Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maalik Puts on a Show Without Breaking a Sweat

With very little on in the way of actual games last night, it was a chance for most sports-obsessed people to take a night off and watch or do something else. Of course, I didn't because the McDonald's All America Jam Fest was on.

Now, there's no doubt that awesome dunk contest performances only come around once every so often because, quite frankly, just about everything there is to be done has been done. And last night's contest was no match for the epic David Lee-James White showdown, but it was highly entertaining.

First of all, Derrick Favors from South Atlanta, who's headed to Georgia Tech, is clearly a complete freak of nature.

He was doing windmill dunks off of a stand-still, taking no running starts and just throwing it down with authority. Had he just used a little momentum with a running start, he probably could have won the contest, but the way he was making it look so damn easy was incredible. Guess he was named the Naismith Trophy Award Winner for a reason. Without question, he looked like the most intimidating player on the court.

At first glance, Mason Plumlee looks like your average Duke recruit — a clean-cut white boy from Indiana. And upon hearing he enjoys basket weaving, I was prepared to hate his guts and completely question why he was in the dunk contest. And then he threw down a ridiculous two-handed slam on a pass from a friend off the side of the backboard.

It was incredibly impressive, and the kid looks like he's athletic as hell. While I'm sure to hate him once he puts on that Duke uniform, I was stunned at his attempt in the second round. The kid literally tried to dunk three basketballs at once, holding one in each hand, with the third squeezed between them. He didn't make it, but his second attempt he did throw one down. If he had gotten that to go, he would have easily won, and to be honest, I think if given enough time, he could do it.

That was something I've never seen before.

So was the first round dunk by Peyton Siva from Seattle, who's headed to Louisville. In his first attempt, Siva got a helping hand from Philadelphia's own Maalik Wayns. The Roman Catholic senior who is no doubt watching intently as his future school, Villanova, battles in the Final Four, threw a pass off the shot clock, high above the backboard, that Siva caught effortlessly, turned mid-air and threw down on a reverse … on the first try. Perfect pass by Maalik and easily the most exciting dunk of the night.

Siva is only 6'0" but the dude was sick with that dunk. It's a shame he couldn't get enough points on his second attempt to advance.

And while Siva, Plumlee and Favors were all impressive, the judges got it right. Avery Bradley out of Findlay Prep in Nevada was the most consistent and most impressive dunker of the night.

The Texas-bound 6'3" guard had a good variety of dunks, and of course, his height helped him look even more impressive. He threw down a sick windmill with authority, and throughout the competition, he had the most ferocity on his dunks. He was most impressive to say the least.

It was a strong contest overall, as these kids definitely showed some creativity, and I can't wait for the game on Wednesday. However, since YouTube's search isn't working for me this morning and I can't find the video from last night anywhere, I'm offering up a couple dunks Antone kindly posted this morning, one by Jerry Stackhouse and another by Vince Carter:

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Could have done without the North Carolina propaganda at the end there. Also this post made me hungry for Mcdonald's.