The slam dunk is the most exciting play in all of basketball. Nothing can inject life into an otherwise comatose crowd like a big-time throwdown, especially if that dunk is in the face of a member of the opposing team.
Dunks are worth the same as lay-ups in the box score, but a slam at the right time can completely change the dynamics of a game. Time and time again we've seen teams that looked like they were ready to pack it in for the night suddenly become energized when one of their players throws down a picture-perfect tomahawk jam.
And while recent iterations of the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest have provided us with some entertaining (if gimmicky) moments, there's something special about an amazing slam that occurs during the course of a regular season (or playoff) contest. We've seen plenty of impressive throwdowns so far this year, and a number of them are far better than the contrived dunks we're used to seeing during All-Star Weekend.