The All-Star Game news continues to roll in for the Houston Rockets. This past week, Rockets forward Clint Capela was selected to the Rising Stars Challenge. Rockets Guard James Harden was selected his fourth-straight All-Star Game as a member of the Western Conference Team. Harden and Patrick Beverley are also returning to participate in the All-Star Saturday Night events in the Three-Point Contest and the Skill Challenge.
Beverley is returning to defend his Skills Challenge title, after defeating Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague, and Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight for the title at the 2015 All-Star Game in New York City.
The 2015 Skill Challenge was the first year of a format change with head-to-head tournament. Here are the rules:
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge format calls for two players to compete simultaneously on an identical course with the fastest finisher reaching the next round. In the first round, the eight players are paired to participate in four head-to-head competitions. The four winners advance to the second round, where two more head-to-head showdowns will determine the two finalists.
Harden competed in the Three-Point Contest for the first time last season, failing to make it out of the first round.
Harden started the season slow from behind the arc, but has shot 39.8 percent from three in his last 31 games -- including 45.1 percent in his last ten games.
Quoting the NBA.com on the Three-Point Contest format:
In the two-round, timed competition, five shooting locations are positioned around the three-point arc. Four racks contain four orange balls (each worth one point) and one multi-colored "money" ball (worth two points). The fifth rack is a special "all money ball" rack, which each participant can place at any of the five shooting locations. Every ball on this rack is worth two points. The players have one minute to shoot as many as the 25 balls as they can. The three competitors with the highest scores in the first round advance to the championship round.
Both events will take place on Feb. 13 as part of NBA All-Star Weekend festivities in Toronto, with TNT's coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT.