Turn on any NBA game nowadays, and you are guaranteed to see at least one show-stopping, highlight-reel play.
No longer is this a league predicated on pounding the ball inside or trying to slow the pace. Athleticism is at an all-time high, and it seems like every team has at least one player capable of an awe-inspiring moment or two per night.
Still, not every dunk is created equal.
Your run-of-the-mill putbacks or one-handed flushes are certainly impressive, but they pale in comparison to some of the above-the-rim plays that stars like LeBron James and Blake Griffin have pulled off so far this season.
As 2012 winds down and as we gear up for the most grueling stretch of the campaign, let's take a moment to review some of the most incredible dunks from the beginning of the basketball year.