There are few highlights more enthralling than the dunk, and there’s an opportunity for a highlight-reel one any day of the season. Even in the first week of the season. Even when players are just getting their legs back under them and coming into their conditioning, there are still moments that are worth remembering.
In the first two weeks of the 2013-14 season, we get a top 10 of the usual suspects, plus a pair of rookies bursting onto the scene.
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10. 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.
9. Jonas Valanciunas dunks on the King
Unlike the dunk Evan Turner had over LeBron James earlier in the week, there was an actual effort being placed in attempting to send back the dunk attempt of Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto’s promising young 7-footer.
It’s a rarity to see LeBron not be on the better end of a meeting at the summit, even on the defensive end where he’s been known to make some incredible plays. Jonas gets the best of LeBron here, though, as he throws down the one-hander over the just-passing-by four-time MVP.
What’s more remarkable about the dunk is the fact that a player of LeBron’s caliber is even going up to stop the dunk. Many other superstars in LeBron’s position would have possibly let Jonas get the dunk uncontested, yet it wasn’t in James’ wheelhouse to simply allow a bucket when there was something he could do about it.