While Sunday night’s All-Star Game is the centerpiece of the NBA’s biggest party weekend, Saturday is almost always the most fun. Especially this year. Between TNT’s broadcast, the foolishness happening on Twitter, and Blake Griffin, there’s no way today’s game will top last night’s circus … When he wasn’t zoned out and leaving his mic on at inappropriate times, Dwight Howard assumed the task of delivering Magic Johnson‘s signature line: “The dunk contest is back!” If last night’s slamming finale wasn’t one of the best all-around dunk contests in recent memory, it was definitely one of the most entertaining. There was comedy, like Dr. J trying a house call with JaVale McGee‘s mom. There were crazy ideas and props, like Serge Ibaka‘s stuffed animals and McGee’s double- and triple-dunks. There were straight-up ridiculous dunks, like DeMar DeRozan‘s second dunk that should have gotten a 52. And there was Blake … True, the NBA wanted Blake to win, and with the finals being decided by text-messaging from fans, he would have captured the title even if McGee had dropped from the rafters and dunked blindfolded. But Blake’s athleticism and power still stood out above everyone else. He pulled off a 360 two-hander, a windmill off the side of the backboard, an elbow-in-the-rim cram off the glass, and for his finale, he brought out a KIA and jumped over the hood while catching a Baron Davis lob from the sun roof and throwing it down with two hands. His performance wasn’t mind-bending like a lot of people were expecting and hoping for, but it was still impressive. It would have been better if his coach/hype-man Kenny Smith didn’t make Spliff Star look meek … DeRozan’s second dunk was an instant classic, a reverse cuff off the bounce that is hard to describe but was like an evolutionary relative of something Michael Jordan would have done in the ’80s. You can blame the judges for low-balling DeRozan’s first dunk (off the basket support, between the legs), but he was the one who decided to have Amir Johnson throw him the lob that took like eight tries. He should have picked a point guard. To paraphrase, Vince McMahon: “The judges didn’t screw DeMar DeRozan. DeMar DeRozan screwed DeMar DeRozan!” … Ibaka should have gotten higher than a 45 for the first legit free-throw line dunk we’ve seen in years, which was accompanied by some cute girls holding “NBA Africa” flags … McGee had the most creative dunk of the night, setting up a second hoop next to the first and in one motion dunking on the left hoop with his left hand and dunking on the right hoop with his right hand. The fact that his arms are long enough, his hands are big enough, and his hangtime is long enough to do that made you almost forget that these are 10-foot rims. JaVale was right there with Blake until his final dunk, where he seemed to run out of ideas or had already conceded the win to Blake … Can someone clue us in on why Darryl Dawkins was dressed up as a lizard? … The Miami Heat finally got a win over the Boston Celtics. OK, so it was just James Jones knocking off Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in the Three-Point Contest finals, but it’s a start. The TNT guys always talk about what an advantage it is in the competition to be able to shoot with as little movement as possible. Jones is a pro at that, and even admitted it in his interview with Cheryl Miller, saying probably 95% of his shots are standstill treys … Even though he lost, is there anything better than watching Ray Allen shoot? It’s not even poetry in motion. It’s like Mozart mixed with Vince Vaughn circa 2007: Perfection. Jesus hit 10 consecutive shots at one point in the first round. Compare that to Kevin Durant and Daniel Gibson, who combined for 13 points in the first round. The Cavs shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near All-Star this year anyway … We understand nobody wants to get injured in an All-Star exhibition, but sometimes these guys could try a little harder. Like in the Skills Challenge, the winner was going to earn a $30,000 college scholarship for the kid who was teamed up with them, and certain guys (looking at you, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose) performed like they were half-asleep. Stephen Curry took the crown … Of course, we can’t go one day without more New York Knicks drama. But this isn’t Carmelo-related. According to reports last night, Deron Williams is telling people that he’s looking to join Amar’e Stoudemire in NYC in 2012 … We’re out like Hook Mitchell …
Smack / Feb 20, 2011 / 2:25 am
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