By: Austin Gill ~Copy Editor~
The 2015 NBA All-Star weekend is fast approaching, and it appears this year’s can’t-miss event is the Footlocker 3-Point Contest.
The impressive eight-player field includes the NBA’s top five players in three-point makes this season.
Wesley Matthews (Portland) leads the way with the most 3-point field goals made thus far at 158. Steph Curry (Golden State) and Kyle Korver (Atlanta) follow close behind with 156.
Curry’s backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, comes next with 151, and Houston’s James Harden rounds out the top five in makes with 137.
Still, a brief look at each player’s résumé boasts more distinguished achievement.
Incredibly, Kyle Korver is averaging 53.1 percent from beyond the arc — a figure better than his overall field goal percentage at 51.8 percent.
Korver leads the pack in 3-point percentage as well as free throw percentage at a near-automatic 92 percent.
Only a few weeks ago, Thompson dropped a record-setting 37 points in a single quarter on his way to 52 points for the game, which also included a league-record nine 3-pointers in a single quarter.
On Jan. 8, Curry drilled his 1,000th 3-point field goal in his 369th game, becoming the fastest player to reach that milestone.
Curry is also one of two players in NBA history to have multiple games of ten or more made three-pointers.
Harden is the NBA’s scoring leader with 27.5 points per game.
Harden does a lot of damage from downtown and remains a candidate for league MVP.
Sharpshooters J.J. Redick (L.A. Clippers), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland) and Marco Belinelli (San Antonio) complete the eight-player field.
Redick is ninth overall in 3-point makes this year with 114 and on track to smash his previous season high of 165.
The Cavaliers’ Irving drained 11 triples in an amazing 55-point effort on Jan. 28 against Portland.
Irving is no stranger to the event, having won in 2013.
Despite missing significant time due to injury, Belinelli adds to the already ridiculous competition and aims to defend his 2014 crown.
The newly-formatted two-round event will feature five shooting locations positioned evenly around the arc.
Four of the racks will contain four orange balls worth one point each, and a single multi-colored money ball worth two points.
The fifth rack will be a special rack containing five money balls.
Each participant may choose the placement of his own racks and will have one minute to shoot.
The marksmen with the three highest scores will advance to the championship round.
NBA All-Star weekend runs from Feb. 13-15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Catch the Footlocker Three-Point Contest at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 on TNT.