Jeff Green made a very good dunk over Al Jefferson in Boston’s win over Utah last night. We’ll see more spectacular dunks this year, but none will be as rich and layered as this one.
Dunk here, analysis below:
1. The improbability of the dunk itself. Green was driving straight at the Celtics bench, parallel to the basket, when he took off from the side of the paint. In one powerful step he shifted the direction of his body, propelling himself toward the hoop, elevating over a 6’10” defender, and hanging in the air long just enough to fully extend his arm to the rim.
2. The Rondo celebration. Your eye immediately travels to the Celtics bench when Green finishes the dunk, where Rondo — who injured his ankle earlier in the game — unleashes a dramatic one-legged hop celebration that we’ve never seen before. It seems almost staged, but it couldn’t possibly have been. And when you watch the dunk back, you see that Rondo recognises what is about to happen a moment before everyone else does. He rises from the bench one step before Green takes off, like he’s seen this before.
3. The phantom technical. Green got a technical on this play for no real reason. It’s as if the spontaneity and violence of the dunk led to a single moment of chaos, like a flash crash, and the only way to reassert control was to stop the game entirely.
There’s more here: like the moment Jefferson recognises what’s happening to him, or the empty look on Green’s face once the dunk is over. And we imagine more and more information will reveal itself as we continue to watch this in a loop.
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