2011 NBA Dunk Contest

NBA 2011 All-Star Dunk Contest : Who Will Reach The Stars?

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers goes up for a dunk during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on December 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 113-90. 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 Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
JW NixSenior Writer IIFebruary 18, 2011

The Contestants

Blake Griffin is a 6'10" player with the Los Angeles Clippers. The front runner for the Rookie of the Year award, he is second on his team in scoring at 22.7 PPG.  

He also averages a healthy 12.7 RPG, which ranks fourth best in the NBA. Not much of a defender, but his offensive game is both powerful and explosive. 

He is the odds-on favorite to win the contest with rim-rattling zeal. He also just received news his friend died of cancer, so he probably will dedicate the All-Star weekend to his friend's memory.

The NBA does not often get a chance to humanize their athletes, so they should be all over this angle in hopes of a "feel-good" story.

 

JaVale McGee is a 7' center with the Washington Wizards. 

After a strong start to his season, McGee has been wildly inconsistent for well over a month. He averages nine PPG and 7.6 RPG.  

He already has a career-high 121 blocked shots at a 2.42 blocked shots per game average. Both are currently ranked second in the NBA. 

 

Serge Ibaka is a 6'10" forward with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He comes off the bench mostly, averaging nine PPG and seven RPG, along with 2.11 blocked shots per game. Thinly built like McGee, but with less explosion to his game. 

 

DeMar DeRozan is a 6'7" G/F with the Toronto Raptors. Second on Raptors in scoring 15.9 PPG. Inside player with swingman abilities and limited outside shooting range.

He was the runner-up to last years dunk contest.  

 

Prediction 

While this isn't going to remind anyone of David Thompson taking on Julius Erving, when the ABA invented this contest, the thought of three big men is intriguing. 

DeRozan should come close again, maybe even having a chance to surpass Griffin.

Ibaka was a surprise choice probably destined for a fourth-place finish. 

Griffin should bring the place alive with his power, but McGee is the wild card in this event. He is not only the tallest and longest contestant, but he jumps higher than the rest in the event. 

The Wizards haven't won any of the All-Star skills events since Tim Legler won the three-point shooting contest in 1996.

If McGee puts it all together, he should walk away with the trophy this year.

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