Postgame Spread
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Dunk Contest    

If you did anything worthwhile with yourself last night instead of watching the dunk contest, you lose. Thoughts:

Birthday Cake
Dwight Howard beat him fair and square on the acts-of-derring-do front, but come on. I couldn't believe my friggin eyes when I saw that GG blew it out.

It's this year's Sticker Dunk. It's the dunk I'm going to remember from this year, just like everyone remembers the Sticker Dunk. Both dunks were (at the time) the sickest shit ever, but not enough to result in victory. Neither one was flashy in and of itself, but the creativity alone merited an unreceived 50.

When they showed the slow-motion replay of GG pursing his lips and blowing the candle out, I jumped up in the air, screamed, and flung my pita bread at the screen. Hard. And then when I'd picked up the pita and returned to the couch, they showed it again... and I threw it again.

Sickest shit I've ever seen. (Wait'll you see him hit!)

Gerald Green
Green was docked points because Howard was so off-the-charts amazing, not because his work was subpar.

Look at how successfully he aped Vince Carter and Jason Richardson.

Look at the shoe-less dunk. I'm with Dr. J: that dunk deserves a lot more credit than it was given.

It's amazing how much this year's contest mirrored last year's, even beyond the Birthday Cake/Sticker Dunk thing. Last year, Howard stole the show, but GG put on such a pitch-perfect performance that you couldn't take it away from him. This year, the exact opposite. They're not even, because Howard made out better this year than Green made out last year. But still, it's karmic retribution. (And a not-so-subtle message to Green that his high-wire act will only take him so far.)

Dwight Howard
I may love GG, and I may wish he'd gotten more respect for having brought it at what, in any other year, would have been a championship-worthy level (doing the ONE thing he does well)... but this was the most mesmerizing dunk performance I can remember.

It all comes down to showmanship and enthusiasm. Howard was oozing with joy and love all night, whereas Green was doing his thing, taking it serious and being kinda surly about the whole thing. If Green were as charismatic as Howard, this would have gone down as a Nique-vs-MJ-caliber throwdown. (He also would have scored a 50 on the Birthday Cake.) But you couldn't hold Howard back last night.

I wouldn't be the wet blanket that I am without mentioning that the Superman dunk was botched on a couple levels. (He stopped himself before dunking!!!) And the Nerf dunk absolutely should have had the little hoop set at 12 feet, in protest of the league's refusal to jack the hoop up for him, and additionally should have had him dunking a little ball at 12 feet while also dunking the real thing lefty.

But look at the ridiculous lengths to which I have to go to nit-pick Howard. I mean, seriously, think about the ridiculous shit I just demanded of him. That's how high the bar has been raised.

Off the hook. Maybe not as uniformly sick as has been remembered... but definitely off the hook.

Rashad McCants
I love that the TNT guys were ragging on the fact that McCants, a notorious me-first offensive black hole, was brought along to be GG's passer. It's so true. McCants might be his buddy, but why would he not bring Sebastian Telfair? Better passing makes each of the non-Cake dunks that much better. That GG chose to have his buddy do the passing, instead of someone who's good at passing, says all sorts of things about GG's basketball IQ.

It also increased the subtextual fuck-you message they received from Howard and the powers that be. The two sour, pouty, selfish losers did what they do best: they lost. Howard, the franchise player on a Finals contender, won without question. Nuff said.

One Quick Word About The 3-Point Contest
And that word is... titty.

Thank you, Reggie Miller. Thank you to TNT for allowing them to draw the ensuing conversation out to its conclusion. And a HUGE thank you to Sir Charles for dragging "man-boobs" into the discussion.

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