While basketball coverage will get started on TNT tonight at 5:00 pm ET, the real action starts at 8:00. Most years it is the NBA dunk contest that takes center stage on the night before the All-Star game.
Not this year. Defending three point shootout champion Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs is joined by former champion and three time All-Star Kyrie Irving (40.8% from three this season), MVP frontrunner Stephen Curry (40.4%) and All-Star Klay Thompson (44.6%) of Golden State, MVP candidate James Harden of Houston (38.7%), All-Star Kyle Korver (53.2%) of the Atlanta Hawks, Wesley Johnson (40.2%) of Portland, and J.J. Redick (43.2%) of the Clippers.
So this contest has turned a lot of heads. And the Cavs have a horse in the race in Irving, who has proven he can win the event in the past. He's not getting the attention that the Golden State shooters or Korver are, and that's probably as it should be. Still, I think it would be silly to count him out. If you are looking for a detailed breakdown of the shooters as a preview, look no further than Brian Martin's work over at NBA.com. He has compiled shot charts and compared the percentages of the three point shooters in each zone. It's pretty awesome.
Golden State of Mind also has a nice primer on the event, and they found that Irving is shooting the highest percentage from three over the participants' last five games. So if being in a flow means anything, Irving has that going for him.
We will have an open thread up on the site for the events tonight. Hope everyone is having a good Valentine's Day.