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2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Preview

One of the most exciting and fun parts of All-Star Weekend is the Slam Dunk Contest. The contest pits some of the best dunkers in the NBA against each other until one is crowned king. It is a high flying, rim rocking spectacle that is one of the most fun parts of the NBA season.

The dunk contest will take place Saturday, February 15 at 9 p.m. EST.

This year the contestants include Dwight Howard, Aaron Gordon, Derrick Jones Jr. and Pat Connaughton.

Here is a closer look at each of these players.

Dwight Howard

Former dunk contest champion, Dwight Howard, will be competing for the first time in over a decade. The last time Howard competed in this event was in 2009. Howard was the champion in 2008.

Howard is a well-known dunker and has one of the most iconic dunk contest moments of all time.

Above all the “Superman Dunk” cemented Howard’s legacy as an all-time dunker. Not only for his sheer strength but dexterity and showmanship as well.

Many are speculating the Howard will bring back a remix of this dunk, likely adding some twist or extra flair to make it stand out.

In short, Howard is a likely repeat winner. Despite his age, he still has the hops, strength and flash needed to win this contest.

Aaron Gordon

Gordon has competed in but never won a dunk contest. Many think that Gordon was snubbed from winning the 2016 contest after one of the most incredible dunks ever.

dunk contest
Aaron Gordon flies high in the 2016 Slam Dunk contest.

Gordon has a lot going for him this time around. He is most well known for dunking, a lot of his offensive game revolves around being near the rim for a big dunk. Plus, he has been here before and knows what the pressure is like. He has pulled off some of the craziest dunks ever in the contest, and will certainly come out swinging this year too.

Don’t be surprised if Gordon is this year’s champion, he will likely be pulling out all the stops to secure the win.

Derrick Jones Jr.

After several years in the league, Jones has finally found his place with the Miami Heat. He has also garnered a reputation as a great dunker.

After a great showing in the 2017 dunk contest, Jones went on to win the Dunk of the Year in 2019.

Jones isn’t just a show dunker, he does this game in and game out. With an insane jumping ability and power to boot, don’t be shocked if Derrick Jones Jr. is this year’s winner.

Pat Connaughton

Connaughton will likely draw the most confusion out of the selections, but he has a 44 inch vertical and is not afraid to show it.

dunk contest
Pat Connaughton throws down a dunk (Courtesy of NBC)

The Milwaukee Bucks even put together a little video to showcase his dunking ability. The only knock against Connaughton is that in-game, he is not flashy. At all.

But, he does have the capability to pull off some flashy dunks. As a bench player fighting for minutes though, doing that in a game would be a bad move on his part. Just wait and see what Connaughton can pull off. After this dunk contest, fans will be better able to critique his abilities.

Predictions

The safe pick is either Aaron Gordon or Dwight Howard. But, Connaughton as a dark horse just outweighs all the other factors. Connaughton will either be the first contestant eliminated or win it all. There is no in-between

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