Watching Giannis Antetokounmpo deposit three Go-Go Gadget dunks over the past two preseason games has me wondering: Does this Bucks team have more dunk potential than last year’s squad? With 11 new faces, including adept dunker Antetokounmpo, might this team convert a significantly increased number of dunks? The shot has two big advantages over other shots. First, it’s a high percentage shot. Most players convert them in the 80%-100% range. Second, when done at home, the shot usually plays to the home crowd advantage.
Everyone loves the dunks!
I initially turned to stats.nba.com to help me do some research, but I gave up trying to make headway on that site after I realized that they have nine different kinds of dunks in their database: alley oop dunk shots, driving dunk shots, driving slam dunk shots, dunk shots, reverse dunk shots, reverse slam dunk shots, running dunk shots, running slam dunk shots, and slam dunk shots. Lazy and deterred, I switched over to basketball-reference.com instead. From their data, I compiled the following table which contains the 2012-13 dunk totals for each member of the Bucks of last season and this upcoming one.
- Joel Przybilla’s field goal from last season was not a dunk. It was a tip-in.
- Larry Sanders is the obvious dunk king in Milwaukee, but if you and I played a game where you gave me five guesses at the #2 dunker, I would have lost that game.
- In 1134 minutes last season, 6’11” Zaza Pachulia had a total of seven dunks and 12 blocks. He does not play above the rim. (Seriously though, seven dunks and 12 blocks is a good weekend for Larry Sanders.) If, however, Zaza returns to the rotation and starts setting fantastic picks, all is forgiven. The Bucks need that skill badly at the moment.
- Does anyone have any leftover doves for Doron Lamb’s first NBA dunk?
- It is difficult to predict whether this year’s team will surpass last year’s squad in dunks. If Antetokounmpo (and to a lesser extent, John Henson), get a lot of minutes, then perhaps they will. Otherwise, they’ll probably finish with about the same number of dunks.