For only a half season’s worth of basketball, the NBA’s top athletes have put together a strong resume and large volume of impressive slams, so much so that we had to list 100 of them. There weren’t any that had to be forced on, either, to complete the list. No, there were plenty of worthy candidates to make this list go beyond the threshold of 100.
Poster dunks and one incredible, innovative alley-oop lead the way in the year’s top 100 dunks of the first half. It only makes you wonder how the league’s best will top themselves in the second half of the season when teams are actually gearing up for the playoffs.
We’ve already had a few candidates that will certainly be up for dunk of the year, possibly even unrivaled and having already won the title unless a poster or alley-oop of epic proportion occurs. But we’ll worry about that at the end of the year. For now, we take a look at the 100 best throwdowns of the 2013-14 season.
***All descriptions were written at the time of the dunk.***
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100. Vintage dunk of the week: Vince Carter dunks over Tim Duncan
It’s not as memorable as the previous time Vince Carter dunked over Tim Duncan, but it is still worthy of respect for the soon-to-be-37-year-old Carter to need only so much room and so many steps to still dunk over one of the league’s better defenders.
Had this play occurred in 2004, it probably would have been the best play of the week. But because age is a cruel part of life, the dunk by Carter only receives so much recognition. Still, to see Carter dunk over Duncan and then do the signature celebration afterwards is something that I wish would never leave the NBA.
99. Michael Carter-Williams dunks over Giannis Antetokounmpo
Starting off the top ten with some rookie on rookie crime, Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams dribbles 50 feet with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo attached to his hip, but makes a burst to the rim that frees him up to dunk over the 6-9 rookie from Greece.
The Sixers need to keep tabs on Carter-Williams. If he continues to play as well as he has this year, Philadelphia won’t be in contention for any of the top picks next year. In fact, there’s a chance they may still win the division. As insane as that sounds, the Sixers are a few consecutive wins away from leading the Atlantic, where they trail first place by only four games.
98. Terrence Jones flies it in over Joel Freeland
Because Terrence Jones isn’t a household name, he didn’t receive too much recognition for his full-on poster of Joel Freeland in Houston’s against Portland earlier this week.
Here’s credit where credit is due. Jones has been solid as the Rockets starting power forward, averaging 9.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his time as a first-time starter.
97. LeBron dunks on Alec Burks
This is going to be a recurring theme of the numerous LeBron dunks that will be seen on this list: him taking advantage of smaller/slower defenders.
A 6-6 Alec Burks can only do so much, before LeBron realizes he has about three inches and over 50 pounds on him.
96. Nick Young goes reverse over Portland’s Joel Freeland
Nick Young could posterize LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant at the same time and it wouldn’t eradicate the thought of this layup attempt he pulled against Toronto Sunday night.
Oh, but nice reverse on the Portland Trail Blazers’ big man, though. I almost lost my train of thought because of the mysticism evoked by that layup… or whatever you want to call it.
95. Jan Vesely sends home the alley-oop vs. Minnesota
Even Jan Vesely can have his moments, and this may be the best moment of what has been a disappointing start to his career.
He effectively runs a perfect fast break, initiating it with a steal, passing it off to a ballhandler and then finishing over Corey Brewer. This usually doesn’t happen, in case you were wondering if you were missing out on dunk contests in Washington.
94. Paul George is on a mission
I’ve been saying it since last year: If there’s any team that’s going to come out of the East this season not named the Miami Heat, it’s going to be the Indiana Pacers.
We’ve all taken notice of the hot individual starts by the likes of Chris Paul, Kevin Love and Stephen Curry, but has anyone noticed that the Pacers are 5-0 and Paul George is dropping nearly 26 points on 48 percent shooting, while also converting 44 percent of his seven three-point attempts per game?
George is making quite the leap following a solid conference finals series with Miami that ended with a thud in a blowout Game 7 loss where he only scored seven points on nine shots. The sting from the loss has appeared to resonate with George, who has come out of the gate guns blazing.
Among some of the incredible plays he’s made from his fiery start include this alley-oop from 7-2 teammate Roy Hibbert, who is able to deliver a perfect pass to set up PG for the slam.
93. Evan Turner showboats against the Lakers
Perhaps if this dunk did not occur with his team up five in the final seconds, it would have probably ended up higher on this list.
The disrespect lowers its ranking, but the dunk itself can be seen as it’s one of the more innovative and unique dunks I’ve seen this season.
At least he apologized, even though nobody on the Lakers seemed to care or notice.
92. Blake Griffin reaches back for the putback vs. Denver
Blake Griffin has played with Matt Barnes long enough to know that he better get in position for a rebound.
Barnes, who’s shooting 27 percent from three this year, launched up a prayer that bounced off the rim in Griffin’s direction, leading to the former Slam Dunk champion cocking back and ramming it through, all while Denver’s J.J. Hickson helplessly watches from behind.
91. Paul George dunks it in reverse on the alley-oop vs. Oklahoma City
The Indiana Pacers suffered two of their three losses of the season during a recent five-game road trip against some of the West’s elite, including their conclusion against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, that didn’t prevent Paul George from throwing down one of the better alley-oops of the season, as he frees himself from Kevin Durant to send home the perfect pass from Roy Hibbert.