Durant was sublime in rooks-sophs. Sublime. A stream of threes, dunks, steals, more threes, jumpers, leaners, the grand palette of basketball. It was a terrific coming-out party for him, and well worth it. It’s a significant paragraph in his wikipedia article.
That game was actually pretty rad/dross/boss/Road-Rash too.Â Marc Gasol hustling like it was an actual game, Stuckey dishing, and Westbrook having the time of his life.
Durant can have the stupid trophy. Mayo earned that game of HORSE. The shot of the whole game was the one from the stands. It’s bizarre, because OJ isn’t awkward on the mic, yet he’s not good with it, either. And yet, when they needed a shot to loosen things up, to make that thing a hit, Mayo said “I’m going to the stands.” Johnson would have eliminated Durant if he could have landed the finger spin just once, and Durant only won because OJ had burned himself out on actual HORSE shots as opposed to run-of-the-mill threes.
I called DeQuan. He was the only one with no expectations, and the only one with no leadership role. He doesn’t need handle, motion, or control. He’s just plug and shoot. And in that situation, under the lights on national television? DeQuan’s who you want. Additionally? DeQuan was the one least likely to be hungover. Just saying.
Derrick Rose is simply incredible. Say what you want about him not going full speed.Â He was steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor . The exclamation mark, that was his coming out party.
Yes, the dunk contest sucked. The 12 foot dunk was the best, and Howard pulled it out too early. The end was rigged, and obviously a set up. And JR deserved to advance over NateRob. (Don’t talk to me about Fernandez. Next time get a teammate with some level of coordination. I appreciate the Martin homage, but he should have pulled it off with 10 tries.)Â And Robinson used Howard to elevate and essentially won because he’s small. But people have to chill with their expectations. Not every dunk contest is going to be amazing.Â It’s just not. It takes the right set of circumstances and a lot of luck. Same with the HORSE contest. The contest isn’t “dead’ because it wasn’t brilliant. It was just an off-year.
The Shaq through the legs dunk was awesome, but I have a feeling Howard collaborated. Howard’s got tooo much closing speed to have let that one go. Additionally, this pretty much sums it up. The tour’s over big-man. Quit pimping the reunion tour.
Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.