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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan Are the Easy Favorites

Blake Griffin gave NBA fans a collective boner when he answered our prayers by saying he would join the Slam Dunk Contest. As if that wasn’t good enough, the NBA seemed to listen to our other request — to replace point guard Brandon Jennings in the event. Jennings actually was injured, but the league did well to name DeMar DeRozan the replacement because that kid can get up.

Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin is the easy favorite in the contest, checking in at 1:3 odds to win it. He had a spectacular alley-oop in the Rookie Challenge on Friday, and he’s been an individual nightly highlight show. There was his alley-oop over Kyle Korver, and then his reverse alley-oop during a game. But my favorite dunk of his this year was the one where he tea-bagged Timofey Mozgov:

DeMar DeRozan is a second-year forward for the Toronto Raptors. He was their first-round pick in 2009, selected 9th overall. Last year he won the first ever dunk-in for the contest, beating out Eric Gordon. He finished second to Nate Robinson last year, but he was the only player to record a perfect score in the contest. His odds to win it are 3:1. It’s easy to see why he’s in competition to win it — he took the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest with jams like this:

Wizards 7-footer JaVale McGee and Thunder forward Serge Ibaka round out the field. McGee is a former 18th overall selection by the Wizards out of Nevada while Ibaka was taken 24th overall by the Thunder in the same 2008 draft. Ibaka is a big guy as well checking in at 6’10” and 240 pounds. McGee’s odds to win are 6:1 while Ibaka is an even longer shot at 8:1.

Here’s one of Serge Ibaka’s best dunks of the season:

And here’s McGee getting loose on a fast break:

Yeah, these guys have no chance against DeRozan, much less Griffin. Blake is almost a lock to win it all, but at 1:3 it’s hardly worth your money. Enjoy the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and happy jamming!



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