NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Underdog Role Will Benefit Jeremy Evans

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIFebruary 25, 2012

All the talk is of Derrick Williams and Paul George heading into the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, yet Jeremy Evans is a dark-horse pick that is sure to impress on Saturday night despite the unknown name.

Evans replaced the Knicks' Iman Shumpert, who would have been a nice player in this event had he not suffered a little patellar tendinitis.  Instead, we have the high-flying and very underrated Evans as the replacement.

Not quite the well-known name everyone was hoping for.

This year's edition of the NBA dunk contest does not have many well-known players, which is why someone like Evans is capable of stealing a show full of obscure names and unknown talent above the rim.

George and Williams would seem to be the favorites, but both have their flaws.  Williams' weight may be an issue when being inventive around the rim, and George may not have the power and ferocity to win this dunk contest.

Evans is far and away the highest-flyer of them all, which should pay off in the later rounds when becoming inventive is more important.

Also, the pressure will not be there for Evans to produce tonight.  He is not the favorite, nor is he expected to win over the likes of Williams and George.  For that matter, Evans should feel cool, calm and collected when approaching that first dunk attempt.

Another key asset of Evans is his wingspan, which is 7'6".  With that kind of frame, the sky may be the limit tonight for the 24-year-old.

I can see a good duel between George and Evans headlining the finals of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.  Both have length and extreme jumping ability, which gives them a ton of edge in this competition.  While Williams will bring the power, George and Evans will bring shear athleticism, making this a very entertaining slam dunk contest after all.