Karl-Anthony Towns will be representing the Minnesota Timberwolves on All-Star Saturday night as one of the participants in the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest. Can he pull out a win?
The Timberwolves have a presence throughout All-Star Weekend
The Timberwolves have not had a player participate in All-Star Saturday night since 2016, when Towns won the Skills Challenge and Zach LaVine won his second consecutive Slam Dunk Contest.
Towns made his first All-Star Game appearance the following year and was on the team again in 2018 along with teammate Jimmy Butler.
This year, the Wolves will have a full weekend of participation, from Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels in the Rising Stars Challenge to Towns in the 3-Point Contest on Saturday and the main event on Sunday night.
But does Towns have a shot at winning the long-range shooting showdown?
Can the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns win the 3-Point Contest?
Most sportsbooks have Towns with the longest odds to win. Big men don’t often win it; the Wolves’ Kevin Love and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki are the only true bigs to win in the history of the competition.
Generally speaking, pure shooters who don’t have a lot of extra motion in their shot do well in this competition. Bigs are, well, bigger, and that means they have longer arms and it takes longer to release the ball. Therefore, it makes sense that smaller players generally perform well in the 3-Point Contest.
On the other hand, not very many true bigs have actually participated in the contest, so of course the number who have won is extremely low.
Of all the big men who could have chance at winning, Towns seems to be a reasonable candidate. He has a quick release and barely leaves the floor when he shoots. Towns also isn’t strictly a catch-and-shoot guy from deep and is fairly well-rounded in terms of his success rate on assisted vs. non-assisted.
While it makes sense to consider Towns an underdog for this event, he’s likely being a bit undersold by oddsmakers. Towns is a 40.9 percent 3-point shooter and 39.6 percent for his career — marks that place him solidly in the middle of the pack among this field of eight.
No matter what, it’s fair to say that this contest is anyone’s to take, with no clear favorite. Nobody in the field has won the contest previously, which is certainly notable.
We’ll see what happens, but it would be far more surprising to see Towns finish last than it would be to see him end up in the championship round.