition. Look for Novak, the best big marksman in the East to advance to the finals. I like Anderson over Novak in the championship by the narrowest of margins!
Two rounds of competition in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge with the best of the Western Conference advancing to face the fastest in the Eastern Conference for the title.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Tony Parker, San Antonio
Damian Lillard, Portland
Jeremy Lin, Houston
Brandon Knight, Detroit
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia
Jeff Teague, Atlanta
Parker returns to defend his title and should outlast rookie Lillard but must content with Lin and the home crowd. I like Parker to emerge (despite the home cooking- and scoring) to face Holiday from the East. In the finals, I look for Parker to successfully repeat with a close win over Holiday.
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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