NBA Playoffs 2013: Ranking the Most Insane Highlights so Far

Brendan Bowers@@BowersCLEContributor IIMay 2, 2013

NBA Playoffs 2013: Ranking the Most Insane Highlights so Far

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    In ranking the most insane highlights of the 2013 playoffs so far, this list features a heavy dose of high-flying finishes at the rim. 

    Sprinkled in throughout, however, are a collection of crossovers, blocks and off-balanced jump shots. 

    Each highlight was measured in terms of the "wow factor" it invokes, as well as the athleticism demonstrated in executing the play.

20. Kenneth Faried's Dunk off Lob in Half Court

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    Kenneth Faried is referred to as the Manimal because he makes plays like this on both ends of the floor. 

    In a half-court set during Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors, Faried rose up to receive a lob pass from Denver Nuggets teammate Andre Miller. 

    From there, you know the rest. 

19. Chandler Parsons on Putback in Transition

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    Trailing the play for the Houston Rockets on this particular sequence, Chandler Parsons caught the Patrick Beverley miss below the rim. 

    While continuing his ascent toward the basket, Parsons then finished this putback slam with emphasis. 

    It was almost like he knew his teammate was planning to clank this layup off the right side of the backboard before he ever left the ground. 

18. LeBron James Catches Routine Lob from Ray Allen

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    Ray Allen throws a lob pass to his Miami Heat teammate LeBron James, and the latter elevates above the rim to emphatically finish the play.

    James finishing an alley-oop may seem routine by now, but he is still getting his arms extended past the box on the backboard.

    No matter how often this happens, it's still an insane finish.

17. J.R. Smith's Full Extension in Game 1

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    Before J.R. Smith was dressed in black on his way into Game 5, he did this for the New York Knicks during Game 1 of their series with the Boston Celtics. 

    The one-hand extension over Jeff Green provided a huge spark at the time.

    More plays like this from Smith in Game 6 could go a long way to finally closing out this feisty group of Celtics.

16. Stephen Curry Takes Deflected Pass to the Basket

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    Stephen Curry first decided to pass the basketball on this particular play.

    After being reminded by the basketball gods that he's Stephen Curry and doesn't need to pass, however, he collected the ricochet and went right in for the finish. 

    The same play that coach Mark Jackson drew up in the huddle somewhere once, I imagine.

15. Dwyane Wade from out of Nowhere on Putback

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    To truly appreciate the greatness of this highlight, we must note exactly where Dwyane Wade is when he first starts tracking this potential rebound.

    When Miami Heat teammate Mario Chalmers releases the basketball, Wade is standing on the "A" in American Airlines, just north of the three-point line.

    On a dead sprint, he attacks the basket from there, converting the putback in a throwback moment.

14. Nate Robinson Freezes Deron Williams with Crossover

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    Nate Robinson has been making plays all series long for the Chicago Bulls.

    On this highlight, he first leaves Deron Williams frozen with a crossover move in the open court. 

    Once Robinson gets to the basket, he then contorts his body while absorbing the foul to convert the and-1 finish.

13. Kevin Durant Goes 1-on-4 for the Finish

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    Kevin Durant first attacked four defenders from the Houston Rockets in this highlight.

    With no other Oklahoma City Thunder teammates in sight, Durant then split the first two defenders off the dribble on his way to the basket. 

    He split the next two at the rim with an electric finish that never had a chance of being rejected. 

12. Roy Hibbert with a Monster Slam

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    We haven't heard as much from Roy Hibbert in 2012-13 as we did during his All-Star campaign of 2011-12.

    During Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks, though, he reminded us all that he's still a 7'2" athlete with the ability to dunk over and through his defender at a moment's notice. 

    In this highlight, Hibbert did specifically that for the Indiana Pacers while heading to the free-throw line directly following the finish.

11. Paul George's Rejection of Shelvin Mack

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    Paul George gets way up in the air on this rejection of Atlanta Hawks guard Shelvin Mack.

    What's most insane about this particular play, however, is actually how far that rejection goes after hitting the backboard. 

