It's been a while but for the first time in several years, a member of the Atlanta Hawks has not been selected to the Eastern All-Star roster. While it's certainly disappointing, the consolation prize for the Hawks is that starting point guard Jeff Teague will be competing in this year's Skills Challenge.
If Jeff wins the event, it should definitely give him some much deserved attention from the NBA fan-base as well as a hefty salary raise when his current contract expires.
For those unfamiliar with the Skills Challenge, here are a few quick facts:
- Originally started in 2003, this will be the 11th time the All-Star game has had this event.
- The guards of the league (both point and shooting) are typically the competitors, although LeBron James competed in the 2007 edition.
- Both Jason Kidd and Steve Nash hold the record for most wins in the event with two apiece.
- The record for the fastest time in a round was set by then Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams in 2008 with a time of 25.5 seconds.
The Skills Challenge is basically a quick gauntlet of abilities any guard worth their salt should be able to do. There are two rounds in the event. The two players with the fastest times in the first round advance to the second round where they repeat the challenges.
The order of the challenges are:
- Shoot (and make) a layup
- Dribble between three obstacles
- Throw a chest pass (or one that does not touch the ground) into a target.
- Throw a bounce pass into a target
- Shoot (and make) a 20 foot jump shoot.
- Throw a long pass from close to the basket into a target.
- Dribble between a second group of three obstacles
- Shoot (and make) either a jump shot or layup to end the timer.
Of course, basic ball-handling rules are observed meaning you can't have a player simply running with the ball through the obstacles.