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Tag:Dunk Contest
Posted on: January 7, 2011 2:37 pm
 

JaVale McGee might be a pretty good contest bet

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin is the clear favorite in this year's dunk contest. Everyone knows that. He has the hype, the big name, the homecourt advanatage and the ability. Everyone assumes he's going to walk easily to the crown.

In fact, he's a pretty big favorite. According to the betting site Bodog, Griffin is a 1/2 favorite to win the dunk contest. Brandon Jennings, who some have questioned even being in the contest, is next at 5/2. JaVale McGee is at 5/1 and Serge Ibaka is the longshot at 7/1.

But check out JaVale McGee practicing for the contest via CSN Washington. In one dunk, he folds a piece of paper and puts it in the net, jumps and bites it out of the net and dunks. Not bad. With his length, size and ability, surely McGee is going to have something good in store. So at 5/1, he might be the best bet out there.



The key to being successful is being quirky and clever without being corny and overly proppy. Blowing out a candle on a cupcake? Clever. Coming out of a phone booth in a cape? Corny.

The line isn't very wide between the two, but something like a piece of paper in the net is pretty good. It accomplishes what you want. It shows just how high you can jump, how skilled you are and how creative you can be. Turn that paper into something better ($100 bill? A replica of the new CBA? An autographed picture of David Stern?) and you've really got something good.

Each player is going to have a "dunk coach" which I guess it supposed to help them come up with ideas. Griffin has Kenny Smith working with him, McGee has Chris Webber, Jennings gets former great dunker Daryl Dawkins and Ibaka has teammate Kevin Durant helping him. Smith said last night on TNT that Griffin will have at least one prop dunk for the contest. Let's hope it's more clever and not corner.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 6:26 pm
 

A closer look at the 4 dunk contest competitors

Posted by Royce Young

So the NBA has made it official. Your four dunkers in this year's Slam Dunk Contest are Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee and Brandon Jennings.

Some see it as a bit of a lackluster crowd and while sans Griffin it's missing a big name, I see it as an intriguing group. Griffin and Ibaka are power finishers, McGee is a stupid athletic seven-footer and Jennings is your classic small guard that can leap. Plus he's left-handed which always makes dunks look a little cooler.

One thing that's somewhat interesting to be is the dunking resumes each bring in though. According to CBSSports.com's very cool tool the Dunk-O-Meter, Griffin leads the league with 81 slams. McGee has 55 which puts him seventh. Ibaka, who plays less, has 41 finishes putting him 13th. And then there's Jennings who on the season, has only two, yes two , dunks.

A dunk contest participant with just two actual dunks. Seems a little strange.

Now Jennings is at a disadvantage because of where he plays. When you're a point guard, you don't have the luxury of standing under the rim just waiting for a guard to set you up for a dunk. So it's natural his number is lower. Russell Westbrook is the top dunking point guard with 25. After that it's Monta Ellis with 17, then John Wall with 10. So it's not like the point guard position really lends to a lot of high-flying finishers.

Plus, the contest isn't about in-game dunking. It's about flying high and showing off, something Jennings is very good at. For instance, Nate Robinson who has taken home the crown a record three times only has one dunk this season. Granted, a lot of people feel like Robinson was a problem in the contest but still, we all know he can dunk. He just hasn't had a lot of opportunity in games.

Consider some of the league's top dunkers. LaMarcus Aldridge is third with 64 crams. Roy Hibbert is in the top 20. I don't think anyone would be all that excited to see either one of those guys in the contest. So obviously it's not about how many dunks you have, it's about how good they are.

Griffin is going to be disappointing. People are expecting so much from him that no matter what, he's not going to be able to live up to their expectations. I think unless he jumps over the jumbotron or makes a dunk from the 3-point line, fans won't be satisfied. This isn't to say Griffin won't be absolutely awesome -- because he will be -- but I'm not sure he's going to give the performance people hope for.

McGee is going to impress people and will most certainly go for a free throw line punch. With his size and length, he'll easily pull it off. Ibaka already has accomplished a free throw line yam and also has one dunk contest title under his belt. Those three come with a pretty good pedigree. It's Jennings who people are wondering about.

But don't let the stats fool you. Jennings may just have two aerial attacks to his name this season but that doesn't mean he won't hold his own.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:52 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 2:09 am
 

Report: Griffin on '11 dunk contest roster

Posted by Royce Young

Ready for your 2011 All-Star weekend dunk contest participants? According to the Los Angeles Times, it'll be a bit of a big man showcase. Blake Griffin heads the field that includes JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards, Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Griffin has previously said he'd be interested and after a video briefly appeared on his player page on NBA.com with the words "DO NOT PUBLISH" with it, it was pretty much assured that he'd be included.



Jennings has a little local connection as he attended Dominguez High in Compton before he finished his high school career at Oak Hill Academy. Jennings recently suffered a broken right foot and is expected to be out four to six weeks, but he is expected to be healthy for All-Star weekend. A little odd that he's included in the field, I must say. And not just because of the injury.

McGee is absolutely a high-flyer, but he's probably better known for a fairly epic failure on an attempted finish than he is for one of his big dunks. I'm sure he'll attempt the free throw line finish in the contest and with his length, probably pull it off.

One guy that has pulled off the free throw line dunk is Ibaka, who won a European dunk contest while playing in Spain. Ibaka isn't necessarily the flashiest finisher but more of a putback and alley-oop guy. But he's got ridiculous athletic ability and a ton of power. And you know his Thunder teammates will be there with him, so it's not hard to see Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant joining in somehow in one of his dunks. Westbrook lobbing to Ibaka could make for a very nice slam.

