New York Knicks shooter Steve Novak, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving, right, will go head-to-head among a field of the NBA's best three-point shooters Saturday in Houston during the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, part of NBA All-Star Weekend. (Photo : Reuters)
While the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition will be the main event of NBA All-Star Saturday in Houston tonight, look for the show-stealer of the evening to be when the best marksmen in the NBA light up downtown in the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.
And it's one heck of a lineup as some of the NBA's best long-range bombers will be in attendance at the Toyota Center in Houston to take aim at the All-Star Weekend's three-point crown in the 27th annual three-point shootout.
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With last year's champion Kevin Love not taking part in the contest this year, a new champion will be crowned among Indiana's Paul George, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, New York's Steve Novak, New Orleans' Ryan Anderson, San Antonio's Matt Bonner and Golden State's Stephen Curry.
The rules of the contest are fairly simple. Each player will shoot from five shooting stations set up around the three-point line, with four balls worth one point each and one commemorative red, white and blue "money ball" worth two points at each location. Each player will have one minute to shoot as many balls as he can.
The player with the most threes by the end will be declared the winner, But who will etch their names alongside other contest winners and three-point kings such as Larry Bird, Steve Kerr, Mark Price, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce?
Latinos Post breaks down the field of competitors:
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
All-Star George has risen to new heights in the absence of injured Indiana star Danny Granger, making his first appearance in the NBA All-Star Game this weekend. George, who averages 19.6 points a game, is a decent shooter, but not particularly strong with the three-ball in the stats, where he is only shooting 38.6 percent from downtown.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Last year's Rookie of the Year has been phenomenal for Cleveland, Irving averaging 23.5 points per game. Known for his ability to hit clutch shots, Irving is a 42.5 percent shooter from three-point range. He can be pretty effective from beyond the arc, but will it be enough to reign supreme in the contest?
Steve Novak, New York Knicks
While JR Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire get the attention in New York as the stars of the Knicks bench, Novak, tied for second in the NBA in three-point field goals, is a big part of the reason why the Knicks reserve corps has put them in the lead in the Atlantic Division for virtually all of the first half of the season. Novak is nearly automatic beyond the arc, hitting 44.7 percent of his three this season with remarkable accuracy and assassin-like precision. The stats are hard to dispute-Novak is a huge favorite in this contest.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets
Of the 7.5 threes Anderson takes from downtown, he hits 3.0 of them. That's a big stat. Anderson, New Orleans' best sub, has a deadly shooting touch that can be a difference maker in close games. He could be seen as the dark horse to win this competition.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs
Bonner, tied for fourth in the NBA in three-point percentage with .446 from downtown, is a lethal marksman, his deadly touch from beyond the arc adding depth to San Antonio, who have the best winning percentage of any team in the NBA at the All-Star break.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Curry is a multi-talented athlete and point guard. A top ten NBA scorer. A skilled passer. And to top it off, he's an excellent three-ball shooter. Tied for second in the NBA with Novak, Curry can hit the three as well as anyone in the NBA. If he's on his mark, this three-point contest could be a nail-biter
Look for it to come down to Novak and Curry. Novak alone and unguarded at the three-point line is putting a kid in a candy shop, while Curry can light it up from downtown as well. It will be a close one, but the smart money will be on Novak. Isolated, he can hit the three-point shot as well as anyone who has ever played.
TV Schedule, Live Stream
NBA All-Star Saturday Night coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST on TNT. For live streaming of all events, go to NBA On TNT Overtime.