Article Written By: Julian Beck
The dunk contest used to be the high-point of All-Star weekend. Superstars used to dominate the contest, flocking to be one of the dunkers. Fans would go insane after every dunk, judges would be into it, waving their score cards around in the air, and the players that watched would jump out their seats out of hype of the dunk. Over time, though, the dunk contest has turned into a platform on which lesser-known players emblazon themselves with a title that has become meaningless.
NBA fans, young and old, we can all finally take a sigh of relief! The dunk contest is finally back! After multiple years of mediocre contests and role players participating, the young stars decided to put in their own hands to bring the dunk contest back to relevance.
Participating in the 2014 Dunk Contest will be Paul George, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Terrance Ross, Harrison Barnes, Ben McLemore. Terrance Ross will look to hold his dunk contest title, but will have a difficult time this season with this years line-up.
Paul George became a superstar last season, becoming the starting strong forward for the Indiana Pacers after Danny Granger got injured. Ever since entering the starting five George hasn’t looked back and is living up the superstar light. He is the heart and soul for the Pacers. He plays a huge role in the offense. George does everything out on the court. Rebounding, driving the basket, shooting the three, and dishing out assists. All NBA fans have seen this “Dunk Heard Around the World,” at some point in this season.
Many critics thought the Trailblazers were out of their minds when they selected Lillard 6th overall in 2012. Well he has proven everyone wrong and has emerged as one of the best point guards in the league. He has a knack of getting the ball in the bucket, and does it all with finesse. When his shot is on point it is hard to put out his hot hand. But when his shots aren’t falling he has a way to maneuver around players and get to the rim. Something like this play here.
No one in the NBA is faster then Wall. He is able to reach his full speed in only a couple of strides. He uses that to his advantage by driving past defenders and getting to the rim for easy lay-ups and some ridiculous dunks over big men. Ask Greg Monroe from the Detroit Pistons, he will tell you first hand.
Ross is slowly but surely becoming a household name. This season he has had an increase in minutes and is becoming more involved in the offense. Ross already has a 50 point game under his belt. He is one of the best dunkers in the league. One handed dunks are his specialty. Take a look for yourself.
Coming out of college Barnes was one of the most sought after players, but after getting hurt in college his draft stock was on the decline. He is a very promising player that is able to score anywhere on the court. He is playing as the 6th man for the Golden State Warriors as of now, but in due time he will be plugged into the starting five and will be able to show everyone his offensive skills. Barnes best assist is his ability to cut to the basket. Nikola Pekovic knows this from experience.
Being known as a pure shooter in college McLemore has decided to use his 6 foot 5 length to get to the rim to have easier shots. He has a pin point shot out around the three point line but can’t rely on that to score all his points. So he is starting to pump fake and taking a few steps inside the arch or just driving to the rim to get fouled to score his points. For example,
Who do you believe will win the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest?