The Defending Champ – Paul Pierce (+300 to win Three Point Shootout)
The fan reaction will be key to how well Pierce can defend his title as the second favorite with odds to win the Three Point Shootout at All-Star Weekend. He’s an L.A. boy, but bleeds green as a Boston Celtic. Will the fans jeer him or revere him? They’ll probably rain hatred on him just for giggles, and while Pierce loves thriving at the STAPLES Center, I’m not so sure he can beat out the other two guys at the head of the group.
The “He’s Still Alive?” Guy – Daniel Gibson (+450 to win Three Point Shootout)
Booooooooby’s back!!! Still, who gives a crap? Gibson’s 15 minutes of fame were back in the 2007 NBA Betting Playoffs and since then he’s been so irrelevant I didn’t even know he was playing in the league. How on Earth did he worm his way in to this contest?
The Lethal Scorer – Kevin Durant (+325 to win Three Point Shootout)
You have to make the distinction between a great scorer and a great shooter, and I feel like the price tag on Durant’s odds to win the Three Point Shootout would be steeper if he wasn’t – well – Kevin Durant. He’s shooting .388 percent fro the field and has a career average of .355 percent. Still Durant is worth a look simply because of who he is. We really have no idea what he’s capable of in this type of setting, and that makes him both exciting…and a bit of a stay away…kind of. It’s Kevin Durant, after all.
The Boring Picks – Dorell Wright / James Jones (+400 to win)
I know that both Wright and Jones are good three-point shooters, but is anybody watching really going to care? We couldn’t get a couple white guys like Kyle Korver, J.J. Redick or even Gordon Hayward in the competition? Was Dirk Nowitzki stupidly busy or something? A little love for three-point shooting giant Andrea Bargnani? I could care less about either of these guys being in the competition and considering their odds I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.
The Obvious Choice – Ray Allen (+200 to win Three Point Shootout)
It would be a storybook finish for Allen to claim the title as all-time three point king and win the Three Point Shootout. But he hasn’t won this title since 2001, and is just 1-4 SU in five attempts at it. He may be silky smooth and have the best stroke of anyone in the competition, but he hasn’t thrived in this setup all that much. Why would that change when he’s 35-years old?
THE PICK – KEVIN DURANT at +325
Allen and Pierce appear to be too obvious because of the situation, although I’d be hard pressed to bet against Boston in general since they’ve won the most Three Point Contests than any other team in the league. Still, look at the list of past recent winners: Jason Kapono (twice), Daequan Cook, Paul Pierce (against four guys who are three point specialists and Chauncey Billups). The guy who’s supposed to win hardly ever does. And that why I love Kevin Durant with +325 odds to win the Three Point Contest.
That’s a great payout for a guy who dominated H.O.R.S.E. when it still existed, and who loves scoring under pressure. He’s certainly not the best three-point shooter in the group, but Durant (like Griffin) wouldn’t enter a contest he didn’t feel like he could win. He’s just too competitive. That’s while I’ll take the Oklahoma City Thunder scoring champion’s odds to win the Three Point Shootout this weekend.
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