February 15, 2009
1. Nate Robinson's "Krypto-Nate" (2nd dunk, Finals): Clad in an all-green Knicks uniform with bright green shoes, the 5-foot-9 "Lex Luthor" springboarded over the 6-foot-11 "Superman." That's like, what, five or six Spud Webbs? Great showmanship from both finalists.
2. Dwight Howard's Off-The-Side-Of-The-Backboard (1st dunk, Finals): Take away all the props, outfit changes and celebratory dance moves, and this was by far the best "pure" dunk of the night. Dwight's extension on the catch was unreal. How many other guys in the league could have done this exact dunk? One? Two? Zero?
3. Howard's "Sky High" (1st dunk, Finals): Does this guy know how to put on a show or what? He hypes the crowd, disappears into a phone booth, emerges with a Superman cape, and then tomahawks a (somewhat poor) pass off-the-glass from teammate Jameer Nelson. Oh, yeah, all on a 12-foot high-ish basket. Dwight Howard is a freak of nature.
4. Howard's Off-The-Bounce, From-Out-Of-Bounds 180 (1st dunk, first round): I docked this one points because he flubbed the toss a few times. But well, anytime someone pulls off something similar to what Vince did in the '00 contest, you know it's cement.
5. Rudy Fernandez's Off-The-Back-Of-The-Glass Oop (1st dunk, first round): It's a shame it took Pau Gasol seven or eight tries to find the back of the backboard's G-spot ... this was one of the best-looking dunks of the night. Kudos to the judges for penalizing Rudy's (er, Pau's) numerous attempts.
6. Robinson's Baseline Off-The-Bounce Reverse Pump (1st dunk, Finals): Had a very Harold "Baby Jordan" Miner feel to it. Hopefully Nate Rob still has an NBA job next season.
7. Howard's "From" The Free-Throw Line (2nd dunk, Finals): Poor planning cost Dwight the title this year. Had he just swapped this anticlimactic foot-over-the-free-throw-line slam with the 12-foot-rim one, he would have strolled into the finals with two "50's" (No. 2 and No. 3) in his back pocket.
8. Robinson's Off-The-Bounce Windmill (1st dunk, first round): Nothing too spectacular, until you remember the lil' Nate Rob is shorter than your freakin' drycleaner.
9. Fernandez's Behind-The-Back, Off-The-Glass (1st dunk, first round): This was a clean (but powerless) dunk that probably deserved better than "42" — especially when you consider he nailed the difficult toss on his first attempt. And while the Fernando Martin jersey was a nice Spanish touch, I'd like to suggest we put the throwbacks in the attic for a few years. It's a little played out.
10. J.R. Smith's Double-Bounce Windmill (1st dunk, first round): The windmill was pretty, but the second bounce did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, I think one bounce (taking off from a little farther back) would have helped his score. Not a bad first effort, though.
11. Smith's Bounce-From-The-Bleachers (2nd dunk, first round): It's a shame J.R. didn’t take a few more cracks at that assisted behind-the-back dunk. That would have been much cooler than throwing down a routine two-hand slam with some guy named Sonny Weems.
12. Robinson's "Step-Up" (2nd dunk, first round): The only way I would have liked this dunk was if he had jumped off of Mike D'Antoni's mustache. I hope Nate picks up Wilson Chandler's chiropractic bills.
Bonus: Don't forget to check out the "better" of this weekend's two dunk contests. It feels good.