Previewing Devin Booker’s Second 3-Point Contest

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 2: Devin Booker
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 2: Devin Booker /

Devin Booker will be participating at the 3-Point Contest during this year’s All-Star Weekend. Just what can we expect from this year’s competition?

With just two games left before the All-Star Break, we can begin to look forward to the exciting festivities to come. Devin Booker will be the lone player representing the Phoenix Suns this All-Star Weekend when he puts his 3-point prowess on display once again.

This will be Devin’s second time participating in the 3-point contest, competing in his rookie year when put on quite a show. He placed third behind Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, with Klay ultimately coming out on top.

Not such bad company to be in, especially for his first go at it.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Devin racked up 20 points during the first round of the 2016 event which put him in a three-way tie with JJ Redick and James Harden. He won the tiebreaking shootout with 12 points (in 30 seconds) and advanced to the Championship Round where he scored 16 points.

This will be Devin’s third appearance in the All-Star Weekend in as many years, although he didn’t compete in this event last year, he was instead selected to participate in the Skills Challenge.

I wouldn’t say Devin’s looking for redemption at this year’s event because he did pretty phenomenal two years ago. No, Devin’s looking to win  this event.

Of course his participation will be based on his health. As we all know, Devin has sat out the last three games with a left hip pointer. But, if he’s feeling better, I think we can expect to see him compete.

So, let’s take a look at this year’s competitors, along with their 3-point shooting percentages this season as of February 11th!

Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets: 33.6%

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors: 45.4%

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards: 36.6%

Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors: 38.2%

Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder: 42.6%

Wayne Ellington of the Miami Heat: 38.9%

Tobias Harris of the LA Clippers: 39.8%

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns: 38.1%

I figured I’d include shooting percentages just to give some perspective, however, success shooting from behind the arc during a game is much different than shooting in this competition.

These guys are used to either pulling up off a break or catch-and-shoot, all in rhythm. Shooting from a rack is much different, and that’s why this event is so exciting. Anyone can find a groove, catch fire, and win.

My initial reaction when this pool was announced was probably like most of yours: Devin has a real chance of winning. Of course, this was my reaction in 2016, and he did really well, so saying he’ll win this time isn’t unrealistic.

Eric Gordon is the defending champ of the competition, but his 3-point shooting percentage is the lowest of this pool. He won the contest last year after beating Kyrie Irving 20 to 18 in an Overtime 60-second shootout, and that’s after he put up 25 points in Round 1 and 20 points in the Championship Round.

If anyone is the favorite to win this event, I would think it’s Klay Thompson. This will be Klay’s fourth consecutive 3-point contest. He placed third behind Steph and Kyrie Irving in 2015, won it all in 2016, and didn’t make it out of the first round during last year’s competition. If anyone’s looking for redemption in this contest, it’s Klay. He also has a knack for getting into a rhythm, which is a major advantage in this competition.

Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, and Paul George are the other competitors that have participated in this event in the past.

George competed in the 2013 event, but only put up 10 points. However, this is his best season shooting from 3 in his career. The festivities are in Los Angeles this year, and George is from the area, so we’ll see if that has any impact on his performance. He has the potential to be the dark horse in this competition.

Beal placed second in the 2014 event, with 21 points in the First Round, and 19 in the Championship Round. He wound up losing to Marco Belinelli 24 to 18 in an Overtime Shootout. This season isn’t Beal’s best shooting from behind the arc, but he’s had success in this event in the past.

Kyle Lowry has participated in the last two 3-point contests. In his first appearance, in 2016, Lowry put up 15 points, but was unable to make it out of the first round. Last year he was again unable to make it out of the first round with just 9 points. Lowry has been a pretty consistent 3-point shooter in his career, but shooting off a rack like this isn’t exactly natural. We’ll see if Lowry will finally break out of the first round.

Wayne Ellington and Tobias Harris are the newcomers this year. First time participants have won five of the last eight 3-point contests so don’t underestimate the power of beginner’s luck. There were only two first time participants last year, and one of them wound up winning it.

As for Devin, I think he’s really similar to Klay in that once he gets into a rhythm he has the ability to take over. We saw it in 2016 when he got off to a slow start in the competition but wound up getting into a groove and making it all the way to the Championship Round.

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If he does in fact participate and is able to find his shot early, Devin could win. We see it all the time during games: Devin can catch fire in no time. I think that is a quality that translates to this event.

All in all, I think this is going to be a great 3-point competition. All-Star Saturday Night is my favorite part of All-Star Weekend and I think the 3-point competition is the most exciting event of the night. Any one of the participants can win it all.

Of course, we’ll be hoping that participant is Devin Booker.