The highly anticipated 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is looming, and it is full of four fresh faces. No Blake Griffin, no Nate Robinson, and no Dwight Howard. You might not know some of the guys competing, but you will know their names by the end of the night. Enjoy!
Chase Budinger, Houston Rockets: Odds to win- 2.75 to 1
“Air Bud” is not known as a high flyer, but he has thrown down a couple ferocious dunks throughout this shortened season. The rumor on the street is that Budinger is going to attempt a dunk while jumping over someone the size of Yao Ming who stands at 7’6. This would be quite a feat, and I don’t think we have seen anyone jump over such a giant like Yao before. The closest player to accomplish this would probably be Nate Robinson’s dunk over Dwight Howard a couple of years back. We will have to just wait and see what Budinger has up his sleeve.
Prediction: Finishes in third
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves: Odds to win- 2.75 to 1
Williams hasn’t lived up too much of the hype that being selected second in the draft comes with. The highly touted rookie doesn’t lack athleticism, though. He showed that he is extremely explosive during his college days at Arizona, but has yet to show the NBA any of this explosiveness, and there is no better time to do it then on one of the biggest stages. I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams comes up with some we have never seen in the history of this contest.
Prediction: Finishes in forth
Paul George, Indiana Pacers: Odds to win- 1.50 to 1
George has been a key asset to a much improved Pacers squad, and he has thrown down a couple of mind blowing dunks this season while doing so. The odds makers have George winning the contest which is hard to argue, considering that we have not seen much of Jeremy Evans. There is just something that stands out about George that makes me drool every time he fiercely throws the ball through the net. Not many people know about Paul George, but they will find out soon enough.
Prediction: Finishes in second
Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz: Odds to win- 3.50 to 1
Evans is the sleeper in this contest and might surprise some people who don’t know how much athleticism he has. Evans has been a non-factor for the Jazz, as he is not even averaging a point in just four minutes of playing time. The fun part about these contests is that we see players that we normally don’t see on ESPN or NBA TV, much like Evans. There is no doubt in my mind that he will impress the judges and it should be enough for him to take home the hardware in the end.