And then of course Griffin. He'll be a huge favorite and not just because of the home field advantage of L.A. He's got the name power and the popularity coming in, but also a ton of dunking ability.

To me, this field strikes me as a no-nonsense group. It's like the league is trying to get back to the roots of the contest and weed out the trickery and prop usage we've seen over the past few years. With this field, I think we're going to get more straightforward dunks than we have in the past. Some have felt the contest has been watered down recently with all the theatrics and extra stuff, so with Ibaka, Griffin, McGee and Jennings, we might just see dunks for a change. Which would be nice.

An official announcement of the dunk contest participants will be this Thursday on TNT before the usual double-header.

Last year there was a dunk-off during the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge, but it looks like we've already got our four. LeBron James said he was torn as to if he should enter, but apparently he's staying out for another year.

The field definitely looks a bit lackluster at first glance as it's missing a big name to go alongside Griffin, but there's potential here. Watching big guys dunk has always been fun and obviously this group has the size flavor. I'm sure some people aren't going to be thrilled, but I think this group is going to surprise people.

Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:58 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 1:59 pm
 

Griffin wants in; who could be dunking in L.A.?

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin has pretty much taken over the NBA over the first couple months of the season. Every night people just wait for his latest highlight. So naturally it seems like he's a perfect fit for the dunk contest in Los Angeles during All-Star Weekend.

He's got the buzz around him, he's got the dunking ability and he's got the game in his team's hometown of Los Angeles.

Griffin has already said he'd be interested. "That would be cool," Griffin told NBA.com. "If it's something that the league wants me to do, I'll probably try to do it." According Chris Tomasson of FanHouse via Twitter, Griffin hasn't heard anything yet from the league. But if he's truly willing, you can pretty much guarantee he'll be there.

Another high-flyer that doesn't garner near as much attention is Indiana's Josh McRoberts. If you've been paying attention this season -- really close attention that is -- you'd have seen a few pretty terrific aerial manuevers from McRoberts. So McRoberts is firing up a little video campaign to try and get in.

Assuming Nate Robinson doesn't try and enter and ruin the dunk contest again, who else could be a candidate? Griffin is a lock, McRoberts is a long-shot unless he puts together some kind of award-winning video. Here's five others that could get consideration.

1. DeMar DeRozan:
He got in last year during the "Dunk Off" in Dallas, but didn't seem totally prepared for the contest. The guy can absolute finish with the best of them as showcased with his cram against Charlotte. Given the opportunity, I'm sure DeRozan wouldn't disappoint again. He's a power finisher with a bit of Vince Carter style mixed in.

2. Russell Westbrook:
Westbrook is a candidate a lot of people are mentioning and he's said he could possibly be interested. He was part of a fan vote his rookie season but lost out to Rudy Fernandez. Westbrook though said while he'd think about it this year, he doesn't know if he'd do it because he admitted he's not a great contest dunker. Which is true. Westbrook is one of the premier in-game dunkers out there, but I don't know how much flash he'd be able to come up with if he doesn't have Shane Battier standing there to dunk over.

3. Eric Gordon: The loser in last year's "Dunk Off" to DeRozan, Gordon is one of those inconspicuous dunkers. He doesn't look like he'd have the abilty to rise and finish, but he absolutely has some hops. He's a sentimental favorite since the contest is in Los Angeles, but Griffin's inclusion might snub him. Still, he'll at least be considered.

4. Derrick Rose: Last year, Rose was rumored to potentially be in, until bowing out of consideration. But I'm tossing him in here because he would be a really interesting competitor in it. He's a straight line player and while he looks flashy, he doesn't play with a ton of flash. But everything he does has a little extra accent on it, so even a standard two hand jam from him would look a little cooler than everyone else's.

5. Shannon Brown: Brown's performance last year was a pretty large disappointment. A viral fan movement is what got him included in the first place but once he was there it was like he didn't know what to do. He almost looked scared to really bust anything out. I think he needs another shot. Now that he's been in it and knows what to expect, I feel like he would blow us away. His leaping ability is downright scary and of course there's the natural inclination to put him in because he's a Laker and this is in, you know, Los Angeles.
Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 8:57 am
 

Rudy Fernandez is done with the NBA

Blazers forward is headed back to Europe, regardless of trade.
Posted by Matt Moore


Rudy Fernandez has made a ton of noise this summer about wanting out of Portland, where his value has steadily declined since entering the league. He never clicked with the coaching staff and had his role progressively compromised by roster moves. The steady thought was that a trade to New York, Chicago, or Boston would have placated him. However, it would appear that situaton has changed.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Fernandez' agent claims that Fernandez is homesick and wants to return to Europe. He no longer has an interest in playing in the NBA, and is willing to sit out the season under suspension in pursuit of a split with the Trail Blazers. Fernandez is still under contract with the Blazers this season, so he can't just escape back home.

What he's going through sounds awfully similar to Juan Carlos Navarro, who joined the Grizzlies before heading back home. Of course, Fernandez was actually part of a winning team, though he did have his best friend on the team (Sergio Rodriguez) traded away just like Navarro (Pau Gasol). But it's yet another example of a European player that simply prefers the lifestyle and play of Europe over the NBA. It's a shame we'll miss out on seeing Rudy regularly. But hey, we'll always have the failed dunk attempt. 40 times .



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com