    Had an Indiana Pacers defender been standing closer to half court, this block could have also doubled as an outlet pass.

10. Andrew Bogut Co-Stars in JaVale McGee Poster

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    JaVale McGee helped the NBA community increase its collective enthusiasm for the postseason with this rim-rattling jam in Game 1.

    Everyone, that is, except Golden State Warriors fans.

    Later in the series, Bogut would eventually have his highlight-reel revenge over JaVale, but McGee certainly got him first with this one.

9. Jamal Crawford Gets Nasty with Crossover

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    If you ever wondered why Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford goes by the Twitter handle @JCrossover, this is why.

    While using one of the nastiest crossovers in the NBA, Crawford shakes himself loose on this particular play against the Memphis Grizzlies. 

    Once he creates the necessary space, Crawford then fades away and knocks down the jumper off the glass. 

8. Where Taj Gibson Leaps and Kris Humphries Wishes He Didn't

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    I'm not sure when Kris Humphries first regretted his decision to contest this dunk attempt by Taj Gibson.

    At some point before he landed, however, I'm sure he realized his mistake.

    As the Chicago Bulls forward made his ascent toward the rim, Humphries rose up to meet him. Only Humphries could do nothing to stop Gibson, as he inevitably finished with strength at the basket.

7. Andrew Bogut Gets His Highlight Revenge over JaVale McGee

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    Denver Nuggets big man JaVale McGee doesn't usually end up on this side of a posterizing finish. 

    After emphatically dunking over Andrew Bogut earlier in this series, however, the Golden State center returned the favor on this particular play.

    Bogut went right at McGee while attacking the rim, and JaVale could do nothing to stop him.

6. Chris Paul Hits Off-Balance Buzzer-Beater to Win Game 2

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    Buzzer-beaters of any form are generally exciting.

    The one-handed, off-balanced bankshot to win the game at the buzzer that Chris Paul converted in Game 2 for the Los Angeles Clippers, however, can only be qualified as insane.

    The Memphis Grizzlies played good defense on Paul during this final play. Despite those efforts, CP3 still found a way to win it.

5. Kevin Durant Dunks over Omer Asik

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    Omer Asik is a 7'0" center who was in good defensive position for the Houston Rockets on this play against the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 3.

    This did nothing to stop Kevin Durant, however, as he rose up over Asik's outstretched arm for the emphatic slam. 

    If you're not sure how insane this highlight really is, pause this video at the 27-second mark and note just how high above the rim Durant actually is.

4. Manu Ginobili Goes Right Down Lane for Dunk on Lakers

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    During Game 4 of the San Antonio Spurs' series with the Los Angeles Lakers, Manu Ginobili channeled his inner-Manu of seven years ago.

    Without hesitation on this particular play, he first attacks the basket on the drive from the top of the key.

    Despite Dwight Howard patrolling the paint, Ginobili fearlessly finishes at the rim with the same reckless enthusiasm he's become known for throughout his career. 

3. Gerald Green with a 'Man's Jam' over Josh Smith

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    The craziest part of this finish from Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers is how quickly he leaps off the ground. 

    Once he does, he then finishes with authority over the top of Atlanta Hawks high-flying forward Josh Smith. 

    The announcer classified Green's finish a "man's jam," and I couldn't agree more. 

2. Harrison Barnes' Reverse Slam

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    During Game 2 of the Golden State Warriors' first-round matchup with the Denver Nuggets, Harrison Barnes received the basketball on the right wing in the half court. 

    After one hard fake to the baseline, Barnes attacked the basket on the dribble-drive.

    With his defender on his hip, the rookie rose up and emphatically finished over top with a reverse dunk that sent his teammates into a dance party on the Golden State bench.

1. Carlos Delfino Dunks over Kevin Durant

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    Carlos Delfino is a role player for the Houston Rockets.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant is arguably the second-best player in the NBA behind only LeBron James. 

    With Durant's seven-foot frame outstretched on this particular play, however, Delfino does the unthinkable with the posterizing finish at the rim.