Over the course of years, Verizon Slam-Dunk Contest had its ups and downs just like the All-Star game. The contest was brought to its former glory thanks to Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, the winner of the 2015 and 2016 contest, and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic, a player who many believe topped LaVine’s performance.

This year’s Verizon Slam-Dunk Contest participants brought us an intense, enjoyable and fun show to watch. The contest took place right after the JBL Three-Point Contest, on the All-Star Saturday night.

Donovan Mitchell won, but he didn’t have the best dunks

The dunk that brought Donovan Mitchell the win was a Vince Carter tribute, Vinsanity dunk. Donovan did the well-known 360-windmill.

The dunk that he got 50 from was over his sister, Kevin Hart and his son. He had a guy throw the ball to him of the side of the backboard, and he finished the dunk in his unique style.

Donovan’s win was well deserved, as he put a decent performance throughout the whole Slam-Dunk Contest. He also didn’t allow himself to attempt the same dunk over and over again. We mustn’t forget that he came in the contest as a replacement for an injured Aaron Gordon. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Larry Nance Jr.

and Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. had at least one dunk that topped all of Mitchell’s slams.

Larry Nance Jr. had an amazing dunk where he threw it off the backboard, tapped it off the backboard in the air and finished with two hands. This dunk was very similar to the one that Dwight Howard did back in 2008, except Dwight threw the lob to himself and finished with one hand, Nance did it off the backboard and dunked with both.

Victor Oladipo could have easily had the best dunk of the night if he performed his tomahawk windmill the way he wanted. This dunk is extremely difficult to do because you need to be in the air for a long time.

The best dunk of this year’s Slam-Dunk Contest was performed by the Dennis Smith Jr. He did a reverse between the legs and finished with one hand, which is in terms of difficulty impressive at least, but it is also the best-looking one.

The reason why Dennis didn't progress further into the contest was that judges seriously underestimated his double-pump dunk, giving him 39.

What would be the possible outcome if Aaron Gordon wasn’t injured?

Well, this would mean that Donovan Mitchell wouldn’t participate, so we would probably expect Larry Nance Jr. to take the title. Nance is an extremely athletic player, standing 6’8” with an absurd 44” vertical, many expected him to win this year, and he probably would, if the Mitchell wasn’t there.

But we mustn’t exclude the fact that Aaron Gordon would participate. Aaron is also very athletically gifted and he also paired LaVine with his amazing dunks, and many people deem that he should’ve won. Lastly, slam-dunk score is a subjective thing, and it all depends solely on judges.