Sunday, February 16, 2014

So Terrence Ross Kind of Won? The Toronto Raptors All-Star Friday and Saturday Night Recap

posted by Romy Aquino (@romyaquino)

So Terrence Ross Kind of Won?

The Toronto Raptors All-Star Friday and Saturday Night Recap

NBA All-Star Weekend got a makeover this year in New Orleans and the overall vibe was this was a dud.  A new "team" format was implemented in most of these Saturday night competitions which left a lot to be desired at the end of it.  Especially the dunk contest.  The contest had a few new rules implemented and it had some star power with the likes of  Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard but overall, it was a miss and I think left fans with more of a "Is that it?" reaction.

We had a lot of Raptors representation for this weekend, so let's take a look at how the Raptors faired on Friday and Saturday:

All-Star Friday Night - The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
Jonas Valanciunas - 19 points, 4 pts (2-4), 2 reb, 2 assts
It was a quiet night for Valanciunas who finished with a couple of buckets on Friday night.  JV's Team Hill came out victorious but it was his teammate Andre Drummond who was the dominating big man for Team Hill with 30 points and 25 rebounds, taking home the Rising Stars MVP.  Jonas didn't have any spectacular highlights, he put up one three point attempt (that he missed) and got blocked by Anthony Davis once.  All things he said they "practiced" prior to the game in his funny post-game interview.

All-Star Saturday Night - The Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Team DeRozan-Antetokounmpo - 45.0 seconds, eliminated first round
Well, I didn't have high expectations for DeMar going into this challenge and after realizing it was a new relay format, I thought the duo of DeRozan and the "Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo might have a chance.  The duo put up a 45.0 second time but didn't advance to the second round after rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo advanced to the second round.

All-Star Saturday Night - The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Terrence Ross & Team East - Winners of the Contest but John Wall took the "Dunker of the Night" title
This was the contest that had the potential to be one of the greatest dunk contests in a long time.  It had some of the best dunkers in the league and a few All-Stars that were finally in the competition.  This had all the right elements.  The only problem? The new format.  The contest felt really short and the "Team East/West" concept overall just didn't work.

There was definitely some showmanship with the defending dunk champ Terrence Ross.  He brought out the Raptors Global Ambassador, Drake, as his prop for the night.  Ross had Drake hold the ball in the paint and he picked up the ball and threw down a between-the-legs windmill after a couple of missed attempts.

Outside of the 90-second freestyle round, where Ross-George-Wall thew down some combo dunks, this was all we got to see from Terrence Ross and just wanted to see more dunks at the end of the night.

So overall, T-Ross kind of won the dunk title for the second straight year?  Let's hope they change this back to the original format next season.

What did you did you like All-Star Saturday night?  Let us know in the comments.

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