NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us, and the game's finest players will flock to Chicago to take part in the annual festivities. While the clash between Team LeBron and Team Giannis will be the highlight of the weekend, the other events, including the 3-Point Shooting Contest, Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge still offer plenty of enticing storylines.
With that in mind, here are some predictions for the upcoming All-Star Weekend.
NBA Rising Stars Challenge Predictions
The Rising Stars Challenge will pit the best young U.S. born talents against those who hail from overseas. This year, headliners include Team U.S.'s Ja Morant, Trae Young and Zion Williamson, squaring off vs Team World's Luka Doncic, Rui Hachimura, and RJ Barrett.
Team USA got the upper-hand last year, and it's likely they see the same level of success in 2020, considering their loaded roster. With Zion Williamson not participating in any other events, expect the former No. 1 overall pick to throw down some jaw-dropping dunks in the Rising Stars Challenge. We're predicting a big Team U.S. victory, by at least 20 points.
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Predictions
The scoreline will be the least intriguing aspect of the Celebrity All-Star game, however, there will be plenty of storylines to monitor. The league needs to have a camera permanently fixated on Hannibal Buress, who will absolutely be the most exciting player on the floor. Buress has long desired to be featured in the game, and now he finally has his wish, so expect him to pop off.
Meanwhile, the MVP of the game will very likely go to one of Darius Miles or Quavo. Miles, a former NBA star, will likely be the most talented player on the floor, but Quavo has showcased his offensive arsenal in Celebrity All-Star Game's past.
As for the coaching battle, Stephen A. Smith will undoubtedly be running his mouth all game, likely doing more chirping than coaching. Don't be surprised if Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. end up in a shouting match at some point during the clash.
NBA 3-Point Shooting Contest Predictions
Reigning shootout champ Joe Harris is once again in the pool of challengers this time around, but the Nets' sharpshooter will be dethroned in 2020. Enter this year's champion: Davis Bertans.
Bertans has made impressive strides in 2019-20, and has stunned the league with his ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc. While he may not be the flashiest player in the contest, competing against the likes of Devin Booker, Trae Young and Zach LaVine, he's good for 3.5 3's per game and converts at a 42.4% clip. Those figures will be hard to beat.
NBA Slam Dunk Contest Predictions
While Aaron Gordon will be looking to put on a show similar to the one he did in 2016, he won't be hoisting the trophy when all is said and done. Instead, Derrick Jones Jr. will finally deliver on the big stage in what will be his second appearance in the Dunk Contest.
The high-flying Heat forward impresses with his in-game dunks on a regular basis, and fans should expect him to pull out all the stops in the 2020 Dunk Contest. We could witness some never-before-seen throwdowns this year.
NBA Skills Challenge Predictions
The current favorite to win the NBA Skills Challenge is Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, and for good reason. He can do it all, boasting elite scoring, passing and quickness. However, despite his versatility, Dinwiddie will be going home empty-handed.
Jayson Tatum has taken huge strides in his game in 2020 and he will steal the show during the Skills Challenge, despite coming in with +550 odds to win. Tatum's playmaking ability paired with his lethal outside shooting stroke could make him a daunting competitor in this year's challenge, and the youngster will be looking to impress.
NBA All-Star Game Predictions
Team LeBron and Team Giannis will square off Sunday night in a first-of-its-kind All-Star Game format. The two captains will look to push their teams towards glory in what should be a high-scoring affair.
The first prediction for the ASG will be the score, which will end up surpassing 350 total points in the game. Yes, defense will be at a minimal in this one, so the scoreboard reading two numbers approaching or above 175 isn't unrealistic.
As for the game's best performer, many of the league's most experienced players will be taking part, but it will be a youngster who earns MVP.
Expect Trae Young to play with a chip on his shoulder and go off in the All-Star Game. Considering he's a member of the lowly Hawks, he'll have a bit of added motivation to go earn a win in the All-Star Game, while also strutting his stuff against the league's top players. In a game where defense will be lackluster, Young will have the green light to launch 3s from the logo without restraint.