NBA 3-Point Contest 2019: Khris Middleton competes against star-studded field

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 13: (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 13: (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Always one of the highlights of All-Star Saturday, this year’s NBA 3-Point Contest will feature the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton, among various other stars.

After Marc Lasry and Ray Allen helped to get All-Star Weekend started on Friday night in Charlotte, the Milwaukee Bucks’ connection will continue into Saturday as Khris Middleton will get his first action of the weekend.

Of course, Sunday will give Middleton the chance to make his first appearance in the All-Star Game, but before the weekend’s main event comes around, the 27-year-old will first look to have a much better showing in his second appearance in the NBA 3-Point Contest.

Middleton previously appeared in the event in 2016 in Toronto, where a score of 13 points left him comfortably eliminated at the end of the first round, and well short of that year’s qualifying total of 20.

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A career 38.9 percent three-point shooter, Middleton has certainly increased his volume since that point, something which may help him when it comes to the quickfire, barrage-like format the event takes on.

Beyond that, Middleton will be hopeful that his existing experience of the event will help to take away any of the nerves he had to deal with on the previous occasion. In the state neighboring his native South Carolina, Middleton will also be eager to put on a show for his family and friends in attendance.

If Middleton is to go on to be successful and bring home a trophy for the Bucks on Saturday, he’ll have to upset the odds against a stacked field of competitors.

Firstly, the 10-man field contains three past champions in the form of Dirk Nowitzki (2006), Stephen Curry (2015), and Devin Booker (2018).

Beyond past winners, Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker join Middleton as current All-Stars who’ve previously competed in this event, while the first-time participants are sharpshooters Danny Green, Buddy Hield, Joe Harris, and Seth Curry.

On the whole, the field takes in an incredibly capable group of long-range shooters, albeit they’re currently enjoying vastly different seasons in terms of percentage and attempts per game, as you can see below:

Player Name        3PT%        3PTA/G
Joe Harris              47.1             5.2
Seth Curry             46.5             2.8
Buddy Hield          44.9             7.6
Stephen Curry      44.4            11.5
Danny Green         42.1             5.3
Khris Middleton   37.8             6.0
Damian Lillard      37.3             7.8
Kemba Walker      36.2             9.1
Devin Booker        32.5             6.6
Dirk Nowitzki        30.9             3.1

If Middleton was to overcome the odds to reign supreme over the field on Saturday night at the Spectrum Center, he’d become just the second player to win the event while representing the Milwaukee Bucks.

It could prove to be a good omen, too, as the only previous Bucks success belongs to Ray Allen in 2000-01. In other words, if the Bucks are to end their drought of playoff series wins that dates back to 2001 this season, why not also add a second 3-Point Contest success along the way?

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NBA All-Star Saturday gets underway from 7pm CT on TNT, and the 3-Point Shootout will be sandwiched between the Skills Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest as the second event of the night.