We all love dunks. A great dunk switches momentum, energizes the home crowd and can silence the opponent's rowdy fans. It affects the ebb and flow of the game.
The Houston Rockets aren't exactly at the forefront when the subject of teams with elite dunkers comes to mind, but they have had a few. Some guys were on the downside of their careers when they were in Houston, but it's all good. Let the countdown begin.
The Jet is known more for his "tornado" threes—the sideways rotation he had on his shot when he was helping the Rockets win back-to-back titles—than for his dunks.
However, Kenny Smith had some hops, as the video shows. The reverse jam off the backboard became his trademark contest dunk. He would occasionally get loose for some dunks during the course of a game as well.
When the legendary Bob Neal is on the mic, you know this is some classic All-Star Saturday Night footage!
Otis Thorpe is underrated as a dunker.
Think about it.
He had all the tools, he ran the floor well, had strength, size and monstrous, powerful hands.
Some of the clips are from his time with the Detroit Pistons. Check things out at the 1:38 mark, though. O.T. victimizes The Admiral.
As we all know, Hakeem Olajuwon's game can never be labeled or put into any type of box.
However, the first thing that comes to mind is his patented Dream Shake.
Having said that, half of his top 10 plays in this video are dunks.
Apologies to Ewing and Robinson.
He played his high school and college ball in Houston and was finally able to return home at age 32 to help the Rockets win their second title in 1995.
As the video shows, he still had enough in the tank to flush one on Sean Elliott, who knew that contesting wouldn't be in his best interest.
Steve Francis' explosiveness was one of his best assets.
Sure, he's 6'3", but his leaping ability made him appear bigger than that. Furthermore, he definitely played bigger than that, especially in the paint.
He was never afraid to venture into the lane.
If Vince Carter hadn't been absolutely out of his mind during the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, the title would have gone to Francis. He put on a good show in his own right that night.
Don't let the sleepy eyes fool you. Doug Collins points that out right off the bat.
Tracy McGrady was wide awake for this one. This was playoff intensity at its best.
Dirk Nowitzki's face tells the whole story. He's in the trail position, he's reaching and he's desperate.
If he didn't yell "Help! Help!" he was definitely thinking it.
It was all too little, too late, and Bradley was the one who ended up paying the price.