Donovan Mitchell of the league-leading Utah Jazz will be up against some elite shooters in the three-point shooting contest happening this weekend in Atlanta. The three-point contest will take place on Sunday at 4:30 MT prior to the tip-off of the All-Star game. Here are the list of shooters Mitchell will be up against:
- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
- Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
- Zach Lavine, Chicago Bulls
Here are the players listed by 3-point percentage:
- 43.3% Zach Lavine
- 41.3% Stephen Curry
- 38.5% Jaylen Brown
- 38.0% Donovan Mitchell
- 36.8% Jayson Tatum
- 36.7% Devin Booker
And here they are listed by 3-point attempts per game:
- 11.7 Stephen Curry
- 8.6 Donovan Mitchell
- 8.1 Zach Lavine
- 7.2 Jayson Tatum
- 6.0 Jaylen Brown
- 5.7 Devin Booker
Steph Curry is actually shooting about 2 percentage points lower than his career average but he is still better than 41%. And he's doing out an outrageous clip of about 12 attempts per game. He is the greatest shooter of all time.
Of the players competing, Zach Lavine might actually be having the best shooting season of the group. He is shooting incredibly well at a high rate and is absolutely deserving of his All-Star selection.
In the last month, Mitchell has actually increased the number of threes he is taking while decreasing his completion percentage.
But statistically, the contest seems to be between Curry, Mitchell, and Lavine. The Boston Boys trail in both percentage and production and Booker is having a sneakily bad shooting season. He has notoriously been considered a better shooter than Mitchell, but this season is shooting over a full percentage point worse than Donovan on three less attempts per game.
I think it's also worth noting that Devin Booker, who LeBron James called the most disrespected player in the league, was selected over Mike Conley for the final All-Star spot after it was announced that Anthony Davis would not be participating. For the record, Mike Conley is making 41.3% of his 6.8 three point attempts per game (he's better than Booker in both categories). Now I know that three point shooting is not the only basketball skill (although some make careers out of it--lest we forget Kyle Korver has been an All-Star). But it has been Booker's calling card since he entered the league and Conley has simply been better than him at it this season. Further, a lot of the advanced stats are in Mike's favor as well.
Regardless, Mitchell has his work cut out for him. Let's hope he breaks out of his recent (relative) slump and brings home the hardware. The Jazz have not had a contestant in 20 years (Byron Russell in 2001) and haven't won since Jeff Hornacek captured the title in 2000.
Statistics from basketballreference.com unless noted otherwise.
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