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The NBA Slam Dunk contest has long been known as a platform for the league's brightest stars, including past winners Spud Webb and Michael Jordan.
Mac McClung is the favorite to win this year's competition. He's a rising star who has quickly gained notoriety on social media for his dunking skills.
Martin has demonstrated both athleticism and creativity this season, recording 122 dunks - 109 of them being alley-oop finishes or other on-the-move dunks.
Houston Rockets forward Andrew Harrison has been a bright spot during their 10-29 season. His ability to score on the break gives them hope for an improved finish to the year; he's averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game this year.
He started each of the Rockets' last six games and played 20+ minutes in all but two. On Monday's 140-120 loss to the Kings, he finished with 17 points (6-9 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one block in 38 minutes of action.
On Sunday, Martin started in place of both Kevin Porter (foot) and Jalen Green (suspension). In 28 minutes of play against the Suns, Martin scored eight points (3-9 FG, 0-2, 3Pt, 3-6 FT), grabbed four rebounds, and blocked two shots - giving him a lead in blocked shots and tied for second in rebounds over his past three games.
Though their offense has slowed down, the Rockets remain among the top-10 for offensive efficiency. Since the All-Star break, they have outscored their opponents by an average of 104.5 points.
Over the past three games, Martin has scored 16 points (4-10 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 3-5 FT), grabbed six rebounds and provided two assists in 32 minutes. He has played 20-plus minutes in each of their past six contests while matching his season high with eight blocks during that span.
On NBA All-Star Weekend 2023, Martin is set to compete in the slam dunk contest and is expected to be a strong contender for the title.
On Feb. 17-19, the competition will take place at Salt Palace in Utah and be broadcast live on ESPN and XBox. A large crowd is expected to attend the event.
Martin is currently a member of the Houston Rockets, but previously spent time with their G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. With an impressive basketball background and success in their G League affiliate, he's earned himself a reputation for his incredible athleticism - scoring 121 dunks this season alone!
Years past, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was one of the most eagerly anticipated events during All-Star Weekend. Starring superstars such as Michael Jordan and Dr. J, it served as a showcase for some of basketball's finest dunkers. However, nowadays it seems dull and forgettable; filled with gimmicks but lacking legendary names like LeBron James.
This year's NBA Dunk Contest field features four daring young guns with the potential to deliver a show-stopping dunk: Kenyon Martin Jr. (Houston Rockets), Trey Murphy III (New Orleans Pelicans), Jericho Sims (New York Knicks) and Mac McClung (Philadelphia 76ers).
Martin has been a key part-time starter for Houston this season and he's an impressive big man with impressive power. Plus, his ability to posterize dudes will surely make his dunks stand out on social media platforms.
He was a late second-round pick in 2020 and has been an impressive performer throughout his career. This season alone, he has recorded more than 60 throwdowns, making him one of the most active dunkers in the league.
McClung may not have the greatest athleticism, but he can dunk the basketball like no other. As part of his two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, it's evident that he loves to dunk. Additionally, he's an expert passer and can knock down some incredible alley-oops off the glass for added enjoyment.
McClung has the potential to become an NBA star point guard, and his explosive dunks have earned him +100 odds to win this year's Slam Dunk contest. He possesses all of the skills and talent to succeed, but it will take time for him to prove it in the league.
Meanwhile, he's become a star in the G League. Last year he earned himself the title of Rookie of the Year and has continued to pile up impressive statistics.
He's the ideal player to watch at the upcoming All-Star Game for his impressive dunks and passes. A natural dunker, he also makes an excellent passer and can dribble at an incredible speed.
The NBA All-Star weekend is one of the most thrilling events of the year, as players compete in an array of sports and activities. On Saturday night, some of the league's best athletes took part in Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest.
This year's NBA Slam Dunk contest, broadcast on TNT on Saturday at 10 p.m., features four participants: Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr.; Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung; New York Knicks center Jericho Sims and New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III.
Martin, a former number-one pick who was traded to the Rockets before this season, has had an outstanding season with them. He's averaging 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while posting a career high 31.3 percent three-point shooting percentage this year.
Murphy, a 6'8" shooting guard for the Pelicans, has had an outstanding season thus far, averaging 13.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. His dunks this year have been particularly remarkable; he's made 62 total dunks this year - 51 of them on-the-move or finishing off an alley-oop play.
This young guard is not yet a household name, but his incredible dunking skills have made him a YouTube sensation since high school. While there is much room for improvement, this year provides an exciting glimpse of his potential.
He achieved a perfect score in the opening round and has proven to be an enduring threat throughout this competition. In fact, he has been one of the most consistent players this year.
Another player to keep an eye on in this year's NBA Slam Dunk is Mac McClung, who is currently playing for the Philadelphia 76ers on a two-way contract. Although not quite as tall as some of his teammates, McClung possesses plenty of athleticism and has become a rising star within the NBA G-League scene.
Though this year's dunk contest may not be as thrilling as past years, it will still be an event worth watching. If you're interested in betting on who will take home the trophy this year, we suggest checking out the NBA odds on all four participants and Mike Barner's picks at SportsLine for some insight.
If you've been following the NBA for any length of time, you won't forget the legendary slam dunk contests that take place during All-Star Weekend. From Spud Webb's 360 to Michael Jordan's free-throw line dunk and Vince Carter putting his forearm through the rim, these feats have left a lasting impression on basketball fans around the globe.
This year's All-Star Slam Dunk Contest features four players competing for the title; two are first-timers and the other two are returning veterans.
Mac McClung is the first player to take part in this field, a G-League guard on a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. While not as talented or quick as other dunkers in this field, his viral highlights have earned him some notoriety and will hopefully showcase his skillset on Saturday.
McLoughlin has only played 25 minutes this season in the NBA, but he has already shown off his talent and potential with several impressive dunks. A big-time leaper and stylish finisher, McLoughlin may just take home the trophy on Saturday night in Salt Lake City with these skillsets.
Mac McClung is currently the favorite to win the 2023 Slam Dunk Contest. The G-Leaguer has been an impressive riser since his teenage years and boasts impressive dunk skillset.
NBA dunk competition judges have long favored him. Additionally, he displayed impressive athletic ability at the 2021 NBA combine with a 44.5-inch vertical jump.
He's an obvious choice for the NBA dunk contest due to his charismatic leadership style and potential to get the crowd going with his enthusiasm.
McLoughlin's quick decision-making ability will be an asset when facing judges. He's demonstrated this trait in several games with the Delaware Blue Coats, where he's had an efficient and successful season thus far.
McClung is an adept passer, which will serve him well when facing off against five judges. Additionally, he can shoot well from outside which could come in handy when needing to shoot the ball high. As a talented young player, McClung has the chance to take home the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and become an instant superstar in the league.