The greatest shooters in NBA history have one thing in common. They have all tested their craft against the best competition in the NBA Three-Point Shootout at All-Star Weekend. And now Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs can add his name to history after winning the 2014 Three-Point Shootout in New Orleans.
Just like the number on the back of his jersey, “three” was significant for Belinelli all night. It took a total of three rounds for the Spurs’ sharpshooter to solidify the top spot in the contest. In a field stacked with big names like Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Damian Lillard, the modest Belinelli flew under the radar with strategic ease.
This year, the NBA decided to introduce a new wrinkle to the contest. A rack full of money balls would now be available instead of the previous one money ball per rack. Belinelli’s strategy of placing his money ball rack in the last corner spot propelled him into the final round against Washington Wizards‘ Bradley Beal, who elected to put his rack at the second wing spot.
Belinelli would pull out a clutch performance, knocking down a stretch of 13 out of 15 shots and finishing with a contest-high score of 24. The win was the first three-point contest victory for the San Antonio Spurs organization, who were previously represented by Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Steve Smith, Terry Porter, Chuck Person and Dale Ellis.
The display of marksmanship on the part of Belinelli was a perfect example of what he can do for the Spurs and definitely justified the offseason move to add him. Hopefully, this will spark the momentum needed for the battered and bruised group to make a second-half push into title contention.