NBA Power Rankings: Is Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin the NBA's Best Dunker?

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2010

NBA Power Rankings: Is Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin the NBA's Best Dunker?

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    NBA power rankings are rolling out and this time we're shifting the focus from the teams to the players as we rank the 25 best dunkers in the game today.

    The dunk is one of the reasons we love the NBA and when someone can throw it down with some serious force and grace, they automatically become a fan favorite. We have some old faces, some new ones and some respect for the dunkers that just can't do it like they used to.

    Any thoughts or comments? Make sure to leave them below as always.

No. 25: Will Bynum

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    Will Bynum doesn't get much love because he's stuck in Detroit, but for a little guy, he can get to the tin.

    Bynum leaps way up in the air despite his height and throws it some with some serious authority. He's a spark plug off of the bench for the Pistons and you can see why when he's sending a buzz through the crowd with jams like those.

    His size along makes his dunks impressive.

No. 24: Corey Brewer

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    Corey Brewer doesn't always draw a lot of the highlight reels up in Minnesota, but he can get up there and jam.

    Take this dunk from last year on Derek Fisher. He soared up over Fisher and dunked on him so hard he fell into the basket. Not only that, but Fisher sat there thinking about what just happened to him and had to be helped up by a teammate.

    He dunked on his very soul there.

No. 23: Tracy McGrady

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    Let's consider this a Lifetime Achievement Award for T-Mac.

    McGrady's knees aren't what they used to be and even though he's shown flashes of his ability in Detroit this year, the old McGrady isn't coming back. But let's never forget the way he used to dunk all over people back in the day.

    I mean, he retired Shawn Bradley. There's something to be said for that. Plus, the call on that video is just awesome.

No. 22: DeMar DeRozan

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    DeMar DeRozan flies under the radar a bit when yo think of top dunkers.

    It doesn't help that he plays in Toronto but the young kid can get up there and throw it down. He started in his rookie year and hasn't let up. Just look at this jam that he threw down against the Boston Celtics earlier this year.

    That's a pretty nasty finish to that jam.

No. 21: Shawn Marion

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    Shawn Marion doesn't do it a lot, but when he goes up, he can throw it down with the best of him.

    Marion's the best off of the alleyoop and he made a living off of that while playing in Phoenix with Steve Nash and company. However, he can get up and throw it down over a guy if need be. Just ask Danny Granger, who found out the hard way.

    That dunk was almost as nasty as those green Toronto uniforms.

No. 20: Jamario Moon

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    Jamario Moon is a role player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but every now and again, he'll pop up on the highlight reel.

    Moon can get up there and throw it down with that big frame of his and is a point guard's favorite target on the fastbreak for an alleyoop. I bet Jose Calderon misses having him to lob it up to now that Moon is with the Cavs.

    Maybe Moon will explode on the Heat on Thursday night's national TV game.

No. 19: Monta Ellis

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    Monta Ellis is one of the best players in the league at getting to the rim off of the dribble.

    He will break his man down with a couple quick moves and before you know it, Ellis is soaring to the rim and throwing it down over the defense. He's done it time and time again and he is tearing it up this year on offense.

    Just look at how quick he is with his first step. Unreal.

No. 18: Nate Robinson

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    Nate Robinson is the original man to get up there and throw it down for a smaller player.

    He's put on shows at the dunk contests and he has been compared to former Atlanta Hawks player Spud Webb. He sure has hops for a little guy and if you give him room, he'll get up there and throw it down on you.

    Nothing is more demoralizing than being dunked on someone much smaller than you.

No. 17: Carmelo Anthony

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    Carmelo Anthony doesn't immediately come to mind when you think of one of the best dunkers in the game, but he can get up there and jam on you.

    Just ask Paul Millsap, who had the unfortunate business of getting in his way early last year before promptly having the ball jammed in his face on national television and had everybody watching him get dunked on for days.

    That's not a good look for Millsap.

No. 16: Baron Davis

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    Just because Baron Davis is on the shelf for the Los Angeles Clippers right now, don't forget about how he can throw it down.

    He used to throw it down on people all of the time. Back when Golden State was making its run through the playoffs, he jammed it down and sent the home crowd into a frenzy and posed afterward. Too bad he's checked out on the Clippers now.

    Every now and again he'll show you the flashes of what he's got though.

No. 15: Jason Richardson

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    Jason Richardson is one of the last dunk contest stars we've had in the NBA but he can throw it down in the games too.

    Richardson is an explosive player who can throw a couple of dunks down that can send the crowd into a frenzy and have them swinging the momentum in the favor of the home team. It's one of the best attributes of his game by far.

    Don't sleep on Jason Richardson.

No. 14: J.R. Smith

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    J.R. Smith is a big three point shooter for the Denver Nuggets but at the same time, he is an explosive dunker.

    Smith is a leaper and he can make dunks that just make you shake your head in amazement. With a point guard like Chauncey Billups on the roster, he can get the ball to Smith on some alleyoops that will blow up highlight reels.

