All-Star Saturday recap: Curry struggles, how to change Dunk Contest?

With the favorite Stephen Curry struggling, Kyrie Irving stole the show on back-to-back nights. - Scott Halleran

Another year, another bland weekend of All-Star festivities ending with a rather subdued Dunk Contest. How can we change the various competitions so that's it's tougher and more interesting?

For the past few years, All-Star Saturdays have been like the ex-girlfriend you keep going back to. You get all excited the first time you reconnect, hoping things have changed, and then reality hits a few weeks later—first twenty minutes in this case—and it all goes to hell.

Cue the million articles on how boring the All-Star competitions were and how everything must be changed. Yeah, count this one in smack-dab in the middle of the never-ending pile.

Quick rundown of the winners tonight:

All .gifs over at SBNation NBA.

Shooting Stars: Chris Bosh, Swin Cash, and Dominique Wilkins win. Chris Bosh gifs will always win.

Skills Challenge: Damian Lillard

Three-Point Challenge: Uncle Drew

Slam Dunk Contest: Terrence Ross

The Skills Challenge pitted six players against each other, with winnings going to charity. Not sure whether the players donate to the charity if they lose, but it doesn't make much sense to see every guy lazily running around on cone drills. Especially when it results in wide-open missed layups (ahem, Jeff Teague).

There are many suggestions floating around the Internet, like who can dribble the ball fastest, or simply adding different drills that make it more challenging. It's hard to find people that care—and it's no knock on the players—because there isn't a real incentive to win. And we don't really want to make this thing like the MLB All-Star game where the winner gets home-court advantage for the Finals (although I don't think the San Francisco Giants mind).

So what type of competition can the NBA make to cultivate a competitive environment that is both rewarding and entertaining? Throw your thoughts in the comments below.

Grade: C-

As for the Three-Point Contest, it was a bit of a bummer for Warriors fans. It was obvious Stephen Curry was nervous to start out and he struggled through the first two racks before getting hot at the end. If someone was going to break the record, it was Curry. WIthout a doubt the best pure shooter not only of the six, but in the NBA. He'll have more chances in the future.

The rules were a little weird but it didn't affect the game too much. Like the night before, Kyrie Irving took over the show again by coming out hot in the final round and winning over Matt Bonner.

There isn't much to change from the competition itself because it's always fun to watch the best shooters shoot. My only gripe is whichever committee picking the shooters needs to reassess their quotas. Paul George, really? He's a decent mid-30s shooter but he would fare much better in the Dunk Contest—probably should done it anyways. Where was Kyle Korver?

It'd also be nice to see more than two rounds. These are the best shooters in the league. Everyone knows who these guys are and a couple extra rounds wouldn't hurt. To put that in perspective, the first two rounds of the Dunk Contest absolutely stunk.

Grade: A-

Speaking of which, we finally get to what was another yawn-inducing dunk contest. Too many props, weird trick dunks that didn't come close to working, and wayyyyyy too many attempts to make a dunk. Even if the dunk by itself in a vacuum was nice, by the tenth attempt, the hype kind of wears off.

The judges also acted like they've never seen a dunk before, mysteriously giving James White's first dunk a 45 and tossing 50s out like Drake his chains.

The easy fix to this is simple; get LeBron James, Blake Griffin, and Russell Westbrook on the same floor, throw the ball out, and watch them destroy the rim.

But that's not happening.

Perhaps I just came in expecting so much more from James White and instead, got nothing. The last round was an extremely entertaining one but it ultimately wasn't enough to cover for the first two.

Let's just get this guy back.

Grade: C+

Totally expecting a David Lee triple-double tomorrow. Or not.

But hey, Travis Leslie of the Santa Cruz Warriors won the D-League All-Star Game MVP.

Question: What should the NBA do to make All-Star Saturdays more entertaining? Comment below.

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