• Taco Bell Skill Challenge Winner: Team Cavs
CLEVELAND — Team Cavs successfully defended home court at the 2022 Taco Bells Skills Challenge at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
Comprised of Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley, the Cavaliers’ trio defeated Team Rooks, led by Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey, and Scottie Barnes in a half-court shootout that decided the final round. Shooting one at a time as outlined in the rules, Team Rooks set the pace to start the round by knocking down its first half-court shot in just 9.9 seconds That meant Team Cavs would need to make its first half-court shot within that timeframe.
Team Cavs nearly cut that in half, with Mobley splashing the squad’s second attempt with 5.5 seconds left on the clock. The bucket lifted Team Cavs to the 2022 Taco Bells Skills Challenge crown, but it needed to outlast Team Antetokounmpos (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo) just to get there.
— NBA (@NBA) February 20, 2022
In the previous round, Team Rooks won the Team Relay and 200 accompanying challenge points with a time of 1:18.5 in a competition that featured a course targeting five different skillsets. Team Antetokounmpos and Team Cavs failed to finish the course within the time established by Team Rooks, thus forcing them into a tiebreaker to determine which team would advance to the final round. In the tiebreaker, each team picked one player to shoot 3-pointers from the top of the key.
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his team’s first shot, while Garland swished his attempt to send Team Cavs to the finals.
The previous round — Team Passing — also led to a tiebreaker between Team Rooks and Team Antetokounmpos. Officials broke that tie by determining Team Antetokounmpos completed more outlet passes than Team Rooks, and the former received 100 challenge points for that round.
Team Cavs established dominance from the very start in the Team Shooting portion of the competition. Garland racked up 21 points to outpace all of Team Antetokounmpos (20 points), as Team Cavs started with 44 points, followed by Team Rooks (32 points).
The NBA switched up the format for the 2022 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, making it more of a team competition than individual affair. That change also heightened drama in the latter rounds by producing tiebreaking scenarios.
— Michael C. Wright, NBA.com
Taco Bell Skills Challenge participants
• Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
• Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
• Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder
Team Cavs: [Winner]
• Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
• Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
• Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
• Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
• Alex Antetokounmpo, Raptors905
• Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Taco Bell Skills Challenge format
Under the new format for the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, three teams of three players will participate in a four-round competition that tests shooting, passing and dribbling ability. Each of the three teams will compete in the first three rounds of the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. The two teams with the most “Challenge Points” after the first three rounds will advance to the Final Round. Challenge Points are earned by winning each of the first three rounds.
Below is a round-by-round overview of the skills and the awarding of Challenge Points. The complete rules for the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge are available here.
- Round 1: Team Shooting (three teams) – All players from each team will participate individually with their two teammates rebounding. Each player has 30 seconds to shoot from five different spots on the court, ranging from 10 feet to 30 feet. Players cannot repeat the same shot consecutively. Shots made from each shooting location will have different values (one point, two points, three points, four points or five points). Individual player scores will be added together to determine the team score. The team with the highest team score will win Round 1 and earn 100 Challenge Points.
- Round 2: Team Passing (three teams) – All players on a team will participate together. Each team will have 30 seconds to complete passes into three oversized moving targets, which vary in size and distance from the players. Each team must make at least one pass attempt at each target, and individual players cannot make consecutive passes at the same target. Completed passes into each target will have different values (two points, four points or six points). The team with the most total points will win Team Passing and earn 100 Challenge Points.
- Round 3: Team Relay (three teams) – All players from each team will participate in a timed relay. Each player must complete the course, which has five skills in the following order: 1.) throw an outlet pass into a moving target from the baseline; 2.) dribble down the court through three moving pylons; 3.) make a short shot in the lane; 4.) make a three-pointer from the corner against an automated defender; and 5.) dribble to the opposite goal and make a basket (such as a dunk, layup or jump shot). The team with the fastest time will win Round 3 and earn 200 Challenge Points.
- Final Round: Half-court Shot (two teams) – The two teams that advance to the Final Round will compete one at a time and all players on each team will participate in trying to make a half-court shot. Team 1 will set the time to beat with a made shot or expiration of the clock (maximum of 1 minute and 30 seconds). The team that makes a half-court shot in the fastest time will win the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. In the case of a tie, the two teams will repeat the Final Round.