After dropping six-consecutive games, the Pacers closed the unofficial “first half” of the season on a better note by staving off the Giannis-less Milwaukee Bucks at home before going their separate ways for some much needed down-time. Having also stared down the bogeyman of late-game, press-break in the process, Domantas Sabonis can now take center stage as the team’s lone representative at All-Star weekend.
Before the main event tomorrow night, Sabonis will have a chance to show what he can do in the Skills Competition, which is a three-round, bracket-style obstacle course that tests competitors head-to-head in ball-handling, passing, agility, and shooting.
The pairings for the event haven’t been released yet, but last season’s field saw Nikola Jokic pitted against Nikola Vucevic in the first round, so perhaps there will be another center vs. center clash this go-around with Sabonis battling Miami’s Bam Adebayo?
Sabonis is no stranger to finding his teammates with slick bounce passes and occasionally pushing the ball up the floor off a rebound, so he shouldn’t have much trouble dribbling up-and-down the court and passing the ball through a series of stationary targets, but he’s going to have to knockdown a three faster than his competitor to advance.
In 52 games played, Sabonis has attempted three times as many threes as he did last season, but he’s still just 13-of-58 from deep. Adebayo, meanwhile, is 1-of-11.
Is it too late to get the final 3-point shot replaced by a hand-off?
Here’s a look at the full list of participants for All-Star Saturday Night.
- Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
- Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles Clippers — 2015 Champion
- Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets — 2018 Champion
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
- Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
- Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics — 2019 Champion
- Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards
- Devonte Graham, Charlotte Hornets
- Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets — Reigning Champion
- Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
- Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
- Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
- Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
- Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks
- Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
- Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
- Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat
Share your picks and/or thoughts and observations from the All-Star events scheduled to air live on TNT at 8:00 PM EST as well as anything else Pacers-related in the comments section.