3-Point Betting Notes
February 13, 2013
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2013 NBA 3-Point Contest Preview
Kyrie Irving (3/1)
Irving is certainly the biggest name of this event, averaging a whopping 24.0 points per game this season, which is the sixth-highest rate in the NBA through Sunday. He's also made 42.9 percent of his three-point tries this season, tying him for 11th in the league. This is quite an improvement from his rookie year when he shot 39.9 percent from behind the arc. Irving has never played at Toyota Center, but his three-point shooting clip on the road this season (38.1 percent) is considerably lower than what he shoots at his home court at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland (48.8 percent). The one positive for Irving is that he enters this contest red-hot, making 18-of-31 threes (58.1 percent) during an eight-game stretch from Jan. 25 to Feb. 9.
Matt Bonner (5/1)
At 6-foot-10, Bonner is hoping to do what fellow Kevin Love, also standing 6-foot-10, did last season when he became the second tallest three-point shootout champion behind 7-footer Dirk Nowitzki. Bonner has the lowest scoring average (4.2 points per game) among all the participants this season, but that could work in his favor because he's a true three-point specialist. Through Sunday, 64 percent of Bonner's field-goal attempts have come from three-point range over the past three seasons, and he has drained 247 of these 562 tries (44.0 percent). He is also very familiar with Toyota Center, playing within the same division as Houston in the past seven seasons, and has knocked down 14-of-35 threes (40.0 percent) in his career at Toyota Center. Through Sunday, Bonner ranked second in the NBA in three-point FG Pct. (45.1 percent), trailing only Atlanta's Kyle Korver (46.4 percent), who is not participating in this event.
Paul George (5/1)
George is in the midst of a career season, deservedly making the Eastern Conference All-Star team with 17.8 points per game. Through Sunday, he is converting a career-best (but contest participant-low) 39.1% of his three-point shots, which includes a 13-of-27 clip from February 4-8. However, George has never made a three-pointer in a game at Toyota Center, missing all three of his long-range attempts in Houston last season. And in terms of accuracy on the road, George has been dreadful this season, making just 29.5 percent of his three-point attempts outside of Indiana.
Ryan Anderson (4/1)
Anderson participated in last year's event and after putting up an air ball on his first shot, he started to heat up, finishing with a respectable 17 points and barely missing out on a spot in the finals due to missed opportunities on his final rack. Through Sunday, Anderson was shooting a career-high 39.8 percent from three-point range for the season. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, Anderson nailed 25-of-56 threes, good for 44.6 percent. He hasn't played much in Houston, but over five career games at Toyota Center, he's made a paltry 8-of-31 three-point tries (25.8 percent). However, Anderson leads the NBA with 152 made three-pointers through Sunday, and as one of only two shooters that has ever been in this event, he certainly has an advantage over the four first-timers.
Stephen Curry (5/2)
This season's favorite participated in the three-point shootout as a rookie in 2010, finishing as the runner up to champion Paul Pierce. Curry had the best first-round score among the six contestants with 18, and nearly matched that score in the finals with 17 points, but Pierce bested him with a final-round score of 20. Curry missed four games in January after rolling his surgically repaired ankle, but started off February making 14-of-34 threes (41.2 percent) in his first five games of the month. However he was just 1-for-5 from downtown in a loss at Houston on Feb. 5, dropping him to 5-for-15 on three-pointers in four career games at Toyota Center. As of Sunday, Curry ranked third in the NBA in three-point attempts (328), second in made threes (147) and third in percentage (44.8 percent).
Steve Novak (3/1)
Another first-time participant, Novak scores just 6.9 points per game, but like Matt Bonner, Novak knows that he earns his paycheck by shooting from long range. He has launched 263 field goals (through Sunday), and 211 of those, or 80.2 percent, have been from three-point range. In the past three seasons (through Sunday), Novak has been lights-out from behind the arc, making 252-of-539 attempts (46.8 percent). He also has an advantage in this contest since he played with the Houston Rockets in his first two NBA seasons and therefore is most familiar with Toyota Center. He has shot a blistering 47.8 percent (44-for-92) from behind the arc at Houston's home arena in his career.
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