NBA All-Star grades: The best and worst performers in every event

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

For the first time ever, the NBA is packing events that typically take place over two nights of All-Star Weekend into one night of action in Atlanta. Our analyst Kevin Pelton is grading all the competitors in the skills challenge, 3-point and slam dunk contests as well as the main event, the 70th All-Star Game.

As a concession to the difficulty of maintaining a bubble to protect players amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the events typically held on Saturday night are scaled back slightly with six participants each instead of the usual eight in the skills challenge and 3-point contest, to take place before the All-Star Game. The dunk contest will be held during halftime with three competitors instead of the usual four.

The All-Star Game itself will be played with the new “target score” format introduced in 2020 that injected more intensity for a thrilling conclusion.

In conjunction with the All-Star Game, the NBA will provide more than $3 million in support to fund scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity.

As always, competitors are graded on their performance, their effort level and their ability to bring creative flair to a night designed for fans watching at home.

Skills contest

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