Post-game Reactions

A few days ago, the basketball world blew up when DeAndre Jordan dunked over Brandon Knight. The dunk stirred some big emotions among the CelticsHub staff.  Emotions so large, a 3-on-3 was necessary. Emotions so grand, they brought Hayes Davenport out of hiding (real life/real job) to offer some awesome first hand reaction/analysis. He’s back, baby! Enjoy!

1. What was your reaction to DeAndre Jordan’s dunk over Brandon Knight?

Hayes Davenport:
I was at the game, so: leaping out of my seat, cackling hysterically, dumb fist-pumping, waiting for the replay, cackling again, one last horrible fist-pump, sitting down, texting. To those who argue that celebrating the dunk is somehow immoral and that Brandon Knight deserves all the credit for contesting it: he jumped way too late and gifted Jordan a free throw! Providing a team with extra scoring opportunities is “the right way to play” now? Maybe we all just relax and have fun watching sports.

Brian Robb: I was impressed. I didn’t see it live, but thanks the explosion on Twitter, I was led to it instantly. The throwdown by Jordan was tremendous, but after the shock wore off, I’m with Hayes on just how dumb the play by Knight was. It was a foolish attempt to contest it and the Clippers got an extra point because of it. There’s a fine line between making a honest and brave defensive challenge and just conceding the dunk/layup so you don’t give up an extra point. This is a time the latter option was probably the right one. Some of the reaction to it was over the top, but so are most things on Twitter. I’m fully behind any play that creates opportunities for things like this.

Brendan Jackson:  Initially, I marveled at the sheer power and athleticism of Jordan’s move and finish.  Then I saw him go into the crowd and do the whole stupid posturing thing (quick note: I don’t mind posturing if the player hasn’t done the thing he’s posturing about 5,437 times before. Act like you been there before, bro!) and I remembered that this is DeAndre Jordan and he finishes these types of lobs ALL THE TIME.  The Clippers’ nickname is Lob City for crissakes!  Nate Robinson blocking Yao Ming and Vince Carter dunking over Frederic Weis are both infinitely more impressive given the size discrepancies involved.  In this case, it was the oppositie.

I disagree with you fellas on Knight.  He wasn’t late.  He would have been if he was trying to impede Jordan’s progress towards the hoop, but he wasn’t. He was trying to bat the pass down from Chris Paul.  There are essentially four ways to prevent a lob: 1) pressure the passer; 2) show on the pick-and-roll and then quickly retreat; 3) impede the lobbee’s progress to the hoop; or 4) deflect the ball before the lobbee gets to it.  Knight was attempting to do the fourth option and got completely eaten up Jordan in the process. You can argue that Knight should have let the dunk go through and played for the quick outlet but I don’t begrudge him the contest attempt given Jordan’s free throw percentage (42%).

Oh and Hayes, sports aren’t fun.  They are MISERABLE.  I’m sorry, I know this isn’t the first time I’ve sent you the X Gonna Give It to Ya music video, but it’s just really important.

2. Do you think dunks like Jordan’s hold any value over “just two points”?

Davenport: I do, yes. Home court advantage is more significant in the NBA than in any other professional sport. This is fact. Crowds do matter, and a crowd collectively pooping its pants with excitement is an advantage to the home team, however slight. Also: thanks to Saint Hero Brandon Knight, it was definitely more valuable than “just two points” because it was three points.

Robb: You have to think so, at least in some circumstances. There have been plenty of times at the Garden this year, when Jeff Green, Pierce, etc have made an eye-opening or out-of-nowhere jam which energizes the Garden crowd and in effect, the Celtics. The threat of the lob is also a very realistic weapon in NBA games, as KG and Rondo showed during their first couple years in Boston. At times, it was almost impossible to defend, giving Boston an incredibly efficient scoring weapon.

Jackson:  You guys are both right, home-court advantage is very real. Hell, if this dunk was on the road I’m sure you’d still get a very similar crowd reaction.  People love raw power.  I love basketball players.  While I think the value of these dunks could be measured to be more than 2 points (research paper at next year’s MIT Sloan Conference?) I think the number of points Jordan gives away by being a severely limited player (42% free throw percentage, snags under 7 boards a game, can’t be on the floor late in the fourth quarter of a close game) outweighs any potential extra value of a dunk.

3. Where does ‘getting a player who can pull off monster dunks’ register on your list of needs/wants for the Celtics?

Davenport: I can SEE the derision steaming off of this question. But if you mean a player who scores at a high percentage around the basket, it’s pretty high up there for me. A big lob threat underneath is helpful for spacing, and because the Celtics don’t have one, they’re very lucky to have an artisanal small-batch space craftsman like Pierce to create it for them. Dunkers also get fouled a lot, which means they’re ultimately more productive on offense than jump-shooting bigs like KG or contact-avoiding layup contortionists like Rondo. KG is a higher-usage and ultimately more valuable scorer than DeAndre Jordan, but I wouldn’t mind the eleven extra points of FG percentage Jordan brings, and I definitely wouldn’t mind more dunks. Dunking is the best. Dunks, please.

Robb: Close to the bottom of the list, given Jeff Green is already in the fold and he’s one of the best in that department already in the NBA. All things being equal, you want the better all-around player than the DeAndre Jordan’s of the world, but that dunking ability is a fun little bonus for any player to have. No one should be arguing against getting a player who can dunk a lot.

Jackson:  This may be the PTSD talking but I don’t want the Celtics prioritizing this at all.  Unless, that player brings something other than dunking to the table.  I got over dunking the moment I realized how terrible Kedrick Brown was.  Coincidentally, it was about that time I found out professional wrestling was scripted.  Then, a few years later the Celtics draft Gerald Green, a pick based mostly on size, athleticism, and potential.  Please, give me basketball players.  Give me more Jared Sullingers and less Fab Melos, Gerald Greens, and Kedrick Browns. I would take Omer Asik over DeAndre Jordan everyday of the week.

