As we prepare to head into the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, it is time to break down the dunk contest participants.
The dunk contest has lost much of its flare recently as it is no longer the marquee event among all sports All-Star festivities, but there is still something about NBA athletes flying through the air with the greatest of ease that brings out excitement.
While this contest should feature the NBA’s greatest superstars, instead featuring guys who barely get off the bench, it should be an entertaining contest nonetheless.
With that being said, let’s look at the odds for each participant to win the contest (odds via Bovada Sports Book).
Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz (8-to-1)
Evans won last year’s dunk contest. The event has changed from a real dunk contest to a who can use more props contest. Evans has experience at doing that, so he can’t be counted out. But with the fans voting, the guys who see the floor and the guys in the bigger markets likely have more of a chance than the little used Evans. But despite his lack of playing time he is a tremendous athlete who can leap. My gut feeling is that there is no repeat title for Evans.
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (8-to-1)
Faried is simply a beast. He will bring power and energy to the dunk contest. However as I mentioned before, things like power are being overlooked for things like props. Ultimately that could hurt Faried’s chances. But he is a guy that is fun and a player the fans like, so the “Manimal” is a definite sleeper.
Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers (5-to-1)
At only 6’1″, Bledsoe could be the best pure athlete in this contest, which gives him a chance. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan get all of the attention in Los Angeles as great dunkers, but Bledsoe is as good if not better. Fans like the little guy so Bledsoe will have a chance to win. I’m sure a former dunk contest winner like Griffin is in his ear helping him come up with something spectacular.
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors (4-to-1)
The rookie has developed a reputation as a great dunker already. He brings athleticism and power to the table, as Ross dunks with more power than most guards typically do. Ross is an exciting player, but does he have enough fanfare so early in his career to win this thing?
Gerald Green, Indiana Pacers (7-to-2)
I agree with the odds here, as judging by the people involved, a final two that include Green and James White should produce some pretty exciting stuff. Green hasn’t lived up to the hype of being a former first round pick, but the guy can flat out soar through the air and is one of the better pure dunkers in the game today. Few can match White’s ability to fly, but Green is certainly one of them.
James White, New York Knicks (5-to-4)
White is the overall favorite and New York City has his back. He can soar and adds a lot of flair to his dunks, which should make him the favorite. If this were an old school dunk contest, White would win, but because it is a prop-fest, he may not stand a chance, especially since he has already said he won’t be using any.
White and Green are the two best pure dunkers in this group and it should come down to them dunking against each other, but that likely won’t be the case.
In today’s day and age of dunking, all that matters is who can use the most props.
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