An event that is seemingly great one year and horrible the next, the NBA’s Dunk Contest is upon is once again. Held during halftime of last year’s All-Star game, the dunks just did not seem to be as spectacular. The oomph factor was missing. But this time, it will be back to the usual Saturday night closer. And it should have some of the flare that has been missing. Time to take a peek at the four competitors and their odds of winning it.
Taken #2 overall in this year’s NBA Draft, Jalen Green has not lived up to the hype just yet for the Rockets. They had their best stretch of the year while he was out with an injury. His game has picked up a bit in recent weeks, and he has plenty of time to show that he can be the player they expect him to be.
As far as his dunking ability, he is certifiably electric. He finishes plenty of powerful in-game jams, but sheer force is not enough here. He has plenty of ideas he can get from his athletic teammates like Jae’Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr. It’s all about creativity.
He’ll have a chance, no doubt.
As the saying goes, “There Ain’t No Stopping Obi Toppin”. Obi’s minutes have not been where Knicks fans would want, especially considering the team enters the All-Star break having lost 13 of 16 overall. But when he’s out there, Toppin is throwing down JAMS.
He is as electric as any player in the league and has been known for his late-game windmill dunking ability. As athletic as anybody in the competition, Toppin is going to have to think outside the box to try and outsmart the competition.
Cole Anthony has proven during his time with the Magic that he is an incredibly talented kid. Son of longtime NBA point guard Greg Anthony, he’s shown a few flashes of greatness. And his team will be a force for years to come, with all the great young basketball minds on the team.
He has never been thought of for his dunking ability, though. Anthony is certainly athletic and can rise up for those crowd-engagers. But what is his package like? Hopefully, he reached out to Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard for some ideas. He is going to have to wow in order to advance to the final round.
It took him a few extra years to make it to the NBA, but life has been great for Juan Toscano-Anderson since 2020. He signed with the Warriors, having been born and raised in the area. It was a pleasant homecoming, and he has been making plays for the team since his arrival.
His dunking ability has certainly been on display this year, throwing down an incredible poster on JaVale McGee. Aside from bringing the power to his jams, JTA has not shown an ability to think differently.
If he can come in and show out early on, he can certainly make it to the Finals. We haven’t seen a Warriors player win the event since Jason Richardson in the early 2000’s.