John Wall did the District proud tonight as he won dunk of the night and led the Eastern Conference to victory in the first iteration of the new, team-based NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Here's the dunk that won it: A leaping reverse slam over G-Man.
There were no judges, but I'm confident that'd earn a 50 under normal circumstances.
The contest was played under a new set of rules, with teams of three dunkers from each conference. A freestyle round in which all three players assisted each other and did their thing was followed by one dunk from each player in the following round, with a panel of three judges choosing the better dunk.
For the East, we had Terrence Ross, Paul George and, of course, John Wall. The West was represented by Ben McLemore, fresh off robbing Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys, Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes. Magic Johnson, Dr. J and Dominique Wilkins were the judges.
The freestyle round saw the East function nicely as a team. There was nothing jaw-dropping and Wall primarily functioned as a passer, setting up Ross and George for a couple of good if not great windmills and reverse dunks. The most noteworthy was one that saw Ross toss the ball off the backboard, Wall catch it and throw it against the shot clock and George finish it up with the dunk.
The West's showing was more impressive in my opinion. Lillard had a cool through the legs dunk that was the highlight for the West, and McLemore and Barnes got up like a mug. Lillard blew at least one and that probably hurt the West's score, and Barnes and McLemore didn't do anything that was too different from the stuff the Eastern Conference wings were doing.
The East, perhaps surprisingly swept the voting after the first round, earning the right to choose when they would go on once the individual dunking started. They chose to go on second and we were on to the individual dunks. Ross and George won their matchups, setting the stage for Wall.
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