For shot-blockers, getting dunked on is an occupational hazard. If a player's job is to challenge opponents at the rim, chances are there are going to be a few times when he gets there late, or can't jump high enough to change the shot, or just screws up in some random way that leads to a face-breaking dunk. Kendrick Perkins explained the mindset well after a particularly egregious dunking at the hands of Blake Griffin: "It happens."
Of course, that doesn't mean that the dunks aren't incredible, or that the shot-blocker doesn't put himself at the mercy of public opinion every time he protects the rim. Such was the case tonight with the Milwaukee Bucks' Larry Sanders, the NBA's top shot-blocker this season with 3.07 swats per game. On Friday, a little past the midway point of the first quarter of the Bucks' road game against the Indiana Pacers, Sanders and several other players found themselves on the wrong side of a fast break. As Pacers All-Star Paul George took a pass from George Hill, Sanders rotated from the far side to attempt to stop what he could only have assumed would be a dunk. He got there late, though, and ended up as the posterization victim. Things didn't get much better for Milwaukee — they lost 102-78.
Sanders will get over this play, obviously, and it will do nothing to change the fact that he's considered a great interior defender by every available test and metric. (Okay, it will do something, because all plays count towards stats.) But that doesn't mean we have to treat like any other two-point basket.
(Video via SB Nation)
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