NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Predicting the Final Results
In what can best be described as a "weak field of contenders," the 2012 Sprite All-Star Slam Dunk Contest is a group of relative unknowns. That makes predicting this year's final standings a little tougher than in years past.
Forget the fact that this lineup is akin to a baseball Home Run Derby featuring Derek Jeter, Skip Schumaker, Dee Gordon and Tyler Pastornicky as contestants.
So at the end of the Saturday night, who will remain standing?
Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger averages less than nine points and four rebounds per game this year, but damn can he dunk!
Or can he? Sorry Chase, but unless you can hop an H3, I don't see you any higher than last.
Check out some of Budinger's sickest dunks in the video! (Warning: If seeing 50 two-handed finishers in 60 seconds causes you to go into cardiac arrest, please beware).
Final Standing: 4th
When I heard that Iman Shumpert—rookie defensive extraordinaire—would be participating in the Slam Dunk Contest, I was confused.
When I later heard that the New York Knicks guard would be replaced with Utah Jazz second-year forward Jeremy Evans, I was shocked.
When I even later found out that Evans has averaged five and a half minutes per game this season, it all started to make sense: Clearly Evans has been practicing his dunks during games.
Evans' one great dunk was an offensive foul. Great.
Final Standing: 3rd
On the island of misfit NBAers in the Slam Dunk Competition, Derrick Williams stands out as a player with at least some notoriety of strong play.
The second overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft hasn't gotten off to the same start with the Minnesota Timberwolves as first overall pick Kyrie Irving, but when in the game, he has had some "wow" moments.
I see Williams doing well on Saturday night.
Final Standing: 2nd
The one guy who has actually earned his way into the contest is Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George.
Besides being one of the most exciting youngsters in the NBA, George already has a flashy highlight reel in just his second year.
He also might be the most athletic 6'10" basketball player I've ever seen. And he plays shooting guard. Yes, shooting guard.
I expect George to become one of the better players at this position in the near future, and his coming out party will start with the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Competition crown.
Final Standing: 1st