Novak: 3-point contest 'would be awesome'

Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak will know this Thursday if the NBA has selected him for the All-Star 3-point shootout.

If it happens, the 6-10 forward will be fulfilling a longtime goal -- and joining teammates Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and potentially James White in Houston.

"It would be awesome," Novak told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday night after the Pistons game. "I mean, it's definitely always been a dream of mine to compete at that level. We watched that all growing up and that would be a very cool thing."

Novakaine already has a 3-point shootout victory to his name. In March 2006 as a senior at Marquette, he knocked off Notre Dame's Chris Quinn in the finals at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Novak actually led the event in each round, scoring 19, 21 and then 24 points. Afterward, he went head to head with the women's college champion, Lindsay Bowen, but lost.

In Novak's favor this time is Heat guard Dwyane Wade, the captain of the Eastern Conference All-Star team, who has already recommended that his former college teammate be one of the six participants.

"It's good to have him on my side, for sure," Novak said. "It's good to have the Marquette connection."

When asked who he envisioned going up against on All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 16, Novak didn't have anyone in particular. He said it's actually an internal battle.

"To be honest, when it comes to those competitions, in your mind you're kind of going against yourself," he said. "At that level, that's what those guys do. They all can win the contest on any given day, and so in my mind, you've just got to be in the right mindset and do what you do."

On the season, Novak is fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage (44.6, shooting 91-for-204). He's connected on 50.7 percent of his downtown makes in the baseline corner (38-for-75), and 41.1 percent everywhere else beyond the arc (53-for-129). Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith account for the most passes to Novak for his 3s. Prigioni has 29 assists, while Smith has 24.

As for Novak's competition, Kyle Korver (Hawks), Stephen Curry (Warriors) and Mike Dunleavy (Bucks) rank as the top three in long-range accuracy.

Perhaps they'll all be in Houston? That's where Novak got his start in the league, playing his first two seasons for the Rockets. Since then, he's gone from being a non-factor, playing only five minutes a game, to single-handedly altering how teams defend the Knicks when he's on the court -- and causing problems for those opponents.

That's what they might be saying in Houston in about two weeks.

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