As I mentioned before, dunking seems to reward severely limited players. Take Jeff Green as an example.  Prior to his midseason dunk-a-thon, Green was being crucified for his play. His public perception shifted dramatically after he dunked on Al Jefferson.  The truth is that Green still can’t rebound, defend the pick-and-roll, consistently back down smaller opponents, and still makes an average nine million dollars a year.  He can dunk, though!

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  • dslack

    Completely agree, Brendan.

    Knight wasn't late in jumping. He actually jumped before Jordan jumped. And it was good of him to contest it. He just happened to be inside the restricted area, so the contact was a foul on him even though it was entirely initiated by Jordan. I like the effort, and it was by no means clear that Jordan was going to finish the dunk, given that he was jumping from outside the restricted area. It was a spectacularly athletic play by Jordan, and Knight's was located a bit too close to the basket, but i like that he at least tried to block the shot instead of just trying to take a charge.

  • Robert

    As the weak-side wing defender, it's Knight's job to body up any one coming down the lane.

    The moment it became clear that Jordan had an unimpeded lane to the basket, Knight had to run to the meet him in the middle of the paint. I don't think he had time to consider the fact that he might get crushed on an 'oop and bail on the play.

    Chris Paul's lob did not actually look like it was that high, maybe basket height at most. Knight made the correct play and tried to deflect the lob before it could get to Jordan. There's no way he could contest Jordan at the rim with their height discrepancy. Unfortunately for Knight, Jordan snatched it out of the air first and then..well, ouch.

  • Anthony

    Just feel bad for Brandon Knight, with Kyrie Irving making him fall twice in the Rising Stars game, then get viciously posterized by Deandre, followed by a sprained ankle against the Jazz. He's actually a very good player with a bit of bad luck lately.

  • Portceltic

    Kudos to Brandon Knight for contesting the jam, and shame on all the empty suits in the media for mocking him. Woj penned a great article this morning, which speaks to the hypocrisy of the NBA. Was the dunk impressive ? Sure, but who really believes Jordan will have a better career than Knight? Bottom line is in a viral, get on sports center world, old school fundamentals (something Jordan lacks) will rise to the surface over a period of time.

    • Anthony

      Unfortunately that's just the culture that we live in. Look how much was made of the Steph Curry 54pt game. Everyone forgot to mention that GSW loss that game and that he was shut-down by AB the following game.

  • Josh_5

    Jeff Green dunks > Deandre Jordan dunks

  • Ersatz

    Or hey, Davenport and Hayes, you could not be macho dickheads. That might be fun too.

    • Ersatz

      Err, Davenport and Robb

      • janos

        you go to the hell bully show arespect for yuorself and web manger

  • KillerGymRat

    I agree with Brendan Jackson's perspective and everyone who has posted so far. It was a great dunk. But Brandon made the right play and since when is fouling an oaf like DeAndre Jordan ever been considered a high risk move (FYI it wasn't a foul but more on that later). Jordan making the "and 1" free throw is possibly more impressive than the dunk.

    Overall it was impressive athleticism on Jordan. But not all that impressive when you consider he did it over guy who is only 6'3" and less than 190 lbs.

    I'm likely in the minority but I'd actually love to see the NBA protect the defender more on plays like this. Thanks to Blake Griffin it's become the norm for an offensive player to get away with pretty much anything in the air as long as it leads to a highlight.

    Considering the ball was up in the air and, therefore, completely up for grabs…as in Brandon has just as much right to it as Jordan did…it was actually an offensive foul as the lane lines don't apply to players who don't have possession of the ball and Jordan went through him and initiated the contact. I can see it being a no-call. And refs always seem to favor the aggressor on loose ball plays, so I'm not surprised they called a foul…but if you really want to impress me…do that to Roy Hibbert…oh that's right. Never. Gonna. Happen.

    • Robert

      Re: protecting defenders in mid-air dunk collisions. I totally agree.

      In that one particular dunk that Blake Griffin had on Gasol…how the heck is Gasol supposed to contest the dunk when Blake is slamming his forearm into Gasol's face? How in the world is that fair to the defender?

      • KillerGymRat

        Perfect illustration Robert.

        BG does that pretty much on every contested dunk. He's always either clearing out the defenders arm or pushing off against the guys face and neck to elevate over.

        Me, I prefer Vince Carter in his prime or even the original Jordan who would just jump so high you're dunking down on the guy rather than though him.

    • janos

      hi rat is janos
      is this real haynes return!! ! ? where he was nobies tell me is back?!

      • KillerGymRat

        Hi Janos!

        If you are asking if I was once posting under a different name…then sadly no, he is not back.

        Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding your response.

        • janos

          sorry; i am like know if real haynes back to post this articles, is the real haynes return as web manger us? he was do a write here on before, long time but then go away but morning see post this and says him do a one? i was hope you are know if he is back and where he was go is very good excite for him be back us.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Whoever came up with the idea of adding Jim Ross commentary to that is a genius.

    • Josh_5

      I couldn't agree more.

  • cjkasino

    Omg this is filled with a bunch a winers he got dunked on..stop crying about it…if u don’t like the dunk DON’T watch it….I’m glad he got bashed on….

    • dslack

      Wtf are you talking about?

  • Jake

    Great discussion- thanks guys!
    One minor point of disagreement: if you think home court advantage matters more in the NBA than any other sport, you’ve never seen a foreign soccer game. Home field matters so much there that major competitions (champions league!) have goals scored on the road count for more than goals scored at home!

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