On Sunday, the first round of the NBA HORSE Challenge begins.
The first round will see 10-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul, one-time NBA All-Star Trae Young, newly elected Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, three-time WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley, Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr. and NBA Finals MVPs Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce go head-to-head.
Of those eight, who should be the favourite to take the crown? Our NBA.com staff gives their predictions.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm going with Trae Young.
Look, when it comes to making tough shots, few do it better than Young.
He's proven that he can hit them from halfcourt...
Trae Young beat the buzzer from beyond halfcourt, which gave the @ATLHawks a 78-72 lead over the @WashWizards at halftime. pic.twitter.com/zb0ZOW2GZ2- NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2020
...from the logo...
FROM THE LOGO.- SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 27, 2020
Trae Young has 26...at halftime. 😳 (via @nba) pic.twitter.com/j0DoLA74AO
...even behind the backboard.
Trae Young from behind the backboard! pic.twitter.com/tydNipPBwg- NBA (@NBA) February 2, 2020
The only thing Young can't do is dunk, but he's doing all he can to make sure no dunking is allowed in the competition.
Plus, I feel Young is going to be motivated to put on a strong showing after he was eliminated in the first round of this season's 3-Point Contest. If he is, it's game over for everyone else.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Listen, Trae's range is great and all, but since we don't know the dimensions of everyone's respective isolated courts, I'm taking that out of the equation (somewhat) and going with Chris Paul.
During my time as a ballboy with the New Orleans Hornets, I was able to see CP do a number of things - in-game but more importantly for the sake of this discussion, in situations that will more closely mirror this HORSE competition.
Someone had to bank in a straightaway 3 to end practice? It was usually Chris. Behind the backboard? You guessed it. The same went for super-high floaters from any spot on the court.
Also working in Paul's favour is that these HORSE skills and trick-shot making ability are the types of things that I feel only get better with time. He's already proving that he's still got it on the court this season, now he'll prove that he's got more tricks up his sleeve in this type of setting.
He's a competitor above all, so the opportunity to compete for a great cause is all the real motivation necessary to propel CP3 to a win.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): I'm going with Chicago Sky star Allie Quigley.
Quigley can shoot, has a tight handle and at 5-foot-10 has had to find different ways to get shot up and over length in her career.
After winning the Sixth Woman of the Year award in back-to-back seasons, Quigley became a starter and a three-time All-Star - proof that when she's challenged she'll rise to the occasion on the big stage.
This will be no different. Quigley will walk away as the NBA HORSE Challenge champion.
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