With just two games remaining on the NBA schedule before All-Star Weekend — Heat/Thunder, Clippers/Lakers tonight on TNT — most of the league has shifted its focus towards this weekends festivities in Houston.
Today’s case study, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets, who will be a participant in Saturday nights featured event, the Slam Dunk Contest.
Faried (aka “The Manimal”) is only midway through his second professional season, but has already developed the reputation as one of the leagues most explosive players, and certainly one of its most ferocious dunkers.
Many of the casual NBA observers weren’t too excited when this years participants were announced. After all, aside from Faried and Bledsoe, you’ll find most of these guys on the end of the bench. But NBA junkies nationwide rejoiced. The NBA went out and got dunk contest guys to do the dunk contest. These guys want to be here and are going to put on a show.
If you have yet to familiarize yourself with Faried and the other five participants, please do so by watching their highlights below:
While certainly impressive, it did not showcase Faried’s best NBA dunk, and his first two career points.
While Faried is certainly has the power and enthusiasm to wow, he is going to have his hands full with the a few of the other contestants. This years contest may not have the star power most would like to see in the dunk contest, but that doesn’t mean it will end without flair.
The defending champ: Jeremy Evans
See the rest of the contestants after the jump.