FRIDAY FIVE: TOP PUTBACK DUNKS
In honor of Blake Griffin jumping over two Suns players and teammate DeAndre Jordan, here are the best five putback dunks of the season so far, courtesy of Blake and DeAndre:
5. Feb. 9, 2014 vs. 76ers. A lot of the best putbacks have a victim on the receiving end. See Pau Gasol on Griffin’s leap frog dunk in 2011-12. This time it was Spencer Hawes. Chris Paul missed a layup that was poorly contested by Hawes, who got caught in no man’s land with Jordan lurking. As the ball caromed off the rim, Jordan jumped over Hawes and threw it down over his back.
4. Mar. 12, 2014 vs. Warriors. Jordan’s dunk between two defenders versus the Warriors wasn’t even the best putback dunk of the night, but more on that later. Jordan was being tugged on by both defenders as he rose up to slam home a Darren Collison miss. Even better: Jordan dunked the ball on his way down.
3. Mar. 14, 2014 at Jazz. Griffin missed a jumper and Danny Granger tried to flip in the miss off an offensive rebound. Griffin chased down the second miss on the possession and cleaned it up along the baseline jumper over the back of Gordon Hayward. It was a mini-Gasol dunk.
2. Apr. 2, 2014 at Suns. The dunk that inspired our top five is actually not No. 1. Paul missed a pull-up jumper and Griffin came charging down the center of the lane to dunk on three guys, including Jordan, with one hand. The best part is Griffin laughing as he made his way back down the court.
1. Mar. 12, 2014 vs. Warriors. Arguably, the putback of the year in the NBA. Griffin soars out of nowhere to finish off a Granger missed 3-pointer on a dead sprint. The play opened up a five-point lead in the early fourth quarter against the Warriors and earned Ralph Lawler referring to Griffin as “The Flying Lion.”