Lauri Markkanen's 3-Point Contest outing mirrors Utah Jazz season

Lauri Markkanen failed to make it past the first round of the 3-Point Contest.
Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) shoots the ball during
Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) shoots the ball during / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz season never felt like it got going, not truly. The squad started off badly and had a remarkable turnaround. Before fans could get comfortable with a squad that could be playoff contenders, the front office opted to curtail those hopes by kneecapping the team at the trade deadline.

The franchise traded away core players that tanked the team's ability to play reliable defense, and since the deadline the Jazz are 0-4. The squad isn't likely to make the Play-In Tournament anymore, let alone the actual playoffs.

Things aren't going great for players who make Salt Lake City their home, and it feels like this squad was just close enough to smell success, but not close enough to enjoy any of it. That's essentially the story of Lauri Markkanen at the NBA All-Star Festivities on Saturday.

Markkanen took part in the 3-Point Contest, competing against Damian Lillard and Malik Beasley of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Tyrese Haliburton from the Indiana Pacers, Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks and former Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, currently of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Jazz star ended up falling in the first round of the contest, scoring 25 total points, one shy of earning a shot in the tie-breaker that ended up featuring Hailburton, Towns, Young, and Lillard.

Markkanen finished with 25 points, coming so close to securing a spot in the finals, but falling short. Considering how bad the season is about to get in terms of watchability, Markkanne winning the 3-Point Contest would've been the last true bright spot of the season.

Sadly, he fell short, just like the Jazz did this season. Lillard, Young, and Towns would top Haliburton in the tie-breaker round, with Lillard and Towns hitting 16 points, and Young hitting 15, but Haliburton hitting just 12.

This led to Lillard topping Young and Towns in the finals, winning it all with 26 points.

Towns created a controversy, however, as he was seen hitting a lot of his threes while over the line, yet wasn't penalized.

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