    Just look at his body control in that video.

No. 13: Sonny Weems

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    I know your reaction might be "Who in the world is Sonny Weems?"

    Sonny Weems has been jumping off of the highlight reel when I see Raptors highlights and Weems just gets up and seems to soar for a while before just throwing it down with some serious velocity and force. It's a thing of beauty.

    Just look at that, what a slam by Sonny.

No. 12: Kobe Bryant

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    Kobe Bryant doesn't nearly dunk as much as he used to, but don't forget about how he used to throw it down on teams.

    Kobe is one of the best dunkers of his generation and while age has taken away some of his hops, but Bryant can get up there and throw it down when he needs to. This is more honorary than current, but you have to respect the best dunkers of all time.

    Kobe is certainly one of them.

No. 11: Russell Westbrook

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    While Kevin Durant is the superstar on the team after last year, don't forget about Russell Westbrook.

    Westbrook has turned into one of the best players in the league and not only that, he's throwing down on people all over the league. He's a great point guard and he and Durant are going to be a lethal combination for years to come.

    Just look at that dunk on the Rockets. What a disgusting slam.

No. 10: Amare Stoudemire

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    Amare Stoudemire has gone through a major knee surgery and he can still jam all over guys.

    That tells you something about the level of athleticism he has to be able to do that. Just ask Anthony Tolliver, who had the guts to stand in front of a moving Stoudemire alone in the open court. He paid dearly but got his man card upgraded to platinum status for it.

    He's a freak but he needs help up in New York.

No. 9: Derrick Rose

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    Derrick Rose is one of the best point guards in the league but he's also one of the better dunkers in the league.

    With Rose's quickness, he's able to get to the rim and rise above the defense for a jam. Not only that, but he has some great leaping ability and it's helped him get up there for alley oops and allow him to do some special things in the air.

    Just watch him go in that video. Unreal.

No. 8: Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard is the biggest dunk contest stars we've had in recent years and with his size and strength, you can see why.

    Howard has great leaping ability and he gets up like a young Shaq used to, only with more athletic ability. He's not just a guy who gets it on the block and jams it down. He has the athletic ability to get up there and make some insane dunks.

    Just watch the highlight reel, you won't be disappointed.

No. 7: Dwayne Wade

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    Dwyane Wade has had a bit of a down year as the Miami Heat limp out to start the season.

    However, he's one of the most physically gifted players we've had in the league in a long time and last year Anderson Varejao found out the hard way. Wade dunked all over him and then stepped over him while he was on the floor.

    What a jam by a truly great player.

No. 6: Josh Smith

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    Josh Smith is a physical freak and it makes him one of the best dunkers in the league.

    Smith can get up and jam it and he just seems to hang up in the air forever and then he has the strength to throw it down with some serious force. He always seems to be talked about in trades and I never know why.

    He's such a valuable piece to any team. If I'm the Hawks, I hang on to him for dear life.

No. 5: Shannon Brown

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    Shannon Brown is nothing short of a high-flyer once the game stops.

    Brown disappointed majorly in the dunk contest last year but during the course of a game he will find a seam in the lane and get up and throw it down to send the Staples Center down with so much power that the crowd will be buzzing minutes after the slam.

    Players like him are the reason the Lakers are such a successful team. He's one of those glue guys that fill in the gaps between the major pieces.

No. 4: Rudy Gay

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    Rudy Gay doesn't get a lot of love because he's in Memphis on a team that doesn't get much shine, but the man can dunk.

    Just look at the video. Look at the elevation and how long he hangs up in the air. It almost looks effortless. It's a thing of beauty to watch. If I was Gay, I would have left the Grizzlies when I had the chance but who is he to pass up that much money.

    The same applies to Joe Johnson. Sometimes the money is just too much.

No. 3: Andre Iguodala

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    Andre Iguodala is one of the best dunkers in the game hands down.

    Watching him in person, he's just a physical freak that has size and strength and can just kill you on the fast break with a slam. If you get him the ball on the break, he's going to get the crowd talking with a big slam.

    He'll be out of Philly soon enough and when he's on a good team, people will talk about him.

No. 2: LeBron James

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    The only thing keeping LeBron out of the top spot is the lack of diversity in his dunks.

    He'll either dunk over you or hit you with a tomahawk dunk. Those dunks are impressive, don't get me wrong, but I'd like to see a little more from LeBron. I think that's why he didn't do the dunk contest last year. He just doesn't have those tools in him.

    However, he's still a beast, just as Damon Jones, who needed to wash the stink of that one off of him.

No. 1: Blake Griffin

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    Right now, Blake Griffin is the best dunker in the NBA.

    He'll get you on the break, on the tip in  and off of the pick and roll. He put on a clinic against the Knicks and just sent a charge through that building that hasn't been there for years when the Clippers are in town. It's amazing to watch.

    It's been worth the wait for Blake Griffin.