TrueHoop: Daequan Cook

Griffin posterizes a car for dunk title

February, 20, 2011
By ESPN Stats & Info
Blake Griffin was a heavy favorite to win the dunk contest and he didn't disappoint, capping his night with a dunk over a 2011 Kia Optima after receiving a pass through the car's moon roof from Los Angeles Clippers teammate Baron Davis.
Blake Griffin

Taller players tend to struggle with the voters when it comes to the dunk contest, but Griffin - at 6'10" - became just the third player 6'10" or taller to win the contest. Griffin joins Larry Nance in 1984 (6'10") and Dwight Howard in 2008 (6'11").

JaVale McGee, who lost to Griffin in the finals, would have become the tallest to win the contest at 7'0".

James Jones of the Miami Heat came away with the victory as he scored 20 points in the final round. Jones is the third Miami player in the last five years to take home the title, joining Jason Kapono in 2007 and Daequan Cook in 2009. The Heat have won four overall, tying the Celtics and Bulls for the most in the event's history.

Jones has been shooting the ball well this season, sporting a 42.1 three-point percentage, which is his highest at the All-Star break since the 2007-08 season when he was at 46.7 percent with the Trail Blazers. Jones was able to win the contest despite not receiving any passes. We mention this because Jones does not have an unassisted field goal this entire season.

Stephen Curry took home the title with a time of 28.2 seconds. It was the fastest by a winner in the event since Deron Williams set an event record of 25.5 seconds in 2008. Chris Paul was making his fourth appearance in the event, most of any player, but did not advance past the first round.

The Atlanta team made up of Al Horford, Coco Miller and Steve Smith came away with the win. Team Texas was trying to become the first team to repeat as champions since the event's inception at the 2004 Los Angeles All-Star weekend. The Atlanta victory came in 70.0 seconds, which is the slowest time by an eventual winner, smashing the previous "record" of 58.4 seconds by the 2009 Detroit team of Arron Afflalo, Katie Smith and Bill Laimbeer.

Thursday Bullets

June, 24, 2010
Arnovitz By Kevin Arnovitz

Thursday Bullets

April, 2, 2009

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

  • Former Pistons coach Chuck Daly is drawing up plays from his hospital bed for Jay Wright to run for Villanova in the Final Four.
  • Bad break for a good Sixers team:"[Thaddeus] Young sprained his ankle in Tuesday's 98-85 victory, and the Sixers learned the extent of that injury yesterday. An MRI exam also revealed a bone bruise. The team expects him to be sidelined for two to three weeks, which means he could miss the start of the playoffs."
  • Dave D'Alessandro on Nets coach Lawrence Frank: "Business as usual for L-Frank. Still upbeat, still classy, still team-obsessed, still has his head in the game. He probably knows this is not going to end as well as he had hoped, but this isn't the kind of guy who burns bridges, and the only preemptive strike he believes in would be a 2-0 lead."
  • SLAM's Lang Whitaker with a stellar Twitpic of "Derrick Rose Colored Glasses.
  • Interesting conclusion from Ira Winderman on the Heat's backcourt situation: "In a moment of semi-candor, Spoelstra said before the game the loss of Luther Head means the team lacks a needed combo guard. Translation: Cook lacks the needed handle to play point and Quinn lacks the size to defend shooting guards."
  • I'm still partial my original Darko in Chains tee, but FD has released some new swag in anticipation of a certain potential Finals matchup. 
  • Baron Davis has a confession: "I talk to my beard all the time. He has a mind of his own."
  • Dwight Howard: Not of fan of the zoo, or Stan Van Gundy's sideline antics. Much more bullish on Philippians 4:13.  
  • Clips Nation on rookie guard Mike Taylor, and the Clippers' proximity to rookie explosions: "Taylor has started the last two games at the point guard, and scored 35 in the game before that against the Knicks.  Did you know that the Clippers were involved in the top three rookie scoring performances of the season?  (1) Eric Gordon, 41 points against the Thunder.  (2) Anthony Morrow, 37 points against the Clippers.  (3) Mike Taylor, 35 points against the Knicks.  That's correct -- Mike Taylor's 35 are better than any game by O.J. Mayo or Russell Westbrook this season."
  • At some point the exploits of Charles Charles MaGall will cross from funny to creepy.  Right now, his persistent challenges to Dwyane Wade are funny. For now.
  • Ross Siler reassures skeptical Jazz fans: "I just wanted to address the perception that some/one of you has that your Jazz beat writer is a closet Lakers fan. Although I covered the Lakers for three seasons, I write about them in this space only because they are my frame of reference in covering the Jazz now .. If I left tomorrow to cover another team, I'm sure I would annoy their fans by writing about the Lakers and the Jazz in a blog there. If you're interested, I grew up outside of Washington and still follow the Redskins/Wizards/Nationals more than anything."
  • From the Golden State Warriors: "Referee Bob Delaney, who worked our game last night, visited the Oakland Police Department during his stay in the Bay Area this week.  He spoke to a group of the officers and offered his support for the department following the tragic events on March 21, when four Oakland Police Offers were tragically murdered in the line of duty in what started as a random traffic stop. Delaney has been involved in the training of Police Officers for the last 30 years and said he considers the men and women of the OPD among the best in the world. The funeral for the four offices was held at ORACLE Arena last Friday, when over 20,000 people filled the venue to its capacity."
  • Reader Eli Steinberger has a thought about Allen Iverson: "Allen Iverson to Europe. It's the perfect storm:  1. Aging superstar 2. Can still score on anyone 3. Refuses to take a smaller role - DUDE, just hop across the pond!  Think he'd go for it?  He'd get a HUGE paycheck, super-duper-star status, and as much PT as he wants.  He could become the first guy to win an MVP in both leagues."
  • The NBA launches a reality show in China. Buried toward the bottom of the story: "The NBA has opened three league retail stores in China and sales have topped projections by 70 percent. Even sales of Yao's jersey rank only No. 10 in China, trailing such American stars as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, according to the NBA. The league projects retail sales in China to rise 60 percent this year and another 70 percent in 2010."

