And I think it looks like a damn good one.
â€¢ Definding champion Josh Smith. I think you have to make him the early favorite to repeat, just based on last year’s creativity. He used Kenyon Martin as a prop, he busted out the Dominique jersey… this is a man who knows that creativity is important, and who knows he has to step his game up.
â€¢ Nate Robinson. On the 20th anniversary of Spud Webb’s victory in the dunk contest, 5’9″ Nate Robinson steps in. He’s got the opportunity to really do something special. The little guys who can stay in the air the longest are really at a huge advantage. Robinson’s got a great chance to step in and blow some minds.
â€¢ Hakim Warrick. A great dunker. He’s got those long helicopter arms, and he’s thrown down some impressive in-game dunks. Some of the slams he threw down at Syracuse were on SportsCenter for days afterwards. But it’s going to be very hard for a big man to win this thing. They just can’t hang in the air and get as many things done. Without major creativity and probably some help from someone else, Hakim Warrick isn’t getting out of the first round.
â€¢ Andre Iguodala. Potential to be awesome. He’s the right size kind of guy… small enough to take off from the foul fine, but big enough to throw it down with some thunder. He’s certainly as capable as anyone else.
I’d have liked to have seen J.R. Smith get an invite back… He didn’t make it to the Finals last year, but his first-round behind-the-back dunk is maybe the most underrated dunk of all time. It had to be incredibly hard to do, and I had never seen anyone else do it before. But oh well.
It’s going to come down to creativity. I think use of teammates/friends is going to be big this year. Last year, Josh Smith used Kenyon Martin, and Amare Stoudamire used Steve Nash… and both went over exceedingly well. J.R. Smith tried to use a teammate, too, but… well, that teammate was Chris Andersen, and he was hell-bent on destroying everything in his path last year. In fairness, though, he may have been strung out, so I’m cutting him some slack.