Paul George, Klay Thompson, Eric Gordon, Kyle Lowry, Wayne Ellington, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal and Tobias Harris have combined to hit 1,233 three-pointers during the first half of the 2017-18 NBA season. They are all clearly very adept at putting the ball through the hoop from long distances, but on Saturday night at the 2018 NBA Three-Point Contest, we’ll see who can shoot it the best.
The contest should start sometime around 8:30 or 8:45 p.m. ET (there’s no precise start time, but All-Star Saturday Night starts at 8 p.m. ET, and the three-point contest is second after the Skills Challenge) and will be broadcast on TNT. If you don’t have cable or a cable log-in, you can watch the game live online at no cost by signing up for a free trial of one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Sling TV: TNT is included in both the “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue” channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch TNT live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including TNT. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of TNT on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: TNT is included in each of the four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months. Once signed up, you can watch a live stream of TNT on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Experience is often important in these contests, so the two favorites have to be the two former champions, Klay Thompson and Eric Gordon. Thompson, who will be competing for the fourth time, took the title from teammate Steph Curry in Toronto in 2016 with an absurd final score of 27, while Gordon won it in his debut last year.
Despite Gordon’s win last year, though, Thompson has to be considered the favorite. He’s first in the NBA in three-point percentage among players who have attempted at least 3.0 per game, he shoots a silly 46.5 percent on catch-and-shoot threes, he’ll be in his hometown, and Gordon is shooting just 33.4 percent on threes, which is his worst mark since 2012-13. For what it’s worth, both will be attempting to be the first two-time champion since Jason Kapono did it 10 years ago.
Another who belongs among the favorites is Bradley Beal. His three-point accuracy is down a bit this year, but he’s the owner of one of the prettiest shots in the NBA, and he advanced to the championship round in his only other three-point contest appearance in 2014.
If you’re purely looking at numbers this season, Paul George grades out just about as well as Thompson. In the midst of the best shooting season of his career, he’s third in the NBA in threes made per game (3.3) behind only Curry and James Harden, and his 43.2 percent success rate from deep is eighth among players with at least three attempts per game. He and Tobias Harris will both be looking to become the first forward to win since Kevin Love did it in 2012.
Devin Booker and Wayne Ellington are intriguing sleepers (sleepers according to the odds, at least).
Booker may be dealing with some rust after missing four games with a hip injury (he returned Wednesday but didn’t look quite 100 percent), but he’s an effortless shooter, and don’t forget he finished third behind the Curry and Thompson Show in 2016. As for Ellington, he’s second in the NBA behind only James Harden with nine games of at least six threes made, so he’s capable of getting hot in a hurry.