Skills Challenge: Tre Jones (5)
The Skills Challenge also got a makeover last season in Cleveland (more info here). It became team-centric instead of an individual effort, and the scoring rules were changed. The basic idea of giving players the opportunity to showcase their skills remains, though— the competition is scored based on the teams’ shooting, passing, and dribbling abilities. With an improved shot this season, Tre is as good a candidate as any on this year’s Spurs.
To fit the format of this event, we need to form a team. Last season, a team was made up of three Antetokounmpo brothers (most prominently Giannis, of course). Following the same trend, there will be a partnership made between Tre and his brother Tyus. We could add one of the Jones’ older brothers, both of whom played college ball. However, I think it’s more fun to include Ja Morant, who Tyus backs up in Memphis. Thus, “Team Ja & the Joneses” is formed.
3-Point Contest: Doug McDermott (2)
Right before the season, I wrote an article where I gave my opinions on the Spurs' long-range shooting grades on 2K. After 10 games, the video game appeared to have heavily underrated a lot of the marksmen playing in San Antone. Since then, however, the entire team has cooled off. Even so, there are some good shooters on the Spurs— namely, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Josh Richardson, and Doug McDermott.
The guy who 2K23 gave the highest three-point grade to pre-season was Dougie McBuckets (86). That holds true in practice, as he is the most steady shooter on the Spurs. I gave some serious consideration to Keldon here, but as we’ve seen in his recent play, he can get shaken. It would suck to see him miss the first couple of shots and then really fall off the wagon. Dougie’s shot never really falters, so he’ll represent San Antonio in this contest.