Two upsets in first round of HORSE competition

Bulls guard Zach LaVine
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In the quarterfinal round of HORSE competition, the competition got better as the event went along. There were two upsets in the quarterfinals as current NBA players took on WNBA players and NBA legends.

In the first matchup, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks went against Chauncey Billups. Young raced out to an early HOR to no letters lead. Billups steady shot-making keyed the comeback though, as he defeated Young HORSE to HOR.

For aesthetics, this was the worst matchup of the day. It looked as though Young and Billups were filming the game using old-school flip phones. Young’s “court” was also questionable, as his rim looked bent and was possibly less than the standard 10-feet high.

In the second matchup, Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz went against NBA Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings. Conley defeated Catchings with relative ease, as he won HORSE to no letters.

Conley had a decided advantage, as he was the only player inside a gym. Catching competed outside in the elements. It was sunny, but looked like it was a bit cold and windy.

The third matchup saw Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls go against Paul Pierce. LaVine missed a few shots, but Piece couldn’t get any momentum going. LaVine eventually eliminated Pierce HORSE to no letters using some athletic moves.

The key takeaway was from this matchup was Pierce has an amazing backyard, including a pool and trampoline. LaVine has a multiple-sport area in his yard, including a batting cage and small turf field.

The final contest of the evening was Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder against Allie Quigley of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. In the closest matchup of the quarterfinals, Quigley raced out to an early lead, but Paul rallied. Eventually, Quigley eliminated Paul HORSE to HOR with the final miss by Paul coming on a free throw line bank shot.

Paul had a very nice outdoor halfcourt, while Quigley competed on a driveway court that looked like it could be in any suburb in America. This one also looked the best on TV.

The semifinals of the HORSE competition will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, April 16 at 9:00 PM Eastern. Chauncey Billups will take on Mike Conley and Zach LaVine will face Allie Quigley.

Let’s all hope for more trick shots in the rest of the competition. There were a few crazy attempts, but it would be nice to see the competitors throw up some hook shots or backwards shots in the semifinals.