NBA HORSE Challenge Results: Chris Paul upset; Chauncey Billups, Mike Conley and Zach LaVine reach all semi-finals

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With no real games to hope for in the foreseeable future, the NBA turned to other forms of competition during the quarantine of coronaviruses. After hosting a NBA 2K player-only tournament, the next event was a HORSE challenge made up of current and former NBA and WNBA players, who unveiled Sunday evening.

Chauncey Billups returned from an H-O-R deficit to defeat Trae Young in the first game, then Mike Conley – shooting in a professional-style gym – easily flew over Tamika Catchings. Then Zach LaVine used his athleticism and cunning to defeat Paul Pierce, while Allie Quigley scored against Chris Paul.

Each player took his shots from their own respective and isolated homecourts. Although it was necessary to hold the contest from a distance, this may have prevented some star players from participating. Giannis Antetokounmpo, for example, recently said that he did not have access to a hula hoop at home.

Congratulations to the NBA for continuing to try to provide entertainment for the masses during an extremely difficult time. Obviously, everyone prefers to watch real games right now, but it just isn’t possible. Setting up a real sporting competition involving players is the best thing to do, and will serve as a solid distraction for the millions of people forced to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The HORSE challenge will help more than sports fans because State Farm plans to donate more than $ 200,000 on behalf of participants to charitable organizations focused on coronavirus response efforts. Here are some key takeaways from Sunday’s action:

The competition finally

The NBA has now suspended the season for over a month now, and it’s been a long time without any new form of competition, especially when it is supposed to play in the playoffs. Now, obviously, a HORSE tournament is not the same as real games, but it is certainly better than nothing.

The process was a bit strange to get used to, but it was nice to watch a live competition between some of the best athletes in the world and to be able to do it collectively. One of the best aspects of live sports is that everyone can enjoy it in real time and connect with friends, family and even strangers online.

Having a little taste of this in our lives was a good change from the daily dread of a deadly pandemic.

Conley gets an unfair advantage

Everyone who loves basketball has grown up playing HORSE, or a variation of this classic game. But no matter what word you chose to say, or where you played, be it the park, the driveway or the street, one constant was that you were outside. HORSE is an outdoor game, and it always has been.

So it was a bit of a shock when they got to the second game of the night, and there is Mike Conley standing in a nice professional-style gym, which was apparently attached to his house. Now it’s obviously sick, and everyone wants to be able to have that kind of setup too, but that’s not where you’re supposed to be playing HORSE.

There must be obstructing fences and garages, cracked concrete creating spots for shots, blowing wind and sun in the eyes. It’s just not a real HORSE game if it’s not part of the deal. Unfortunately for Tamika Catchings, she respected these rules on her icy entry into Indianapolis and was quickly eliminated.

Conley could reach the title if he continued to play in his comfortable gymnasium while everyone was outside.

CP3 succeeds the blow of the night but loses in an upheaval

One of the disappointing aspects of the competition, at least in some of the early games, is that there weren’t many HORSE-style photos. The object of the game is to try to trip your opponent with strange shots that you would never take in a game, but instead there were a lot of pretty generic jumpers or runners who were throwing up.

In Game 3, Zach LaVine started raising the bet and Paul Pierce paid the price, but Chris Paul really brought out the tricks in the night. Heading towards the free throw line, he turned his back on the basket and swung on one leg. Then he stretched out his back and grabbed his other leg as if to stretch his quad. From there, he turned around and shot with one hand. Nothing but clear.

Allie Quigley didn’t even get close to this delicate matter, but marked the major upheaval, eliminating the NBA All-Star 10 times. Quigley had the second lowest odds to win the competition title, but his pure shot helped her qualify for the semifinals and set up a Chicago game against Zach LaVine.


Here’s how to watch the semi-finals and the final, including a list of matches and the rules of competition.

NBA HORSE Challenge Semi-final, final

  • When: Thursday, April 16, 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN | Direct: ESPN app

Semi-final matches

  • Chauncey Billups vs. Mike Conley
  • Zach LaVine vs. Allie Quigley

Final

Results of the first round

  • Chauncey Billups defeats Trae Young
  • Mike Conley defeated Tamika Catchings
  • Zach LaVine defeated Paul Pierce
  • Allie Quigley defeated Chris Paul



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