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Ranking the NBA's Best Assists so Far in 2012

Branden FitzPatrickCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2012

Ranking the NBA's Best Assists so Far in 2012

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    One facet that hasn't suffered in this congested NBA season is the amount of breathtaking assists that are made on a nightly basis. 

    The 2012 NBA regular season is coming to an end in a little over a month. Yet, it's hard to remember a time when there were this many quality plays that include dazzling lobs and pinpoint passes. It seems like teamwork and unity are "cool" again.

    So long Allen Iverson. Hello LeBron James.

    The amount of selfish superstars in the NBA has dwindled. Players are realizing that the key to success on offense is ball movement and ball control. Not one-on-one, isolations every time down the court.

    Teams that pass win. Why do you think the Sacramento Kings, despite having some young talent, lose all the time? They are filled with ball stoppers who don't know how to play team basketball.

    Basketball is a beautiful sport to watch. The dunks. The fast breaks. And most of all, the passes.

    So sit back, and enjoy the best assists so far in the 2012 NBA season. Or as it should also be known, the artwork of the NBA.  

10. Paul Gasol's Showtime Assist

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    Who said big men can't pass? 

    Pau Gasol is easily the most skilled big man in the league. He doesn't get enough credit for how good of a passer he is in the low post. Imagine him playing with the Timberwolves under head coach Rick Adelman.

    It would be Vlade Divac 2.0. 

9. Ricky Rubio's Pass Between Tyson Chandler's Legs

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    Ricky Rubio has a rare passing gift. 

    How many point guards in the NBA would have been aware enough to make that pass? Better yet, how many point guards would even try that pass?

    It's a shame that we have to wait until the next NBA season to watch Rubio play because of his injury. 

8. New Jersey Nets Double Alley-OoP

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    Remember the three-man weave from high school basketball practice?

    This double alley-oop the New Jersey Nets pulled off against the Dallas Mavericks was the three-man weave on steroids. 

    On a side note: How many contenders are kicking themselves for at least not looking into signing Kris Humphries last summer? He's a guaranteed double-double every night. 

7. Russel Westbrook and Kevin Durant's Fastbreak/Lob Combo

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    Is there anything scarier than Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant running towards you on a fast break? 

    Get used to seeing plays like this from the two for years to come. Both players are only 23-years olds.

6. Norris Cole's No Look Backwards Lob to LeBron James

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    Norris Cole has been great off the bench for the Miami Heat.

    This beautiful backwards lob to James is a large reason why coach Erik Spoelstra feels comfortable playing him large minutes for a rookie. 

    He's comfortable in the offense, and he makes big plays on a regular basis. 

5. Ricky Rubio Behind-the-Back Pass to Kevin Love

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    As if you needed another highlight to remind you how painful it's going to be with Rubio out for the year and the summer Olympics.

    This behind-the-back pass from Rubio curved just perfectly so Love could get a wide-open lay up. It looked like the curved bullet from the film Wanted.

    Plays like this are a big reason to be excited about the Timberwolves' future.    

4. Russell Westbrook's Behind the Back to Kevin Durant

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    There are enough exciting plays between Durant and Westbrook to make their own top 10 list. 

    The best part about Westbrook's behind-the-back pass to Durant was how pinpoint accurate it was. Westbrook led Durant perfectly. All Durant had to do was grab and score over a flabbergasted Brandon Knight.      

3. LeBron James' over-the-Head Outlet Pass

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    The Miami Heat look like super humans when they are up by 20 points.

    James' over-the-head outlet pass to Wade was a steak through the heart of the Philadelphia 76ers. James never even looked back before he threw the pass. Great players just make great plays.   

2. Rudy Fernandez' No Look Backwards Lob to Kenneth Faried

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    Talk about salt on the wound. 

    The Denver Nuggets were up 92-64 before Rudy Fernandez tossed up this soul-crushing, no look lob to Kenneth Faried.

    Faried will remember this dunk for the rest of his life. It was his first points in his young NBA career.  

1. Dwayne Wade Full Court Pass to LeBron James

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    This is a championship type pass. One that would only seem believable in NBA 2K12. 

    Instead of sulking back up the court, Wade quickly darted a long pass to James for an easy fast break.

    Great awareness. Great effort. Great pass.  

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