Yes, the new All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest format needs a lot more tweaking. No, the contest itself did not live up to the hype.
But John Wall brought it. Big time.
His over-the-mascot (named G-Man), bring it down then go back up reverse dunk was easily the best dunk of night. It sealed the win for the Eastern Conference as earned Wall enough fan votes that he was selected the Dunker of the Night.
I’m not going with Magic Johnson here saying “the Dunk Contest is back” (doesn’t he say that every year?) but this was impressive.
Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.
It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.
The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).
After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.
More games should be like this.
The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.
After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.
The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.
Several Hornets were certainly relieved.
Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.
Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.
In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.
Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.
(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)
When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.
But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.
Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.
I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.