Welcome to the Vinsanity Scale! In honour of one of the greatest in-game dunkers in NBA history, the Vinsanity Scale rates dunks on a scale of 1-4. Similar to the Horry Scale, the dunk in question is graded on the game situation, difficulty and celebration to answer one question: Would it make Half Man, Half Amazing proud?
In the first meeting of the season between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell threw down an absolute hammer on the Celtics in the fourth quarter.
The Timberwolves have had to battle with injuries and COVID-related absences all season. They currently have seven players in the league’s health and safety protocols, including Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. This misfortune has enabled third-year guard Jaylen Nowell to step up and stand tall for the team as they try to navigate their way through this stretch of the season. Entering the game against Boston, the Timberwolves lost two straight and needed to get back in the win column.
The dunk came early in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 79. Nathan Knight tried dribbling in from the 3-point line but was met with a wall of Celtics defenders. He passed it back out to Jordan McLaughlin who swung it out immediately to a surging Nowell.
Two dribbles and Nowell was at the rim. Poor Jabari Parker didn’t stand a chance.
C’mon now. This isn’t your garden variety slam. He threw this down viciously. And no, Parker doesn’t have the athleticism he once had but he’s still a 6-foot-8 body in front of you and Nowell is just 6-foot-4. Nowell knew exactly what he was going to do when he cocked that ball back just outside the restricted area.
Nowell’s teammates erupted off the bench, and Nowell himself did a bit of grandstanding and flexing in their direction. Seemingly all of the Target Center stood in unison. This dunk played a huge part in the T’Wolves gaining momentum to close out the win.
Here’s another angle of the dunk.
For me, this dunk had all the elements required to make it a great dunk.
The degree of difficulty was there. It was vicious, and the Wolves snapped a two-game losing streak with the win. Nowell finished the game with 29 points, six rebounds and three assists.
It gets a full Four Vinsanitys.