Tag:JaVale McGee
Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:44 am
 

JaVale McGee defends his triple-double

Posted by Royce Young

All triple-doubles are not equal. Some are better than others. Especially when "others" is the one JaVale McGee threw up earlier in the week against the Bulls.

His line was terrific -- 11 points, 12 rebounds, 12 blocks -- but it more about the way he got it. Some might call it cheap, some might call it tainted. Whatever the case, McGee got it and he was happy about it.



As a result, he's taken a bit of criticism. Valid, I think, mainly because the way McGee hung on the rim and celebrated despite being down 19 with 20 seconds left. But he was excited and when you're in a season like the Wizards are having, it's the little victories. And that's why McGee isn't apologizing.

"I got a triple-double," McGee told The Washington Post . "Who can say they got a triple-double? I'm not really worried about it."

Obviously I think McGee is missing the point (like he so often does). Some were reminded of Andray Blatche's embarrassing attempt to get a triple-double or even Ricky Davis' pathetic move to get it.

"I couldn't understand how they were saying it was like Ricky Davis," McGee said. "The thing about it is, I wasn't trying to get a triple-double until they started running plays for me at the end. So, that's totally different."

Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 12:09 am
 

On the scene at All-Star Saturday night

Posted by Royce Young



LOS ANGELES -- Buzz started building early Saturday afternoon around the Staples Center. Can Team Texas really defend its Shooting Stars title? They did not in fact, as Atlanta took it away. Quite a moment, I can assure.

But as the clock ticked down to the main event, word started pop up that Blake Griffin had big plans. And when a car started driving out onto the court, I guess we knew. Blake Griffin is going to jump a car? Then it got better. Baron Davis popped his head out of the sunroof.

Oh and on top of that, Griffin brought out a gospel choir to sing "I Believe I Can Fly" as he soared. Quite the production.

"It was actually my idea to use the car," Griffin said. "When they first came to me with the dunk contest idea, they said there was no rules. I was like, 'So I can jump over a car?' kind of playing around. He was like, 'Yeah.' And I was like, 'Oh, maybe I have to do it now.'"

With him soaring over an automoble, there had to be some concerns about safety though. Griffin said Clipper coach Vinny Del Negro called him into his office to talk about it, but Griffin said he played dumb, saying Del Negro already knew about the car stunt. But after a dress rehearsal Thursday, everyone was at ease.

The question was though, what if you didn't make the finals Blake? How could you know you'd be there? Griffin tried to coyly say he didn't, but we all knew otherwise. This contest was really over a month ago when the contestants were announced.

McGee on the other hand, busted out his big guns early on. Not having the idea he'd be in the finals, McGee dunked two basketballs on two different goals. It was... awesome. But for his final try to follow up Griffin's car dunk, McGee didn't really have a plan. He said after that he was planning on the free throw line dunk but Serge Ibaka did it before him and he didn't want to recycle it.

"My last dunk, the second dunk I did was actually supposed to me my last dunk, but Serge did a dunk similar to the one I was going to do," McGee said. "So I had to change it around just to get a high score. But definitely [Griffin] came prepared with the car, and nothing's going to beat the car unless I bring a plane out or something."

