The skills field looked too easy for Isaiah Thomas throughout the night. He soared through the ball handling drills, made his passes with perfection, and disposed of all the competition he faced early in the competition. It just came down to one final three.
He found his match in a surprising big man, the 2016 Skills Competition champion, Karl-Anthony Towns. Thomas could take down any fellow guard in the field, but in 2016 there were power forwards and centers fighting for the crown too.
"He's long," I.T. said in the aftermath. "Two of his steps is like six of mine."
Thomas and Towns tore through the early portions together, finishing their lay-ups at nearly the same time. Then Towns took off in the other direction, a mad dash ensured, and he used his long strides as they got to the three point line. Tossing up about three misses each, Towns broke through the wall setting himself and sealing his title with a big outside shot.
The outcome was almost fitting. The long ball has been the one portion of Thomas' All-Star season that hasn't always been reliable, while the era of skilled big men is taking over the NBA right now. For context Towns is shooting 38% from three this year compared to Thomas' 35%.
This just isn't a guards-only competition anymore.