Friday night served as a quality warm-up for the rest of the weekend, but the NBA All-Star extravaganza really gets going on Saturday night. It can be argued that Saturday is actually the "marquee" event of the weekend, even if Sunday attracts much more fanfare and production value, but regardless of where your allegiances lie in that regard, Saturday evening provides a great deal of fun and entertainment.
The day kicks off at 11:00 am ET with a televised practice for Sunday's game (NBA-TV), with the league's flagship network going back-to-back with Inside Stuff and The Starters at 1:00 pm ET and 1:30 pm ET, respectively. The big-time show doesn't get going until much later in the evening, though, and that is where we will spend much of our time, especially considering that the night has a heavy lean toward the Atlanta Hawks. Let's take a glance.
Note: Events are listed in chronological order. The NBA has not released approximate times for each event.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night - 8:30 pm ET (TNT)
Event #1: Degree Shooting Stars
If we're honest, this is the forgotten event of the night. There are four teams of three participants, and each of them will be attempting to knock down a shot from a quartet of locations while working against the clock.
The Hawks are heavily involved here, as Paul Millsap (who was a late addition) headlines a team that includes Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen and Chicago Sky star Elena Delle Donne. Atlanta is also represented by the legend of Dominique Wilkins, as 'Nique will be shooting with Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh and New York Liberty star Swin Cash.
Say what you want about the format of this event, but the Hawks have two representatives, and that is more than any other franchise can boast.
Event #2: Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder headline this particular event from a Hawks perspective. Once again, Atlanta is the only franchise with two players involved, as Schröder was a late addition as a replacement for Chicago's Jimmy Butler.
Teague has "experience" in the event, as he participated in 2013, but things didn't go quite as planned for Jeff, and he'll be looking to avenge that performance this time. Both players have the requisite speed and skill to take home the hardware here, but with names like John Wall, Kyle Lowry and defending co-champion Trey Burke, there is plenty of talent elsewhere.
Event #3: Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
It's Kyle Korver time.
Much has been made of Korver's historic shooting season, and that is what happens when you shoot 51.2% from the field, 52.3% from three and 91.1% from the free throw line. However, the "experts" have installed Golden State's Stephen Curry as the odds-on favorite here, and that could certainly inspire Korver to heights unseen.
This field is loaded, as J.J. Redick, Klay Thompson and Wesley Matthews join with the aforementioned duo of Korver and Curry as an incredible five-some of sharpshooters. Beyond that, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (who has already won this event) bring star power, and defending champion Marco Belinelli can really shoot in his own right.
I have no idea if Korver will win, but watching him shoot in an empty gym is entertaining enough, so you can imagine the intrigue here.
Event #4: Sprite Slam Dunk
This is the only event of the night that does not feature an Atlanta Hawk, but that is just fine with them.
This year's field includes T-Wolves rookie Zach LaVine (who is the de facto favorite), Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Magic guard Victor Oladipo and Nets big man Mason Plumlee. Each of them is capable of putting on a show, but LaVine's work has been well-documented via YouTube and other locales, and there is a reason that the buzz has built in his direction.
Enjoy the nightcap, even if "our guys" aren't involved. You will have seen plenty from the Hawks throughout the day.