Some other notes, quotes and observations from All-Star Saturday:
  • The Skills Challenge was of course pretty much as lame as ever, however, Chris Paul did miss his opening layup, which was kind of funny. Stephen Curry won with an impressive 28.1-second run in the finals beating Russell Westbrook who notched a 30-second effort his first try, but finished out with a 44.1-second run.
  • During introductions for the 3-point contest, Ray Allen was cheered wildly, while Paul Pierce was booed loudly. Pierce soaked in the boos, gesturing that he wanted more. Sheryl Miller asked Pierce about it and he said, "I don't understand how they can boo me and not boo Ray." I didn't get it either Paul. 
  • Pierce however won the crowd over, hitting a buzzer-beating moneyball to top Dorell Wright to advance on to the finals of the 3-point contest. As soon as the shot dropped, Staples, well, clapped loudly. I don't want to say erupted, because for the most part the arena stayed comotose, but still, it was louder than most other moments.
  • Daniel Gibson started 0-9 before finally hitting a moneyball on the second rack. He finished the round with just seven points and left three balls on the final rack. You might be able to make the case that it was the worst effort ever in a 3-point contest. As John Hollinger tweeted, for a second, we were all worried he'd miss 26 in a row. 
  • Kevin Durant actually put up a worse score than Gibson, but at least finished. Then again, I guess that means he had a worse percentage. Gibson was 31.8 percent from 3, Durant was just 24 percent.
  • James Jones won the 3-point contest, beating out Ray Allen and Pierce. Here's where you make your joke about the Heat finally beating the Celtics.
  • Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in the crowd's reaction when Blake Griffin was introduced. I guess I just expected more from the hometown crowd. Then again, I think we all keep forgetting that Griffin actually plays for the Clippers, not L.A.'s other team.
  • Daryl Dawkins and DeMar DeRozan named their dunks. "East Bay Funk Remix" and "The Showstopper."
  • Serge Ibaka came out representing NBA Africa. And he pulled off a legit free throw line dunk. He got robbed with just a 45, because to this point, no one has ever done it. Dr. J tried, but had a foot over the line. Same with MJ. Ibaka had a full foot behind the stripe and finished it clean. The crowd didn't react well originally, but upon replay, definitely buzzed.
  • Important lesson learned that we already knew: If you miss your dunk on the first try, it really loses a lot of luster. JaVale McGee's double-dunk was awesome, no doubt, but watching him struggle to get it done was tough. It didn't affect the score because he got a 50, but the thing with these super difficult dunks is that they're hard to finish. High risk, high reward. Well, I guess McGee got the reward anyway, but still, those 90 seconds of awkwardness don't represent his score.
  • Blake Griffin suffered the same fate as McGee and DeRozan, missing on his first try. But actually, it kind of worked the other way for him. People got a taste of what he was doing and most everyone said, "No way!" The entire arena stood, cheering his next attempt. His missed, but nailed it on his third try. No doubt, it was an impressive finish.
  • On McGee's second dunk, he actually tossed in three basketballs. Which was insane. But his mother came out and wooed the judges, giving each a kiss on the cheek. Except for Dr. J who was last. For some reason, they kissed on the mouth. It was weird.
  • Griffin pulled out Vince Carter's "elbow dunk" and after seeing Griffin's arm after the game, I don't know if it was worth. Definitely bruised up pretty good.
  • Before Griffin's car dunk, Kenny Smith was trying to "hype" it, and accidentally blew the punch line. He said "We've seen teddy bears, we've seen cars, now you're going to see something else." Whoops.
The dunk contest is the prime event of All-Star Saturday and despite some awkward moments as players missed dunks, there's no denying it was entertaining. The anticipation was at an all-time high and the creativity of McGee, with the power of Griffin, plus DeRozan and Ibaka's vastly underrated finishes, it was a good night.

You can't dog on players too much for missing dunks. I mean, it can't be easy tossing a ball off a backboard, putting it between your legs and flushing it through a 10 foot goal. No matter how easy they might make it seem.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:11 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 1:21 am
 

Blake Griffin jumps over car dunk contest video

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin jumps over a car to throw down an alley oop pass in the NBA Slam Dunk contest. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin stole the show as always, throwing down an alley oop dunk as he jumped over a car to win the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend.

Here's video of Blake Griffin's jumping over the car dunk taken live at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 



Griffin received the pass from teammate Baron Davis, who was inside the car.

"To be able to be out here with these guys was a lot of fun," Griffin said, as he received his Slam Dunk contest trophy.

Griffin beat Washington Wizards big man JaVale McGee, Toronto Raptors wing DeMar DeRozan and Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka. Griffin dedicated the Slam Dunk contest win to a friend who recently passed away. 
Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 9:34 pm
 

NBA Dunk Contest LiveChat

Chat with our guys Ben Golliver and Royce Young live in L.A. for the NBA Dunk Contest. 


Posted on: January 20, 2011 12:43 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:51 am
 

DeRozan to replace Jennings in NBA Dunk Contest

DeMar DeRozan will reportedly replace Brandon Jennings in the 2011 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest, as Jennings will be scratched due to injury. Posted by Bendemar-derozan-dunk Golliver. 

Back in December, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings suffered a foot fracture that required surgery. So it was a bit of a surprise when, in early January, Jennings was named one of four participants in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, along with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee and Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that Jennings will be a scratch due to his injury and that he will be replaced by Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan.
The N.B.A. will add DeMar DeRozan to the slam dunk competition, which will be held during All-Star weekend. He will assume the spot vacated by Brandon Jennings, who is returning from a fractured left foot. DeRozan’s selection is expected to be announced on Thursday.
When news of the Dunk Contest participants broke a few weeks ago, DeRozan tweeted, "Dang! I'm not in the dunk contest this year?" Apparently, wishes really do come true sometimes.

DeRozan is your prototypical slam dunk contest participant, an explosive-leaping, high-flying, hard-finishing athletic wing. He finished second in the 2010 NBA dunk contest, losing to Nate Robinson, then of the New York Knicks and now of the Boston Celtics.

In the final round of last year's contest, DeRozan caught and finished an alleyoop one-handed while jumping over a teammate.  He also took off from near the free throw line and threw down with two hands. 

Here's a look at the tape, via YouTube user melo15jr5.


The 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend will be held in Los Angeles, California, and both Jennings and DeRozan are local products, hailing from Compton.

For more on the other contest participants, click here for a full analysis.
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.

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