Ranking Blake Griffin's Sickest Dunks of the 2012-13 NBA Season
Perhaps you've heard: Blake Griffin has a habit of dunking the ball, often in spectacular fashion.
So many and varied are his dunks that efforts to rank them must be periodically refreshed in order to keep pace with the constant additions to his power-slam portfolio.
It's too great a task to delve into Griffin's lengthy career history of slams, but taking only his dunks from this season seems manageable. Even with that smaller pool of samples, though, it's tricky to separate the tomahawks from the reverses, the alley-oops from the tip-ins.
Still, somebody's got to do it.
What follows is a current ranking of Griffin's sickest dunks during the 2012-13 season. Enjoy it now; it'll probably change within the next 24 hours when Griffin inevitably posterizes his next victim.
8. The Dotted Line
Remember when dunks from the dotted line were exceedingly rare? Well, Griffin has made them commonplace these days.
Against the pitiful Charlotte Bobcats earlier this year, the Clippers forward saw the lane sitting vacant and decided to occupy it with a hard cut down the middle. He was rewarded for his efforts with a quick pass that led to what was (for these rankings) a pretty pedestrian finish.
Hey, you have to start somewhere.
7. Marquis Daniels, Meet Elbow
Nobody sprints the floor in hopes of a lob like Blake Griffin, and Marquis Daniels learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to be on the tracks when the train's coming through.
Griffin snares a board, gets the ball out and chugs down the middle of the floor, destroying everything (and everyone) in his path before elevating for an alley-oop finish.
It's worth noting that this isn't even the most impressive dunk from this game. In fact, it's kind of a harbinger of bad things to come for the Milwaukee Bucks, who show up with inordinate frequency in these rankings.
6. Second-Stage Movement
You hear about pitchers having late life or "second-stage movement" on their fastballs sometimes. Consider Griffin's leaping exhibition on the play proof that some NBA athletes also have another level to their vertical jumps.
Griffin takes off from well outside the low block, soars past Luol Deng (who's smart enough, by the way, to just let nature take its course) and pummels the rim with a thunderous smash.
This did take place in the Windy City, so it's possible there was a rogue gust of wind that helped float Griffin those final few feet to the hole. But believing that theory would require us to ignore his previous record of gravity defiance.
5. Two-for-One Lefty Special
The key to consumer satisfaction is twofold: under-promise and over-deliver.
In the spirit of exceeding expectations, Griffin's No. 5 entry on the list is actually two dunks.
The first is a slick pocket pass from Chris Paul that allows a dive-cutting Griffin to elevate and rifle a lefty dunk through the rim. The second is a high-altitude lob that seems uncatchable—until a certain ginger power forward rockets off the floor to snare it in his off hand before punching in another slam.
That's a nice little two-for-one special right there.
4. Bank's Open
There was a time when lobs off the backboard were limited to the All-Star Game. Now that Griffin's around, though, we're treated to a handful every year during the regular season.
Here, Matt Barnes feeds the machine, setting up Kia's most athletic spokesman with a soft lob off the glass. Griffin obliges with a sickeningly easy one-handed flush.
When this isn't the most impressive alley-oop finish of the season, you know you're in for something special when we get further into these rankings.
3. Baseline Attack
Ersan Ilyasova is a nice player, but he's certainly not equipped to handle Griffin in close quarters.
Here, Griffin sizes up the Milwaukee Bucks forward, squeezes past him on the baseline and powers home a right-handed spike before any help can arrive. A quick note to the Bucks: When Griffin has someone like Ilyasova isolated five feet from the basket, it's already too late.
Just turn away and listen for the dull roar that erupts when Griffin posterizes a player from the home team.
2. Style Points
This one's all the rage recently, and for good reason.
It's hard to remember a flashier lob than the under-the-legs number Jamal Crawford serves up here. His fancy move left the ball just a little lower than Griffin usually gets it on an alley-oop, but even that aspect made the final result seem cooler.
Griffin, visibly surprised after the fact, simply caught the ball at his chest and gave it a quick tomahawk swirl before throwing it down.
Ryan Hollins' post-dunk Zorro move with his towel was a fittingly excellent reaction to a truly great play.
1. Mama, There Goes That Mahinmi!
Maybe it's old-fashioned to prize self-reliance over teamwork, but the fact that Griffin completes this dunk on his own makes it seem more impressive than his hookup with Crawford.
There's plenty to like here beyond individualism, though.
You've got yet another lefty throwdown, a hulking center in Ian Mahinmi trying to thwart the play and a scary fall. That ups the degree of difficulty.
Add everything together, and you've got Griffin's No. 1 dunk of the 2012-13 season...for now.