Saturday night, the best of the best went at it in the 2014 NBA Three-Point Contest. Many pegged a couple of guys in particular to win it, but the majority of experts were dead wrong.
It wasn’t Stephen Curry or Damian Lillard. It wasn’t the reigning champion Kyrie Irving. It wasn’t the top power forward in the game, Kevin Love or a guy having a career year in Arron Afflalo. How about one of the best shooters in the league over the past several years, Joe Johnson? No, none of those guys took home the title.
The final round included Washington Wizards second-year guard Bradley Beal and San Antonio Spurs reserve shooting guard Marco Belinelli. The two of them put on quite a show in that final round, which included a tie-breaker after Beal knocked down his final six shots of the second round.
Belinelli wound up taking home the crown after scoring a contest-high 24 points in the tie-breaker, catching fire and proving to be the best shooter of the night.
For the Spurs, this means just what many thought it would mean when they signed the veteran guard this past offseason. After a season full of enormous shots with the Chicago Bulls, Belinelli joined a team that came off an NBA Finals trip a season ago. Thus far, Belinelli has been a fantastic role player for the Spurs who look to add one more championship to the trophy case of Tim Duncan.
Averaging over 11 points per game on 50 percent shooting — nearly 45 percent from long range — and giving the Spurs 25 crucial minutes per game, Belinelli will continue to prove that his shooting will be vital to San Antonio’s playoff run.
The shooting of Danny Green in last year’s playoffs was downright brutal to the competition, but this year the Spurs will have two of the best shooters in the game with Belinelli joining the fun. Belinelli’s Three-Point Contest title will only go to show what an excellent signing he was for San Antonio just a few months ago.