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As All-Star Weekend approaches, the spotlight turns to the Three-Point Contest, set to unfold on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. This much-anticipated event serves as one of the hallmark attractions on the Saturday before the annual All-Star Game. Sharpshooters from across the league will convene, showcasing their accuracy from beyond the arc in a battle of range, rhythm, and consistency as they vie for the prestigious title.

Damian Lillard

It was indeed Damian Lillard who walked away with the accolade at Salt Lake City during last year's All-Star break. In a nail-biting finale, Lillard outdueled the likes of sharpshooter Buddy Hield and up-and-comer Tyrese Haliburton—narrowing the gap to a single point with a 26-25 finish. Lillard's prowess in sinking "Starry" range shots, which demanded exceptional marksmanship from well beyond the traditional three-point line, distinguished him from his competitors. Lillard's aptitude for deep shots is a testament to his versatile shooting skills, marking him as one of the few players with such a significant depth range.

Following his trade to the Milwaukee Bucks this season, Lillard is statistically navigating through a minor slump, recording a 34.4% success rate from three-point territory— the third-lowest figure in his illustrious career. Yet, the cold snap has not dampened expectations; Lillard's potential to erupt into a shooting spree maintains a sense of anticipation. 

Approaching the contest with the experience of his prior victories, especially when the stakes are high, positions Lillard as a serious contender. A consecutive win on Saturday would echo the back-to-back successes of Jason Kapono in 2008, cementing Lillard's status as a back-to-back Three-Point Contest champion.

Tyrese Haliburton

The pride of Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton, steps into this year's Three-Point Contest not just as a competitor but as the hometown hero playing for the Indiana Pacers. Currently leading the league in assists with a remarkable average of 11.7 per game, Haliburton has undeniably elevated his game this season. His stats impress with career highs in three-pointers made per game (3.2) and increased attempts (7.9), proving that escalated offensive burdens have only sharpened his shooting. Despite the heavy load, his efficiency remains high, meticulously tailoring 40% of his long-range efforts through the net.

Haliburton's proficiency becomes even more evident without a defender's pressure, boasting a 43.2% success rate on wide-open treys, a foreboding statistic for his contest rivals, considering the unguarded nature of the competition. Although his jump shot may be unconventional, it has not prevented his advancing to the final round in the previous year's contest. 

The anticipation for Haliburton is palpable; the crowd's energy is set to surge for one of their own, especially given the historical opportunity at stake. As the three-point contest has never crowned a hometown player since its inception in 1986, Haliburton faces the immense challenge and excitement of potentially being the inaugural player to break that mold on his own court.

Trae Young

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks is no stranger to long-distance challenges, becoming increasingly notable for his capacity to pull up from virtually anywhere on the court. Young's precision from deep is reflected in his 37.1% success rate for this season on three-point attempts – the second-best figure in his six seasons with the NBA. As he heads into his third attempt at capturing the title in the Three-Point Contest, Young is not just a contender but a formidable threat hungry for his first win in the event. Leading the roster with a staggering 167 three-pointers made out of 450 attempts, his prowess from beyond the arc is undeniable.

Young's statistics reveal even more prowess in situations mirroring the contest's format, where he's making wide-open shots at a 41.1% clip. This fact, paired with his quick release, suggests that the contest's shot clock will hardly be a concern for Young. Moreover, maintaining a hot hand recently by landing five or more treys in four of his past nine games, he steps into the weekend gathering momentum. 

With a guard having triumphed in two of the last three contests, Young's candidacy carries with it the echo of recent trends and perhaps an auspicious glimpse into the annals of sharpshooting lore.

The Bottom Line

As the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest draws near, the excitement builds around the talents of Damian Lillard, Tyrese Haliburton, and Trae Young. Each has displayed unique strengths and compelling narratives that could lead to victory.

With basketball enthusiasts eagerly analyzing the FanDuel NBA Finals odds, the Three-Point Contest serves as a tide-turning event that sometimes offers hints about which players might have an edge if their teams reach the finals. Ultimately, the Three-Point Contest is a testament to the growth of sharpshooting skills in today's NBA and an opportunity for some players to reinforce their reputations as the best three-point shooters in the league.


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