With the NBA Dunk Contest set to take place this Saturday night, it’s time for VendngMachine’s take on this year’s event. Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas Mavericks), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Larry Nance Jr. (LA Lakers), and Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) are set to get after it at this year’s edition of the dunk contest.
Quite frankly, this is the most excited we have been for this event in a long time. Let’s be honest, last year’s event was disappointing. The field had Glenn Robinson III and some guy named Derrick Jones Jr (we still have no idea who he is or if he is even in the league still). But this year’s participants are different. Every single man is a high-flyer. And we have all seen them take flight and poster someone at least a few times this season. This year’s contest is going to be ultra competitive, and we do not really think there is a clear favorite heading into Saturday..
Donovan Mitchell was a late addition to the dunk contest after reigning champ Aaron Gordon suffered a hip injury and had to withdraw. However, do not make the mistake of sleeping on Mitchell. Mitchell is an athletic wing out of Louisville who has taken the NBA by storm this season. The young gun has Utah fans excited for the future, and with good reason as this kid can absolutely fly. We don’t think he has the most bounce in this year’s contest (it’s close), but he slams the ball with fierce authority and will definitely make some noise on Saturday.
Victor Oladipo is a freak athlete. It’s that simple. And he has experience in the dunk contest (2015). Oladipo was a bit of an afterthought in the Paul George trade, but he has absolutely tore up the NBA this season (perhaps playing with a bit of anger) Oladipo’s bounce was evident while he was at Indiana University, and I think he comes out on Saturday with the same intensity we have seen all season long from him. Do not be surprised if Oladipo wows the crowd with some 360 dunks, or even outright wins the contest.
Out of everyone in this contest, we think Dennis Smith Jr. is the most explosive participant. Smith’s athleticism reminds us of Russell Westbrook, and he attacks the rim with the same intensity that Westbrook does. If there was a favorite in this year’s contest, we would have to say that it’s Smith. We think Smith is going to come out with a lot of enthusiasm, especially since he plays for the lowly Mavericks and this event is probably bigger than any game he has played this season. Expect Smith to throw down some dunks that make you just shake your head.
Last, but not least, we have Larry Nancr Jr. Nance is the sole big man among the participants, but don’t let that fool you. Nance is a high flyer, and plenty of people have been posterized by Nance. Nance is one of those dudes who jumps and just seems to keep elevating while his defender is on the way down. When he gets a poster it literally looks like he brings the ball above the backboard. We think that Nance is the sleeper among the participants and we would not be surprised if Nance steals the victory by making the judges go “WOW”.