Karl-Anthony Towns is the new skills challenge champion. He beat Isaiah Thomas in a thrilling final round.
Towns wouldn't have been a participant most years. The league tweaked the format of the event this year. Big men were included in the pool and were placed on one side of the bracket while guards battled on the other. The change certainly made the skills challenge more exciting.
Jordan Clarkson and Emmanuel Mudiay were eliminated in the first round in the guard side. Isaiah Thomas, who participated in the event last season, beat out the Nuggets' rookie. Clarkson essentially allowed C.J. McCollum to beat him by hesitating on the layup, allowing the Blazers' star to go first.
On the big man side, there were two upsets. Karl-Anthony Towns beat Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins edged out Anthony Davis by hitting the three-pointer sooner despite having some trouble on the other areas.
Both Thomas and Towns got to the final round easily, as neither McCollum nor Cousins could actually keep up. The final round was thrilling, as Towns was right there with Thomas at every point in the course and got to the three-point shot earlier. After a few misses, the Timberwolves' rookie finally made the shot to become the first big man to win the skills challenge.
Towns routinely shows off skills that few big men have during Timberwolves games, but he had doubters coming into the event, including his teammate, point guard Ricky Rubio.
"I'm definitely talking some trash to Ricky Rubio," Towns said. "He doubted me since the beginning."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) February 14, 2016
It's safe to say he proved to Rubio and a national audience that he can even hang with the guards when it comes to dribbling, passing and shooting.