When Zach LaVine committed to the 3-Point Shootout on NBA All-Star Weekend, he did so while also officially putting the dunk contest chatter to bed.
The two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion told NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson he doesn’t feel like he has much more to prove as a dunk contest participant. Although, he doubled-down on his previous notion that if he made the All-Star game, he probably would’ve tried to compete in all three events.
“If I had made it, I would’ve wanted to put on a big-time show for the crowd,” LaVine told Johnson. “I would’ve tried to do all three of them, the All-Star game, dunk contest and 3-point contest. It didn’t happen. I have to re-evaluate where my legs are, where the team is, where my mind is and do the 3-point contest.”
Only if the Bulls were better … *sigh*
Instead, LaVine will be repping the Bulls during All-Star Weekend, as he takes the court for his first taste of the 3-point contest. And with no All-Star nod, LaVine will try to become the first player in NBA history to win both a dunk contest and a 3-point contest trophies. But according to Bet Online’s odds (h/t NBC Sports Chicago), that will be easier said than done.
Here’s a look at Bet Online’s full odds:
- Damian Lillard – +350 (39.5% from 3-point range this season)
- Joe Harris – +350 (40.5%)
- Trae Young – +500 (36.7%)
- Davis Bertans – +600 (42.9%)
- Buddy Hield – +700 (37.6%)
- Duncan Robinson – +700 (43.9%)
- Devonte’ Graham – +800 (37.9%)
- Zach LaVine – +1000 (37.6%)
According to the site’s oddsmakers, LaVine has the longest odds to win the shootout. Bet Online lists LaVine’s chances as +1000 (or 10/1), which puts him behind lesser-known players such as Devonte’ Graham of the Hornets (+800), Duncan Robinson of the Heat (+700), and everyone else in the field, for that matter. Considering LaVine is near the bottom end of this grouping when it comes to 3-point field goal percentage, his expected finish makes sense. However, while he takes a lot, he’s also hit the eighth-most 3-point shots this season, and he’s proven he can have the hot hand on any given night.
But, hey, at least his coach is willing to offer help to push LaVine toward an upset:
Boylen: I talked to our equipment guys 3 weeks ago and had them order the same ball racks they use. Where do you put your money balls? What side do you grab the ball from? There’s a lot to it. What side of the floor do you grab the ball from?"
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 4, 2020
Jim Boylen told reporters yesterday he offered a helping hand to LaVine, mentioning that he’s coached part participants and former-winner Marco Belinelli. I’m pretty sure I want Boylen nowhere near LaVine during his preparation to try and become the NBA’s new 3-point king, but the head coach did already follow through with one decent gesture to help LaVine feel acclimated.
The racks have arrived …
— Matt Zahn (@mattzahnsports) February 5, 2020
LaVine has a little over one week to get in a rhythm, and it looks like he’s already off to the races:
Zach testing the range pic.twitter.com/woLPtbcwOc
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) February 5, 2020