NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Last-Minute Predictions for Highlight Contest

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball over a car in the final round of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mark Ralston/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

With the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest presented by Sprite just a few hours away, the entire NBA fan base is ready for the excitement that has made this event the best of the entire All Star Weekend.

Some fans may love to see all the stars of the league on the court at the same time, but give me the normal guys trying to make a name for themselves via the dunk contest any day.

While Saturdays are usually known for the partying and celebrating of the weekend, this evening should be all about relaxing and enjoying the greatest show on court.

 

Who Will Steal the Show

With the likes of the Houston Rockets' Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers' Paul George, the Utah Jazz's Jeremy Evans and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams in the contest this year, whoever wins will steal the show.

As much as that seems like the easy way out, no one has a clear favorite in this race. Whoever wins this contest will obviously have to put on the best show, which will make them a star in the fans’ eyes.

This could be anybody’s year, but the hype that rookie Derrick Williams came into the season with and the power he showed in college, and at times in the NBA, he is my favorite to win the whole contest.

 

Who Will Disappoint

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball over a car in the final round of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, Californ
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

While I seriously understand how frustrating it is not to see dunkers like Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard and LeBron James in the contest, we can never be disappointed by a bunch of middle-of-the-pack players.

If you don’t expect much and these young guys put on a show, that’s great. If they don’t, what else did you expect from relative unknowns on that big of a stage. So in that sense, the lack of talent helps lower the expectations.

The best part of lowered expectations is that when something amazing does happen, it seems twice as extraordinary because of how low the bar has been set. With much talent between them and no expectations, this could be a wild ride.

 

What We’re Watching For

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball from the free throw line in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOT
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

 

The Props—With Blake Griffin setting the bar at an all-time high, it is hard to imagine what will be next for the dunk contest boys. That leads me to my next point.

The Outlandish—At this point, the props and situations are going to have to become more bizarre. Judges will start taking into consideration just how outlandish what you did really was.

The High-Flying—While it has become obvious that the odder things get the better the contestant does, but I want old school. If Jeremy Evans pulls a Dr. J and jumps from the free-throw line, I would hand him the win right then and there.

 

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