Slam dunks are cool.
That’s pretty much the consensus opinion among fans (as well as non-fans) of basketball. Everyone loves to watch players fly through the air – briefly winning the ongoing battle against gravity – before slamming the ball through the hoop on their way back down.
Slam dunks over defenders are cooler.
Another consensus opinion. Slam dunks are already awesome, and adding the excitement of doing it right in the face of the person trying to stop the play only makes the achievement more impressive.
Tonight, Jonas Valanciunas contributed yet another example as to why those two statements are true, as he dunked on the reigning MVP. Making the trip across the border to take on Valanciunas and the Toronto Raptors was LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
It was the defending champions’ first stop in Canada this year, and in the 3rd quarter, Valanciunas decided he wanted to give LeBron a proper welcome to the Air Canada Centre.
As DeMar DeRozan drove to the basket from the left wing, Valanciunas was positioned on the left block. The Heat – playing a zone – were scrambling to defend the overload the Raptors had on the left side, with 4 players taking positions on that side of the court. When DeRozan easily got past Wade, it left the Heat vulnerable. Shane Battier, who was guarding Valanciunas has to step up to cut off DeRozan. This leaves Jonas wide open, and DeRozan finds him.
From there, Valanciunas takes over. LeBron comes over to contest the shot, but he is too late, and gets yammed on for his efforts.
THERE’S YOUR RAPTOR NEWS, KENNY SMITH!
Jonas Valanciunas slam dunks are cool.
Jonas Valanciunas slam dunks over Lebron James are cooler.