The NBA originally canceled the All-Star Game this season, but they have now reversed course and are forging ahead with the event, despite consternation from many players, including the likes of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. As of now, it’s scheduled to be a one-night event in Atlanta on March 7.
But while it won’t be a whole big weekend, the league is planning to incorporate the usual All-Star Saturday night events. Tentative plans call for the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest to happen pre-game, while the Dunk Contest will be held at halftime.
All-Star voting has ended, but we won’t know the full teams until later this month, and likewise won’t have any official announcements about the event participants until that time either. We do, however, have a bit of info courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will participate in the 3-Point Contest.
This will be Lillard’s third appearance in the shooting contest; he previously took part in 2014 and 2019. He was also supposed to be involved last year but had to withdraw due to injury. Despite performing relatively well, Lillard was eliminated in the first round in each of his first two efforts. He’ll be hoping to change that this time around.
Lillard is putting together another splendid season and will be a shoo-in for the All-Star Game as well. He’s fourth in the league in scoring at 29.3 points per game and has become a real gunner from 3-point land. Only Steph Curry and his teammate CJ McCollum take more 3s than Lillard’s 10.6 per game, and only Curry and Buddy Hield have made more 3s than Lillard’s 105.
While he isn’t among the league leaders in terms of percentage, that’s to be expected at such a high volume, and besides, he’s still making 38 percent of his attempts, which is well above average. Without a doubt, Lillard will be one of the favorites to take home the trophy next month.