The field in play for this year’s Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout is already one of the deepest in NBA history. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle confirmed from two sources that the NBA’s leading scorer, James Harden (27.0 PPG), will be joining a group that includes Klay Thompson and backcourt mate, Stephen Curry, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Redick and — most recently — Kyrie Irving. This has entered absurd territory.
Harden had expressed interest, according to Feigen, but the Beard added the caveat, “I have to start shooting better.”
Harden has been named the Western Conference Player of the month in December and January and is connecting on 47 percent of his three-pointers in his past 10 games.
Even with that significant uptick in his efficiency from downtown, Harden’s sporting the lowest three-point percentage (38.7) of any who have already been rumored to participate, despite connecting on the fifth most three-pointers per game (2.7). Here’s more, via Feigen, about how Harden is putting up extra shots at night to get better:
“I’ve been working out back in the gym at night time, putting up extra shots,” Harden said on Thursday. “It’s a grind. It doesn’t stop. I enjoy the journey. I enjoy the grind. That motivates me and keeps me pushing every single game. The night before we played the Bulls I was in here. I’ll probably come back here tonight. It’s all about confidence. If you have confidence on the court, anything can happen.”
There’s no way Harden, despite his place atop the league scoring leaders, is anywhere near a favorite. We mentioned earlier that Steph is the favorite right now, but he’s not getting better odds than the field, and there hasn’t been much movement except that Curry is more of a favorite now at +200 (he was +250 earlier this month). Korver is at +250 and Klay is +300.
We like the fact Harden can knock down a three with little jumping, a must for any contender (your legs get tired after a while), but it’s impossible to make anyone the favorite with this group slated for the contest right now.
Who wins the 2015 three-point shooting?
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