So if Deron hadn't made that brainfart and fouled Wade with the score tied, what would the outcome of the game have been? Well, we were probably looking at overtime or an East win. They would have let the clock run down and likely had the last shot of the game. So at worst, Deron's foul prevented the game from going into OT. I tweeted that he just wanted to give himself a chance to win the game :).
Of course, he was bailed out when Dirk made a couple of free throws on the other end after pump-faking a three and getting Dwight Howard into the air. That tied the game up again and got Deron off the hook.
When I saw that Deron was inbounding the ball on the final play with the West down 2, I thought there might be a chance for him to get the ball back if he was open. Instead, it was inbounded to Anthony who dribbled at the top of the arc before launching a three that just drew iron. So a pretty uneventful finish after a great game.
You got what you expected from an All-star game and that's little defense and a lot of highlight reel plays. The fact that the game was close at the end was gravy.
As I sat their watching Wade dunk off a pass to himself off the backboard or LeBron hitting his head on the jumbotron while throwing down a reverse alley-oop, it made me even more upset at the terrible slam-dunk contest. That is what we should be seeing on Saturday night. That used to be the marquee event of the weekend and this year's "contest" nearly destroyed it.
You can't tell me that injuries are a concern for the slam dunk contest especially when you're essentially doing the same dunks in the All-star game. There has to be more risk with nine other bodies around. And don't say that the All-star game isn't as meaningless as the slam dunk contest when it comes to putting yourself at risk.
It has to be about damaging these all-star egos. I'm not directing this at LeBron, but it sure reminds me of the video that was confiscated over the summer of him getting dunked on in a meaningless game at his camp.
I hope something gets put into the next CBA that will force the biggest stars to be put into the slam dunk contest. They wouldn't have to be in it every year of course, but they've got to do something. Maybe hire a dunk-choreographer? The slam dunk contest is the best part of the weekend and they need to keep it going.
The most disappointing part of the dunk contest was that they had the biggest venue possible for something like that and completely blew it. What better place for a exhibition? Also, do you think we can put an asterisk next to Gerald Wallace's name for a list of 2010 All-stars? He looked pained to be there all weekend both in the dunk contest and the game itself.
Deron on the other hand was giddy to be there. I really hope that he doesn't take these for granted. After missing out in his first four seasons, I think he'll probably develop an appreciation for finally making it and getting some recognition and respect on the national level. Despite the foul on Wade, Deron's performance in the All-star game opened a lot of eyes.
First, proof that nobody watches the Jazz, even when they're on TNT, ESPN, etc. (thanks to oldenpolynice for the link),
Deron Williams - D-Will took to the sky in the second quarter of The Big Show, throwing down not one but two highlight-level dunks. He also showed off his skills in the open court, running wicked fast breaks and crashing the lane like a wide-shouldered Dwyane Wade. In fact, that may have been my favorite subplot of the All-Star Game: D-Will unleashed. I would never wish for this, but if Williams ever got free of Jerry Sloan we would get to see this kind of play more often. Again, I'm not hoping for that. I'm just saying...
He has plays like these all. the. time. Maybe now we'll get a least one more viewer.
Here's Andrew Sharp's take on Deron (make sure to click through to read about his encounter with Jay-Z),
DERON WILLIAMS DERON WILLIAMS DERON WILLIAMS. Except for some boneheaded play in the last minutes, Deron Williams was a revelation on Sunday night. His athleticism, passing, scoring... It almost made up for the absence of Chris Paul. Williams was the best point guard on the floor, and after watching him do pretty much whatever he wanted all night (against no defense, but still), maybe he's the best point guard in the league? I know it's an All-Star Game and everything's relative, but that's the question that kept running through my mind as the game unfolded. Maybe he's the best point guard in the league?
It's starting to grow. It's only taken 5 years.
One last note. When watching the introductions and all that, I thought to myself, "Man, how are they going to clear the stage out of there and everything with it so that they can play in just a few minutes. Then they panned to the basketball court. They could have put the White House in one end of the stadium and nobody would have noticed it was there. Just huge.
It was a good weekend if you're a Jazz/Deron fan. He got to play a ton of minutes, had some spectacular dunks and passes, played in the skills challenge, unveiled his got milk? ad, and a ton of other stuff.
He finished the All-star game with 14 & 6 (could have been 10) along with 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and the lone block for the West team. He was given 5 TOs but 2-3 of those weren't his fault.
Here are some pics I took from the TV along with the video highlights of Deron's dunks.
Probably my favorite of the night. I wish there was a higher res of this shot.
Deron and Durant would hook up a couple of times on the night.
Deron and Wade would go head to head most of the night.
One of the alley-oops on the night, this one to Durant.
A montage for the World Championships this August.
AK got in on the action too.
Deron's first dunk of the night was the biggest at the time. Made me forget the pathetic dunk contest.
The Foul. Deron said later that he thought they were down one.
Dirk's reaction is priceless. WTV!
Deron tries to laugh it off.
He's never going to live this one down.
On the PS3 getting smoked
The first dunk
And the alley-oop from Billups (#5)
All-Star Game Top 10 (via nbaus)