Top 10 Dunks of the NBA Season so Far
Every year there are those dunks—the ones we remember even after several seasons have passed.
Despite the shortened season, there has been no shortage of remarkable slams.
The usual suspects lead the way, but there have been a few new additions to the dunking elite.
But how do we define the "best" dunk?
Everyone's preferences are different. Some prefer the high-flying alley-oops, others those solo efforts more akin to the Slam Dunk Contest.
I prefer those vicious displays of human physicality: the statement dunks.
10: Derrick Rose Takes off Against New York
First up is Derrick Rose's emphatic one-handed tomahawk from early March against the Knicks.
The dunk marked the beginning of the end for the Knicks' chances of stealing a win from the Bulls on the road, putting the Bulls up six. The lead wouldn't drop much lower the rest of the way.
It was also a statement in the middle of a personal battle over Jeremy Lin. Rose's words after the game made the dunk look even more important:
“I don’t usually dunk it,” said Rose. “It takes me a lot to dunk. I guess I was mad. I’d have to see it, to go through it again to tell you how I felt. After that, I don’t know what was going on. I probably blacked out a bit. I was just mad I wasn’t getting any calls.”
So perhaps it was not just a personal battle with Linsanity, but a result of Rose feeling slighted by a lack of calls on his many drives at the basket. That claim that holds water when you consider that when Rose was checked on a drive, he ended up missing 10 games with an injury.
9: Paul George Gets Ready for the Dunk Contest
No. 9 sees the entry of 2012 Dunk Contest participant Paul George, finishing off the fast break in style with a fantastic double-pump reverse jam in a game against the New Jersey Nets.
Just like Rose's dunk at No. 10, this one blew the game open for the Pacers, as they kept up their great play that has seen them rise to the top half of the Eastern Conference's playoff standings.
George's dunk is a tough one, turning his back to the basket and double-pumping it through the hoop.
8: Blake Griffin Dunks over the Nuggets
Blake Griffin's first appearance on the list has him dunking over what feels like half of the Denver Nuggets.
Nene, Danilo Gallinari and Andre Miller all try—and fail—to prevent the inevitable highlight-reel dunk that is heading their way.
7: Jeff Teague Sticks It to Ray Allen
Jeff Teague a vicious dunker?
Teague just takes it right at Ray Allen on the fast break, running the length of the floor at breakneck speed and throwing it down right in Allen's grill.
Although the Hawks would go on to lose this game, Teague's play ignited the capacity crowd inside the "Highlight Factory."
6: McGee's Ridiculous Throwdown
Throw it down, young fella!
He's eight feet away from the rim! That's why.
Yeah, JaVale McGee is a bit of a knucklehead, but he is capable of some pretty incredible dunks when he focuses.
Getting the ball down on the baseline, McGee drop-steps his way round his defender and half-hook, half-throws the ball through without ever touching the rim.
5: Westbrook Takes It Right at Omer Asik
Russell Westbrook has gained a reputation of being a pretty physical dunker in his short time in the NBA.
Westbrook takes the ball on the wing and goes right at Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik, a notoriously good rim defender who blocks plays just like the one Westbrook was attempting.
However, not only is this a fantastic dunk, it comes off a great team move by the Oklahoma City Thunder as they execute their play to perfection. James Harden takes the ball towards the opposite side as Kevin Durant slips the screen to receive the ball at the top of the three-point arc.
Ronnie Brewer then switches onto Durant and both Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson end up defending James Harden on the other side of the floor from where the ball is.
Durant passes back to Westbrook, now without a defender within 10 feet and with a lane to the basket blocked only by Asik.
And the rest is highlights.
4: LeBron James Jumps over John Lucas
Yeah, It's true, LeBron James jumped over a guy.
I feel sorry for little John Lucas III on this play, who has literally no idea he's about to become a part of one of the best NBA posters on sale. LeBron crept up from behind and just flat-out hopped over him for the alley-oop.
It's not just the dunk that is great. Dwyane Wade's vision to spot LeBron on the move and deliver a pinpoint pass is what makes this dunk spectacular.
3: Josh Smith over Ibaka
We're into the top three, and as I pointed out at the top of the show, I really have a thing for those intense, in-your-face dunks we see from time to time.
Josh Smith is also known for his big dunks, but J-Smoove just rips Serge Ibaka apart. Ibaka leads the league in blocked shots, averaging a ludicrous 4.5 blocks per 36 minutes. To even try to go at a shot-blocker like Ibaka takes serious...cajones.
To finish with that authority is just disrespectful.
2: Gerald Green Lights Up New Jersey
This isn't really much worse than the No. 1 dunk on this list, but because I have to choose, this just falls to number two.
Gerald Green was just called up from the D-League.
Though he has a history as a high flyer—he appeared in the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest—this one just takes the cake.
On the breakaway, MarShon Brooks spots Green cutting to the basket and lobs a precise pass right to where Green is flying towards.
Green catches it, windmills it and throws it down with almost his head and neck above the rim.
Safe to say, I've never seen anyone get quite so high on a dunk.
1: Blake Griffin Kills Kendrick Perkins
Be honest: Did you expect anything else?
Kendrick Perkins was left with one of those CSI-style white outlines around where his dead soul should be—that's how crushing this dunk was.
Griffin executed the pick-and-roll perfectly, and Perkins paid the price for failing to react when Ibaka was drawn by Chris Paul off the pick, allowing Griffin a nice easy lane to take flight.
Unfortunately, I missed this dunk live, but when I woke up in the morning, Twitter was ablaze with players and fans talking about it. When I saw a replay, I genuinely jumped and shouted in excitement.
I never do that to a replay.
And then, like everyone else, I watched it again and again and again.
So worth it.