2014-2015 certainly wasn’t the best NBA season in recent memory. Injuries ravaged the league from early October to the first week of the playoffs, robbing would-be contenders of legitimate title aspirations and the basketball world at large a chance to properly assess a ballyhooed rookie class.
You can definitely say this for the regular season, though: It sure had its fair share of exciting games, many of which were decided at the tick of a game’s final buzzer. The league’s list of top-10 buzzer-beaters serves as a reminder of just how far we’ve come since the 2014-2015 campaign kicked off almost six months ago.
Gordon Hayward’s smooth fadeaway on November 5 gave the upstart Utah Jazz early season hope and sent the Cleveland Cavaliers into their first tailspin. Lance Stephenson’s banked-in game-winner two days later – against the Atlanta Hawks, no less – suggested his debut with the Charlotte Hornets would live up to offseason expectations. Blake Griffin’s rim-snaking trey a month after that suggested a legitimate rivalry between the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
Unlike the league’s list of its top-10 dunks, though, it got these rankings right. Anthony Davis’ double-clutch three-pointer wasn’t only the most dramatic game-winner of the year, but also its most influential. This shot gave the New Orleans Pelicans an eventual tie-breaker over the Oklahoma City Thunder that they used to make the playoffs.
Here’s to a postseason replete with a similar amount of late-game drama – and no new injury concerns.