Pacers forward Gerald Green has supplied plenty of high-flying highlights above the rim this season which earned him an invite to the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday night in Houston.
See what I did there with that question? Slam Dunk...jump-start...Gerald Green.
I asked the question wondering if maybe a couple of hours in the spotlight of All-Star Saturday night doing something, jumping out of the gym, that Gerald Green is quite comfortable doing, might be a way to generate a little confidence that could carry over to his play with the Pacers after the break.
Vogel dismissed the thought, lingering more on the thought that a dunk contest has nothing to do with what the Pacers do on the court, let alone what is keeping Green out of the lineup. More of a fun things for the fans.
Instead, Vogel is looking for an opportunity to give Green some run and put him on the court with a chance to succeed. With his size and skill, Green could still be a key factor for the Pacers in small doses at playoff time.
Still, I don't think it will hurt to have Green get the juices flowing in a pressure situation. Earlier this year (HT: SB Nation) Green told Jessica Camerato that his dunk contest days were behind him. Like Paul George, he was hoping his overall game would start setting him apart. His game isn't there yet, though so he might as well fly on All-Star Saturday night.
No doubt Green's teammates and the league helped influence the 2007 champ to get back in the contest which should be plenty entertaining with an impressive dunk contest field that includes legendary and rarely seen dunker (including in his brief time with the Pacers) James White. Also in the contest: Terrence Ross, Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Evans, Kenneth Faried
Here is why Green is in the dunk contest: