With just three combined field goals on Tuesday evening, Gerald Green and Terrence Ross believe in quality over quantity. Or maybe they just missed a lot. Either way, Green and Ross came up with two of the most incredible putback scores that you’ll ever see, and I promise you that. Totally defiant of gravity, watch two of the game’s premier leapers do offensive rebounding their way. First, Gerald Green…
What makes this particular play so ridiculous is that Gerald obviously mistimes his jump. If you pause the video at the precise moment that Green leaves the floor you’ll actually find that he takes off when Hansbrough’s badly bricked jumper is just about to reach its apex — right around the level of the shot clock. No normal human being could possibly hang in the air long enough to wait for a ball to fall from such a height (probably about 15 feet) to make contact with it above the rim, but Gerald Green is most certainly not a normal human being. With full-grown NBA player Kemba Walker’s head by his knees, Green simply stays focused on the basketball and bats it in with his right hand.
As for Raptors rookie Terrence Ross…
…he exhibits better timing than Green, allowing him to finish with a spectacular one-handed slam. Ross never gets up as high as Green, but he does pull off a pretty remarkable feat by jumping from one side of the rim and dunking the ball on the other. With his head just inches from smashing into the bottom of the backboard, Ross floats across the paint like a long jumper, does a 180 in midair, and spikes the ball through the rim on top of two Nets and one Raptor, none of whom had even jumped yet.
So… which of these unbelievable putbacks is better? I’d say it’s certainly debatable, but I think I’m going to have to argue the case for Gerald Green. To understand the true ridiculousness of what he did, notice that the Bobcats’ Jeff Adrien also jumps for the falling basketball. More importantly, notice that Adrien actually times his jump correctly. He leaves the floor much, much later than Green… but Green just never comes down. Amazingly, the two players return to the floor at the very same time despite Adrien having jumped when Green’s elbow was already above the rim. As much as I love a fine slam dunk, the way Gerald hangs in the air as if he’s suspended from the ceiling is just pure athleticism in its most astonishing form.
Unfortunately, this is not a match up that we’re likely to see in the Slam Dunk Contest this February. Ross has expressed interest in competing, but Gerald Green has stated that he never intends to take part in the event again. Apparently he doesn’t embrace his image as a dunker anymore, which is kind of stupid, but whatever changed his mind and would like to compete according to teammate Paul George!
Which putback do you think is better? Leave a comment!