OPINION: Afflalo's accuracy deserved spot in 3-point contest
When it comes to the 3-point contest, I can't help but think that quantity trumps quality.
Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo ranks fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (.449), yet he was not among the six participants selected to compete in the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest Feb. 19 during NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
In the field of six, only Boston sharpshooter Ray Allen (.462) has a better percentage from beyond the arc than Afflalo, who is second to Allen in accuracy among players with at least 150 attempts.
I've been around long enough to know that politics and other factors go into selecting players for All-Star games and related compeititions, but the inclusion of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson borders on baffling.
Gibson is shooting .439 from 3-point range for the team with the worst record in the NBA. He also has made fewer total 3s than Afflalo, a Los Angeles native who wanted to be in the contest but would never campaign for an invitation.
Boston forward Paul Pierce is the defending champion, so his inclusion as a .401 shooter is understandable, but the NBA chose star power over blue collar by including Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant.
Durant leads the NBA in scoring, but his .347 accuracy – an oxymoron, to be sure – is abysmal for a 3-point showcase. It has taken him 60 more attempts to make just two more 3-pointers than Afflalo this season.
The other two participants are Golden State swingman Dorell Wright, who has made a league-leading 124 3s on 303 attempts, and Miami Heat guard James Jones, who ranks 14th in 3-point accuracy.
As the NBA Players Association representative for the Nuggets, Afflalo plans to be in Los Angeles over All-Star weekend.
If he gets a little free time, maybe he can give some of the 3-point participants a few shooting tips.