Final Thoughts: DeRozan tried a dunk that had been done before – the pass off of the side of the backboard. He took so many tries trying to get it right that by the sixth try he had lost all energy and it ended up looking a weak dunk. There was no power in it, slightly above-average creativity and decent technical difficulty, but the most important thing was that the crowd didn’t respond to it that well. That’s what hurt him. Having Amir Johnson as the passer didn’t make much sense beyond the fact that they’re buddies, maybe he should’ve had his boy Brandon Jennings make a proper pass.

He should have had two “chicken suit” dunks, one to get him to the finals, and the other one for the finals. As it was, his Ace of Spades was still in his hands when he lost the game. Bad move. Griffin was a deserved winner, he was the only true power-dunker in the competition and the judges love that, he made up for the quality with presentation and had enough “umph” in the 360 and elbow-dunk to take him past the rest.

This contest was setup for Griffin to win it, his dunk over the car was worse than Ibaka’s who took off from the FT-line legit yet got a lower score. Griffin’s second dunk in the first round was of a lower degree of difficulty than DeRozan’s first – the Raptor took it between his legs. I’m not going to say DeRozan got robbed, his second dunk was great but the finish on the first one wasn’t as authorititative as it needed to be. Even if you give Blake’s second and DeRozan’s first dunk the same score, you would give the slight edge in the other first-round dunk to Griffin because of his 360. McGee was trash, can’t believe he made it as far as he did. The three-balls thing was boring, in fact, Ibaka’s dunk with the kid and the teddy-bear was way better. I’d say this was a fairly close competition with Blake, DeRozan and Ibaka close to each other, with McGee a distant fourth.

See all the dunks

11:02 PM: Griffin wins it. Brings a car and a choir out, Baron Davis alley-oops it from the sun-roof. Great presentation, very average dunk.

10:49: DeRozan is out. McGee dunks three balls, ugly dunk and took 7 tries but the judges ate it up. And his mom kissed the judges or something stupid like that. Never saw the chicken suit, which is disappointing.

10:45 PM: Took Griffin 8 tries to execute the same dunk as DeRozan, but on the other side except it was a windmill and no between-the-legs. He started off trying a reverse but it didn’t work out. DeRozan is in second now. McGee needs to have less than 44.

10:41 PM: Some kid asks Ibaka he lost his teddy bear, it’s on the rim. You get the picture. He gets the teddy bear with his mouth and dunks it. Nice dunk, only gets a 45. He’s basically out.

10:37 PM: DeRozan’s second dunk is off the bounce, catches it with one hand and reverses it home. Gets a 50. Gonna be close, basically McGee or Blake need less than 44 and 45.

10:31 PM: Blake Griffin with a 49. Hard 360, strong spin.

10:25 PM: A separate rim is being brought out for McGee. DeRozan is dead. McGee has two balls in his hands. McGee tried to dunk on two rims by throwing it off the board. Missed 8 times, finally finished the dunk off by hitting one off the backboard and the other in straight-up style.

10:23 PM: Ibaka comes in with girls in “NBA Africa” flags, takes off from the FT line, his toe steps on the line and gets a 45. DeRozan is not looking good. Ibaka is a 7-footer, that dunk isn’t as impressive as it would have been for a guard.

10:21 PM: Amir trying to hit it off the side of the backboard, DeRozan catches it and slams it home after taking it between the legs. Problem is that it took like 6 tries. That might hurt, and yes it does – a total of 44. Barkley says “Bryan Colangelo has done a good job, they got a bright future.”

10:19 PM: Darryl Dawkins is wearing a green snake-skin suit. He makes no sense when he talks.

10:17 PM: Clyde Drexler, James Worthy, Brent Barry, Dominque Wilkins and Dr. J are the judges. Yes, I’m wondering what Brent Barry is doing there as well.

10:17 PM: Barkley and boys are interviewing Dwight Howard. In clear view on their tables are half-eaten hot dogs. Blake Griffin is asked about Kenny Smith’s coaching and says, “He hasn’t helped me at all.”

10:12 PM: “Where’s the guy who always dresses up?”, chimes in a girl who isn’t an NBA fan. She’s referring to Dwight Howard.

10:10 PM: Here we go: Griffin, McGee, Ibaka and DeRozan. DeRozan is announced first, they mention his Compton connection. Serge Ibaka’s nickname is Air Congo. McGee’s is Commander in Chief.

10:05 PM: They got some musicians here singing again. I was totally expecting the dunk contest but now I have to watch this. Good reminder of why I usually watch this on PVR. We’re supposed to get 10cm of snow tomorrow according to this guy passed out on the couch next to me.

9:59 PM: Ray Allen gets 15, James Jones is the winner. Allen was under a lot of pressure. Great line by Barkley, people were giving Reggie credit for developing Jones, Barkley goes, “He ain’t taking credit for Haywoode Workman!” Hahaha.

9:55 PM: Pierce comes back strong in the final round. Gets 18 after hitting three moneyballs. James Jones will now come on and brick the hell out of the rim…..wait, James Jones just made me eat crow. Finishes with a 20, surprised everybody including himself. Great shooting performance, hits on four moneyballs. Allen’s got pressure on him.

9:49 PM: Pierce with 12. That’s good enough to progress. Somewhere, Larry Bird is crying. Ray Allen’s got this in the bag.

9:48 PM: Dorrell Wright with 11. Word of advice to Stern: If you haven’t heard of the player, don’t include him in any competition.

9:46 PM: Was I right or was I right? Durant gets 6. This guy should not have been in the three-point shootout, just because he’s a star doesn’t mean he needs to be there. Gibson and Durant looking really bad. This is supposed to be a showcase of three-point snipers, not streaky shooters.

