Coming off of a highlight driven performance on Friday night in the Rising Stars game (and an impressive Skills Challenge showing from teammate Trae Young), second-year Atlanta Hawks standout John Collins took the grand stage of NBA All-Star Saturday night in the Slam Dunk contest.
Competing alongside Collins were Miles Bridges from the hometown Charlotte Hornets, Dennis Smith Jr. of the New York Knicks and Hamidou Diallo of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Collins led off the contest, and his first jam of the night was a beauty, but the jam only received a score of 40 from the judges for some reason.
.@jcollins20_ grabbed the backboard! #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/h9gx4vG8fz— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Diallo followed with a left-hand windmill that received a score of 48 and, well, you be the judge. There is absolutely no chance these dunks are that far apart, in any dunk contest, ever.
.@hamidoudiallo with an assist from Brodie! ⚡️ #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/pSMApV8L35— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
On his 75th attempt (all numbers approximate), Smith Jr. finally got this jam to go and received a score of 45. Alright then.
DSJ elevates and gets 45 from the judges! #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/yez7AStwM4— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
For his second dunk of the event, Collins employed a plane prop and some additional help. It was certainly interesting, to say the least.
John Collins took out the plane but still threw it down! #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/HrYAt25rnm— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Bridges posted a 50 with his second dunk, making the sledding tough for Collins with the initial scores posted by Diallo (48) and Smith Jr. (45).
5️⃣0️⃣@MilesBridges goes 360 on 'em in the Larry Johnson jersey! #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/0OhNsVXDMU— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Smith Jr. put up a 50 with this hammer for his second dunk, officially ending the evening for Collins.
.@Dennis1SmithJr OVER @JColeNC! #ATTSlamDunk pic.twitter.com/uIOwAqYtFy— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Diallo offered a little bit of vintage Vince Carter for the audience, vaulting over the back of Shaquille O’Neal to put his elbow inside the rim for a score of 50.
Diallo just elbow dunked over Shaq pic.twitter.com/1HKc4XCEgq— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) February 17, 2019
Things went south for Collins in the second round of dunks, as all three other participants received scores of 50. Collins posted a total score of 82 across two dunks, while Bridges put up 83 alongside Smith Jr.’s 95 and Diallo’s 98. After being robbed with a score of 40 on his first attempt, despite a pretty fantastic dunk, Collins was simply outperformed in the by the other contestants on his second dunk and that was that.
Diallo and Smith Jr. faced off in the final round, with Diallo taking home the trophy in a rather uneventful ending. Collins’ Saturday night performance concluded what was an exciting All-Star weekend for the Atlanta Hawks. Both Collins and Trae Young showed flashes of why they belong on the big stage that is All-Star weekend, and regardless of the various results, that is promising.