Thoughts On the 2022 NBA All-Star Saturday

February 19th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Minnesota Timberwolves’ superstar center, Karl-Anthony Towns winning the 2022 NBA Three-Point Contest was one of the best moments of the night.
Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

There were numerous events that they held at the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend today.  Some of them turned out well, but there was one event that turned out not so great.  The NBA Three-Point Contest and the Skills Challenge were very fun to watch, and I also enjoyed listening to the music. However, the Slam Dunk Contest this year failed to live up to the hype, in my opinion. Here are my thoughts on how the various events went tonight.

The 2022 Skills Challenge:

Team Cavs won the 2022 NBA Skills Challenge today, with much thanks being due to Evan Mobley’s half-court shot that he made in the final competition.
Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports, via Sportsnaut)

It was very interesting to see the three teams play against each other, especially with a new format being introduced this year.  It was kind of hard to figure out exactly what each of the teams were supposed to do in the drills early on, but it became fun and enchanting to watch to see if they would win this. 

Some of the players struggled in the shooting portions of the challenges, but that was sort of expected, since they didn’t get all shooters to participate.  Still, each of the teams turned out to be very competitive, and all of them competed well.  Giannis, Darius Garland, and Cade Cunningham all fared very well here. Cleveland Cavaliers’ rookie big man and former USC superstar center, Evan Mobley dominated in the skills challenge, and he made the event-winning half-court shot to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2022 Skills Challenge.

The 2022 Skills Challenge Grade: B+

The 2022 NBA Three-Point Contest:

Minnesota Timberwolves’ superstar center, Karl-Anthony Towns won the 2022 NBA Three-Point contest.
Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports, via Fansided’s Dunking with Wolves)

This was by far, the most exciting part of the night.  I felt that Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Luke Kennard would all make it to the finals, and sure enough, they did.  Luke Kennard put up a 28 in the first round, and both Young and Towns did their part to advance, too.

In the finals, it was Minnesota Timberwolves’ superstar center, Karl-Anthony Towns that stole the show, and he put up a terrific score of 29 to win the three-point contest.  There was the all money ball rack, and the Dew Zone ball was worth more than the money ball, and it was interesting to see which players would take advantage of putting the money ball racks in the most opportune spots for themselves, and to see which players would make the Dew Zone balls.  I had a great time watching some of the very best shooters participate in this contest.  Karl-Anthony Towns to me was the MVP of the night amongst the players, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have been the big winners so far this season.

The 2022 NBA Three-Point Contest Grade: A

The 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest:

This dunk contest was a two thumbs down.  If last year’s dunk contest was kind of a dud, this one really pales in comparison.  Last year’s Cassius Stanley’s 44 dunk in this year’s contest would’ve been the best one on this night in my opinion.  Although Obi Toppin won the dunk contest and had posted two of the best scores of the night in getting a 46 in the first round and a 47 in the Finals, one of the jokes I heard was that he barely dunked on his second dunk, and that turned out to be the best dunk of the first round.

There was a lot of hype around Jalen Green, and I was excited to watch the high-flyer perform tonight. However, Jalen Green really underwhelmed in today’s dunk contest, as he really struggled to try to chase after and throw down a toss dunk, and his tepid performance at the dunk contest kind of made me sad.  Cole Anthony also disappointed a bit in this contest, too, and while the judges may have been a bit harsh on him, he didn’t throw down any memorable dunks, either.  The two players I pegged to be the favorites in this dunk contest, Cole Anthony and Jalen Green, underwhelmed and made my picks look foolish, and their dunks were not very good in general.  Juan Toscano-Anderson was good enough to advance to the Finals, but his Finals dunks were extremely forgettable, and it made me wish that Jonathan Kuminga had participated in the dunk contest instead.

The 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Grade: D-

DJ Khaled’s music performance:

I really loved the live in-concert performance from DJ Khaled, and he put on a great show.  He brought out all the hits, and he brought out Lil Wayne and Ludacris.  When the legendary rapper, Ludacris took the stage, that took the crown as the moment of the night, and his rap skills were still as amazing and legendary as ever. 

DJ Khaled’s Concert Performance Grade: A

Yesterday’s 2022 NBA Rising Stars Challenge:

Team Barry won the 2022 NBA Rising Stars’ Challenge, and Cade Cunningham took home the MVP honors of the Rising Stars challenge.
Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports/Reuters, via ABS-CBN News)

I did not actually see the Rising Stars challenge, or the Celebrity All-Star game, but Cade Cunningham was MVP of the Rising Stars challenge.  Even more impressive was that he and Evan Mobley were both on the same team for Rick Barry’s Coach Barry team.  Amongst the G-League Ignite players, Dyson Daniels apparently had the best games amongst them, as he showed off his basketball smarts and all-around skills.  On the other hand, Jaden Hardy disappointed and he ended up missing a handful of shots in the two games he played.

The 2022 NBA All-Star Saturday’s Overall Grade: B

Overall, I had fun watching the festivities this year.  My only gripe is that we need better dunkers for the dunk contest.  Also, we could maybe use some more challenges, like maybe a 1 on 1 competition, or an All-Stars’ King of the Court challenge, or something, maybe something extra to extend the night and spice up the competition.  Maybe they should include the winner of the Dunk King as a secret 5th contestant in the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk contest to make things even more interesting for next year’s dunk contest.  Anyways, those are my thoughts, and thanks for reading.

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