The main problem facing Harrison Barnes seems to be a lack of confidence. He’s going to get an opportunity to get some of his swagger back, as Barnes will be almost as busy as Stephen Curry during All-Star Weekend.

Harrison BarnesWe already knew Barnes would compete for “Team Hill” in the Rising Stars Challenge, which is a great way for Barnes to remember what it feels like to knife through defenses and finish … mostly because no defense is played in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Today it was announced that Barnes would join one the field for the most anticipated NBA Dunk Contests in recent years, mostly because the field isn’t filled with benchwarmers who can leap but don’t do much else.

Slam Dunk Contest

  • Paul George (Pacers)
  • Terrence Ross (Raptors)
  • Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  • John Wall (Wizards)
  • Harrison Barnes (Warriors)
  • Ben McLemore (Kings)

Maybe the best thing for Barnes — besides the exposure — is that there’s no pressure whatsoever. No one is going to pick him as a favorite, and most won’t even list him as their sleeper (my favorite is Ross, while my sleeper candidate is McLemore … not that anyone asked).

George had the in-game dunk of the year, a reverse-360 windmill.

 

Ross won last year’s dunk contest. Everyone loves Lillard. Wall has finally been accepted as a true star in the league. Then you have Barnes and McLemore, two athletically-gifted youngsters who haven’t quite figured it out yet in the NBA.

Here’s a rundown of who’s competing in the pre-ASG portion of All-Star Weekend. Stephen Curry is in the Three-Point Shootout and the Skills Challenge, and that’s it for Golden State Warriors participation. He’s been a bricklayer over the last several games, but it would’ve been fun to see Klay Thompson go against Curry in the Shootout.

Three-Point Shootout

  • Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers)
  • Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  • Joe Johnson (Nets)
  • Arron Afflalo (Magic)
  • Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  • Marco Belinelli (Spurs)
  • Kevin Love (Timberwolves)
  • Damian Lillard (Blazers)

Notes: Belinelli is totally going to beat Curry in the finals. 

Skills Challenge

  • Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  • Trey Burke (Jazz)
  • Reggie Jackson (Thunder)
  • Goran Dragic (Suns)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (Sixers)
  • Victor Oladipo (Magic)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)

Notes: What isn’t Lillard doing during All-Star Weekend?

Shooting Stars Competition

  • Team Hardaway: Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Knicks), Tim Hardaway, Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky)
  • Team Bosh: Chris Bosh (Heat), Dominique Wilkins, Swin Cash (Sky)
  • Team Curry: Stephen Curry (Warriors) Dell Curry, Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars)
  • Team Durant: Kevin Durant (Thunder), Karl Malone, Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock)

Notes: Here’s our answer. Lillard passed on this one, which only holds interest for those who want to see if Dell out-shoots his son.

Rising Stars Challenge

Team Webber: Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Michael Carter-Williams (Sixers), Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Knicks), Trey Burke (Jazz), Jared Sullinger (Celtics), Mason Plumlee (Nets), Victor Oladipo (Magic), Steven Adams (Thunder), Kelly Olynyk (Celtics)

Team Hill: Damian Lillard (Blazers), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Harrison Barnes (Warriors), Terrence Jones (Rockets), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Jonas Valanciunas (Raptors), Dion Waiters (Cavaliers), Pero Antic (Hawks)

Notes: It’s really too bad Draymond Green didn’t get invited to play in this game.