Saturday Night Live-Blogging

February, 14, 2009

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

Welcome to All-Star Saturday night. 

Since my spirit is dampened by the exclusion of Steve Novak from the Three-Point Shootout, and I've never forgiven the judges for robbing Dominique Wilkins of the 1988 Slam Dunk crown, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in some help for tonight.

Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game and John Krolik of Cavs the Blog will be joining me for the evening's festivities. 

Since Rob "refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Shooting Stars competition," we're going to start our coverage with the Skills Competition. 

Follow along, won't you...


KEVIN ARNOVITZ: So I just got back from the 3D studio in the bowels of the arena which, I have to say, makes this competition a lot more interesting

JOHN KROLIK: End of shooting stars...well, Detroit's season hasn't gone the way they wanted it to, but I'm sure the fans are just as happy with this.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: Also visited the practice court where the 3PT participants were warming up.  Bibby looks strong

JOHN KROLIK: I've got Kapono. Until proven otherwise.

JOHN KROLIK: I like Parker, then Mo in the Skills comp. It's all about that mid-range J. If Rose hits it, it's his.

ROB MAHONEY: My heart says Roger Mason, but my brain just beat up my heart and told me to pick Kapono.  Seems like a no-brainer.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: I like Harris in Skillz..Mason in 3P...but, as I said, Bibby was stroking it on the practice court 10 mins ago

JOHN KROLIK: Mason will win if it comes down to the last shot. Dude's an assassin, right down to the name.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: Minus the little swastika on his forehead, natch.

JOHN KROLIK: Playlist so far: Brittney Spears, John Legend. I'm intrigued for the night.

ROB MAHONEY: I once heard that Roger Mason killed a man.  No - AN ARMY OF MEN.  Ruthless, truly. 

JOHN KROLIK: I'm still steamed my boy OJ didn't take HORSE home. Dude hit some sick shots.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: Just to review Rob's skills reforms.: Could they block two shots at the same time? Who could steal it from Chris Paul first? If all players were given a ball and a finite space, who would be the last man standing with an active dribble? Could they block a shot launched out of a machine like a clay pigeon?

ROB MAHONEY: I actually missed HORSE entirely.  I heard it was kinda lame.  Any consensus?

JOHN KROLIK: Could Rudy surprise us in the Dunk Contest tonight?

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: Rudy is my bottom-dweller for the sole reason that he played THU nite in Oakland, Last night in the Rook/Soph game....So he's on a back-to-back-to-back [hat tip: Henry]

JOHN KROLIK: HORSE-Nobody was hitting at first, then guys hit some 40-footers, Rick Barry Free Throws, backwards, OJ went from the stands, but then Durant closed it out by just raining threes, which was a bit anti-climactic. Still liked it overall.

JOHN KROLIK: My bottom-dweller is Nate-I just don't think he's got 3 contests worth of dunks in him.

ROB MAHONEY: Rudy will disappoint only because no one expected anything from him, the rumors of awesome soccer-inspired dunks surfaced and got all of our hopes up, and then we'll inevitably be disappointed because well, he's Rudy.

JOHN KROLIK: Harris is going too slow around the guys.

ROB MAHONEY: Devin Harris has to slow down for the cameras to capture him.  It's all part of the plan, John.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: A Sham-mockery

JOHN KROLIK: The difference is effort, Mo.

ROB MAHONEY: The real reason Mo Williams wanted to be in Phoenix for this weekend: SKILLS CHALLENGE, YO.

JOHN KROLIK: BALLBOYGATE! The NBA All-Star conspiracy against Mo Williams continues.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: Vintage Rose.  Perfect, except for a missed J. 

ROB MAHONEY: LeBron will now carry out his vendetta against ball boys everywhere.

ROB MAHONEY: How does Derrick Rose coast through the challenge and still smoke everyone?

JOHN KROLIK: And goodbye, Tony Parker.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: The PHX fans are pleased

ROB MAHONEY: We'll just forget that I picked Tony to win.  Cool?

JOHN KROLIK: My friend put 20 bucks on TP and 10 on Mo. He is displeased right now.

JOHN KROLIK: Not really playoff intensity in the 1st round of the skills challenge.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: The problem with this event is that all the elasticity is in the jump shot...[and, to a lesser extent the passing].  So it's really a foul shot shooting contest.

ROB MAHONEY: When is the Gerald Wallace/Josh Smith/Andrei Kirilenko skills challenge?  I'm ready to have my world turned upside down.

KEVIN ARNOVITZ: 1st Place:  $35,000
2nd Place:        $22,500
3rd Place:          $9,000
4th Place:          $9,000

JOHN KROLIK: You Gotta Get Anthony Randolph and Julian Wright in there too.

ROB MAHONEY: Derrick Rose was HUNGRY for that Skills Challenge title.  Finished it nicely with a sweet dunk -- the best thing I've seen in the last two hours.

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