CLEVELAND — Saturday night at NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was held in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse with the Cavaliers well represented with a team of their own, made up of rookie Evan Mobley and All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen.
Team Cavs went up against Team Rooks, made up of rookies Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors, Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Team Antetokounmpos made up of Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and Alex Antetokounmpo of the NBA G League’s Raptors 905.
Here's how the competition went:
Round 1 Rules:
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.
Giddey went first and scored 16 points. Cunningham scored 10 points and Barnes, who struggled a bit, put up six points. Combined, the team scored 32 points.
Giannis hit his first two shots but nothing else, getting eight points. Alex went next and matched Giannis' score of eight. Thanasis went last and had a tough time, but hit his last shot and scored four points, giving
Allen went first and put up five points. But Mobley and Garland put on an absolute clinic, knocking down shot after shot and took the round.
Evan Mobley and Darius Garland put on a clinic. pic.twitter.com/Zwaf03S6Ve— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) February 20, 2022
Round 2 Rules:
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.
In this part of the challenge, the three put up a total of 88 points.
Going up second, the brothers tied Team Rooks with a total of 88 points, but broke the tie by having made the most outlet passes
The Cavs didn't have the same dominating performance, scoring 74 total points.
Round 3 Rules:
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.
The trio completed the course with a time of 1:18.5, setting the mark to beat.
In the third round, the brothers couldn't beat the clock and fell short of Team Rooks time.
Also falling short of the mark set by Team Rooks, the Cavs were not able to beat 1:18.5 and went into a tie-breaker with Team Antetokounmpos with a total score of 100.
Each team had to choose one player to take three-pointers from the top of the key. After a make, the player from the other team must make the next shot or be eliminated. The Cavs selected Garland while Team Antetokounmpos selected Giannis.
Garland nailed his three after Giannis missed his, knocking Team Antetokounmpos and advancing Team Cavs to the final round.
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.
Cunningham set the mark with a half-court shot in just 9.9 seconds.
Needing to hit a half-court in just 9.9 seconds, the Cavs said hold my drink and lit the crowd up when Evan Mobley on his first shot nailed it and with a time of 5.5 seconds, won the Skills Challenge for Cleveland—in Cleveland.
"We worked on it a little bit after practice and stuff sometimes when we knew we were in the Skills Challenge, but not a lot," Mobley said after the contest. "I felt it when it came off. You could see me. It looked good."
And there you have it, that's how Team Cavs became the 2022 Taco Bell Skills Challenge champs.
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