NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Competition - A Preview

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NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Competition - A Preview
On Saturday night, the Staples Centre in Los Angeles will be lit up by one of the most sparkling events of the whole NBA season; the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.
The tomahawk, windmill and 360 will be just the tip of the iceberg when Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee and DeMar DeRozan come face to face in an electrifying extravaganza, aiming to grab the bragging rights of being the league’s best dunker.
The contest, which has been devoid of the league’s high flying players in the recent past, has attracted renewed interest this time around, as four of the NBA’s most sensational prodigies will fight for the honour this time around.
Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers
It's almost a shame that the dunk contest is a competition of individual artistry because Blake Griffin has made a habit of embarrassing defenders with mesmerising jams nearly every night.
Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers rookie, has taken the league by storm this season. In his first year, the prolific forward has proven himself to be a perpetual dunking juggernaut. The jamming powerhouse has been one of the major attractions in arenas all
over the country and has been pivotal in enhancing the build up to this mouth watering contest.
However, Griffin is more than just a downright scary dunker. Other than his ability to overwhelm at the rim, the NBA’s rising star possesses the guile and temperament required to blossom at the big stage. His blow out brilliance this season has been the
reason for his selection in the Western Conference All-Star team as well; the sort of recognition rarely doled out to a rookie.
With a combination of incredible leaping ability and raw power, the runaway rookie of the year enters the contest as the hot favourite and the night’s travail might just prove to be a formality.
DeMar DeRozan – Toronto Raptors
The rookie, who was denied the dunking crown last season when fans allowed feelings to overpower reason by voting for Nate Robinson, has a shot at claiming the prize again this season.
Brandon Jennings was scheduled to take part in this year’s NBA Dunk Contest. However, he suffered a foot injury and underwent surgery, which ruled him out of the competition. His departure though, opened the door for the dazzling DeMar DeRozan to redeem
Knowing what it is like to be there in the middle beforehand, complemented by the will to win after narrowly losing out last time, will definitely give the creative uber-athlete an edge and the fans can be in for some really mind boggling slams.  
Serge Ibaka – Oklahoma City Thunder
Serge Ibaka may lack creativity but those who believe that Ibaka is a long-shot for winning the Sprite Slam Dunk could be in for a surprise. Mentored personally by sharp-shooting sensation Kevin Durant, Ibaka has built his entire campaign around salvaging
the honour for his franchise.
He is nearly seven feet tall, strong as an ox, and is brilliant at dunking the ball. Most importantly though, he is fiercely dedicated and has been building his entire Slam Dunk campaign around representing the Oklahoma City Thunder. So come Saturday night,
we might see him dunking from the charity stripe.
JaVale McGee – Washington Wizards
JaVale McGee stands at seven feet tall and has a wingspan anywhere between 7ft-6in and 7ft-8in. He is the least known player entering Saturday’s competition. With his humongous size and wingspan though, the lanky point guard might just pull off something
There are many reasons to inspire him as well, the ultimate motivation being to win for the glory of his family. As the first NBA player whose mother, Pamela McGee played in the WNBA, McGee would cement a new basketball dynasty with a win.
To foresee McGee’s triumph in the competition may be a slight overstatement, but if he can combine his point guard tendencies with his height advantage, there might not be many who can stop him from claiming the crown.

The Format
All four players start by competing in the first round. The two dunkers with the highest first round scores, based on the scoring of their dunks, will advance to the final round.
In the final round, the dunker with the lowest total score from the first round will compete first. The two players alternate dunk attempts and the round continues until both players have completed two dunks. At that point the fans step in, courtesy the
NBA’s "They Dunk. You Decide" policy to decide the eventual winner by voting.


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