9:41 PM: Ray Allen with 20, didn’t even get to take the last moneyball. Kevin Garnett is wearing a red cardigan. Fake thug. Ray Allen does look pretty good here, I’m picking Kevin Durant to either hit 30 or less than 12. Nothing in between.

9:38 PM: Back. Three-point shootout. Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson (what?), James Jones, Paul Pierce, and Dorrel Wright. Jones starts us off with a very unimpressive 15. This competition is actually pretty reflective of the NBA players’ overall proficiency with the three-point shot. Daniel Gibson made a total of five shots for 7 points, this is quite sad, much like the Cavaliers.

9:22 PM: Some dude in a green jumpsuit is singing. This looks like a good time for dinner.

Woah, the trophy for this thing is bigger than the NBA championship trophy.

9:17 PM: Curry with a 28.2. Westbrook was put under too much pressure, started off well but the jumper got him. Couldn’t hit one, reminded me of Jamario Moon. The champ is Stephen Curry. Take a bow son, take a bow.

9:11 PM: Derrick Rose takes it a little easy on the final course. Two people are pissed: Reggie Miller and the little kid who Rose is playing for. There’s a scholarship on the line for him, c’mon Derrick. Chris Paul blows his layup and finishes with 42.7, a poor score by any standard. Westbrook and Curry are in the finals of this competition.

9:07 PM: Benny the Bull is the worst mascot in the NBA. Stephen Curry is one of the best passers in the NBA. He takes 34.1 seconds to finish this course. They need to make this more challenging, perhaps use some barbwire or a half-loaded pistol. Russell Westbrook takes 30 seconds, matching the duration of Sam’s wedding-night fun. Jon Wall takes 39.3.

9:00 PM: Up next is the skills competition: Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Russell Westbrook. This is where they get to throw a ball through a hula hoop, should be tough.

8:55 PM: Atlanta has beaten Team Texas in this competition. It took Team Texas a looong time to make that final half-court shot. Kenny Smith was talking a lot of trash before this and Steve Smith shut him up. Funny story: we were playing ball on this court in the East end one day and there was this bangin’ babe on the sideline just texting and stuff. Everybody tried to hit half-court shots trying to impress her, I was the only one that hit. It didn’t help, she never talked to me.

8:45 PM: Rick Fox hits the half-court shot. This is the Haier Shooting Stars competition BTW, you basically shoot the ball from a few different spots and there’s a time limit. I’m trying to think how I can convert this into a drinking game. Kenny Smith hits the half-court shot.

8:40 PM: Steve Kerr nailed the half-court shot, before that he had two that rim out. Atlanta finished with a better time than the Bulls, nobody seems to care, not even Atlanta.

Side Note: Chris Bosh wants DeMar DeRozan to win the dunk competition.

8:36 PM: Teams for this stupid competition:

Hawks: Steve Smith and Al Horford + WNBA person
Bulls: Steve Kerr and Taj Gibson + WNBA person
LA: Rick Fox and Pau Gasol +WNBA person
Team Texas: Kenny Smith and Dirk Nowitzki + WNBA person

8:26 PM: Shaq has picked Blake Griffin for the dunk contest, McHale has picked Ray Allen for the three-point competition, Chuckster picks Javale for the dunk contest. Barkley really going out on a limb, especially considering he hasn’t seen a Wizards game since Jordan played for them.

8:24 PM: Barkley has picked Derrick Rose as MVP. Bold pick you have to say, most analysts are playing it safe by going with Sonny Weems. Lots of parties last night in LA, apparently DirecTV threw a party and it was so good that even Craig Sager saw some action. AutoTrader.com gave some kids a Kia Sorento, no word whether they also gave them the life insurance policies that usually go with Kia products. Everybody’s dressed in a suit, Shaq is in jeans. Nothing says playa than having last night’s clothes on.

8:14 PM: They’re showing a list of great #1 picks. Bargnani is nowhere to be found. They also had an “all-time draft” with Chuck, Kenny and a bunch of guys selecting from all-time greats. Chuck picked Iverson. Everybody else picked Jordan. Further proof that Chuck has baba ganoush in his brain. Word on Kenny Smith, he’s hanging out there with Barkley, McHale, Shaq and all these hall-of-fame guys and he was an average two-guard at best. He certainly has won the broadcasting lottery.

At 8PM the festivities start, I don’t care about them. Later on in the night, DeMar DeRozan will do some crazy dunk with which involves a guy in a chicken suit. At least that’s what this video foreshadows.

I really hope it’s not as big of a letdown as last year when he underwhelmed against Nate Robinson, although I still believe the NBA fudged the polling numbers because nobody had heard of DeRozan, and it’s really cool to have a short guy in the slam-dunk contest. Damn Spud Webb.

DeRozan will be up against Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka and Javale McGee. DeRozan will be coached by Darryl Dawkins, best known for terrorizing little children because they wouldn’t go to bed on time.

Here’s a breakdown:

Griffin: He has power, he has size, and he has the crowd on his side. He’s like A-Dub at an eating contest.

Ibaka: This douchebag had a chance to dunk in last night’s rookie-sophomore game and chose to lay it in. He has as much a chance of winning as me getting through Jennifer’s Body. I don’t care how banging Megan Fox is, that move is trash.

McGee: I like great defensive players, just not in the slam-dunk contest. No matter how good a dunk he pulls off, the fact that he’s 8’4″ means it’s not going to look good. He should be working on his jumper or something instead.

DeRozan: He’s the clear-cut favorite if Griffin calls in sick. Problem is, I don’t think Griffin is going to call in sick. DeRozan’s the only traditional contestant here – wing player with ups. Except his ups are more hearsay than reality. Here’s hoping tonight changes all that and his performance is circa Vince.

RR has acquired this exclusive image of the chicken and DeRozan practicing for tonight:

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