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Tag:All-Star Game
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has previously said he'd be interested and after a video briefly appeared on his player page on NBA.com with the words "DO NOT PUBLISH" with it, it was pretty much assured that he'd be included.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: September 22, 2010 9:46 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 9:49 am
 

Shootaround 9.22.10: New jerseys for everybody!

Posted by Royce Young
  • All 30 teams are getting new jerseys: "The NBA will truck in several stars to deliver its lighter and quicker-drying uniforms in a look that Adidas says will help players run faster, jump higher and stay fresher starting in the 2010-11 season . Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Jordan Farmar, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas will deliver the limited-edition jerseys from an armored truck parked outside of NBA Store in Manhattan at 11 a.m. ET. The NBA Revolution 30 uniforms are 30% lighter and dry twice as fast, says Travis Blasingame, Adidas' global director of basketball apparel, in an interview with USA TODAY. "
  • Would you deal Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony? Henry Abbott of TrueHoop looks: "Those with knowledge of the talks say the Bulls would love to have Anthony. But the Nuggets want the conversation to begin with Joakim Noah. Word is that a package of Noah and Deng would get the deal done. If that's the case, the Bulls are a turning point in their franchise history, with a tough decision to make."
  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "Daryl Morey's attempts to swing a deal for Carmelo Anthony and to sign Erick Dampier should offer a pretty strong rebuttal to those that flooded the blog with the argument that the move to trade Trevor Ariza for Courtney Lee was just for cost-savings. The Rockets saved $10 million in salary and luxury tax with that move. If they sign Dampier, that would cost $4 million in tax and salary. A deal for Anthony would likely use a chunk of the trade exception, costing about $3.4 million in tax and salary if for Renaldo Balkman or $7.9 million if for Chris Andersen. If the Rockets get their way, they will be spending close to what they would have been spending had they just kept Ariza and stood pat, or more than they were going to spend before the trade. That deal, however, could be a key to a deal for Anthony because that would be how the Rockets can offer the cost-savings the Nuggets demand."
  • Both the NBA Elite and NBA 2K11 demos are out. I'm not much of a gamer, but it's kind of hard to really tell what the better game is. It's amazing though how detailed these games have become.
  • Piston Powered asks if Chauncey Billups' nickname is well-deserved: "Billups is certainly a player I wouldn’t mind having the ball in the waning moments of a close game. He’s a good decision maker, adept at drawing contact, he’s not scared of the taking the shot and he doesn’t turn it over much. But when he was on the Pistons, the general assumption became, “Billups has to get the ball late in close games.” Statistics show that the Pistons had other options on their team — Prince and Hamilton — who were much better bets than Billups to knock down that game winner if it was needed. I love everything about Billups’ game. But Mr. Big Shot is a myth."
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How will the All-Star Game look?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...



What will the All-Star Game look like?


Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?

It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.

For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.

But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).

Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.

This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.

And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.

In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.

Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.

Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.

But the parties will be awesome regardless.
 
 
 
 
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