Can Tyrus Thomas still dunk?

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Stephen over at NBA247365 shared this video and story with me that just broke my heart.   You remember that extremely talented high flying knucklehead (not named Javale McGee or Stromile Swift) Tyrus Thomas that threw down some of the best dunks of the past decade. If you need a memory refresher than check the video above.

Now here’s a clip uploaded yesterday by by the same man that uploaded the above video 5 years ago. The clip shows Tyrus Thomas missing (kindly put) a wide open dunk.  I’ll let Stephen explain this in more detail.

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Even the greatest of athletes miss a dunk from time to time, obviously, but Tyrus Thomas is different.  Almost overnight, he went from throwing down contest-worthy jams on a regular basis to rarely even attempting to dunk.  This season, Thomas averages just 0.7 shots (shots, not makes) “at the rim” per game.  In 14 appearances, that’s a total of 10 on the year.  Meanwhile, he’s launched 68 shots from beyond three feet — 51 of them from outside the free-throw line.  Go back just two seasons and his “at the rim” attempts equaled his shots from 16-23 feet.  That’s a sudden, drastic change in playing style, and one that seems rather unwarranted as Thomas’s outside jumpers rarely go in (33%).

Tyrus Thomas was never a starting-caliber player in the NBA.  He simply didn’t develop the skill set, nor the understanding of the game.  However, I don’t think you could find one Chicago Bulls fan who’d tell you Tyrus Thomas didn’t display effort and energy.  The problem wasn’t that he wasn’t trying, it’s that he wasn’t trying to do the right things sometimes.  As frustrating as it was, it was more forgivable than whatever it is he’s doing now.

I mean, off the front rim, Tyrus?  That……. was frightening.

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