Dunk HQ
Dunk HQ
Dunk HQ
Dunk HQ

Dunk HQ: Countdown of the best slams of 2016-17

LeMont Calloway, NBA.com

Dec 6, 2016 10:06 AM ET


(Dec. 6) --  The spotlight in Oklahoma City (and the Dunk HQ) shines on Russell Westbrook, and rightfully so.

But there's another Thunder that's getting a piece of the notoriety in these parts: Victor Oladipo, who breaks into the countdown at No. 4.


1. Zach's Back

Surprise, surprise. The season-opening top spot goes to none other than Zach LaVine, one of the most exciting faces of the dunk. Known for his ability to do just about anything during what seems like endless hang time, this chart-topping slam shows us another side of his aerial game: the poster. Sure, he shines as a creative contest dunker, but he can easily catch defenders sleeping in-game if they're not careful.



2. Lucky Lefty

Russell Westbrook has been on a tear to open the season, finding triple-double ways to keep the reshaped Thunder competitive on a nightly basis. He's also found another way to tear the hearts out of opponents: the game-sealing lefty banger. You already know what he's capable of with his right hand. Now he adds the left? Let us pray ...


And for added effect ...



3. An Early Glimpse

If there's anyone who is sure to give reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champ Zach LaVine a run for his money in his quest for a third straight title, it's Aaron Gordon. After an unforgettable performance in last year's contest, Gordon is already showing in-game signs that he's ready for his rematch with LaVine.



4. Victor Oladipo Impresses A Legend

For dunk historians like myself, this one from Victor Oladipo was pretty special. Let's set the scene: Thunder at Hawks, where none other than dunk legend Dominique Wilkins is part of the Hawks' broadcast team. Oladipo's side-cocking, double-clutch jam on Dwight Howard is very reminiscent of two of 'Nique's best, which you can see at No. 9 and No. 1 of Wilkins' best slams. To do it in front of the Human Highlight Film and evoke an "Oh my goodness!" response from someone who knows a thing or two about quality slams signifies a super job well done for Oladipo.



5. Around The World With Giannis

Giannis Antetokounmpo cracks the countdown because: A) We'll always be fans of open-court creativity and B) Who doesn't love the two-hand windmill? What can't Milwaukee's Mr. Do-It-All point-forward-center do? If you say ping-pong, guess again.



6. Wind Me Up

In staying with the windmill theme, we shine the spotlight on someone who isn't new to the Dunk HQ limelight. Try to let this one soak in, NBA fans. It's hard to imagine at this stage of his career that LeBron James is still able to do things like this. But it's nothing new for The King, who clearly is still in the business of blowing minds.



7. Danilo Gallinari's Reverse Stuff

When Danilo Gallinari drove through traffic to dunk it in reverse (and on a defender), our memory bank got to churning. Anybody remember dunk master Shawn Kemp? If not, refresh your memory and direct your attention to No. 3 on that list. In no way are we putting Gallo on the dunking level of Kemp, but the end result is all the same -- a dropped jaw.



8. Hassan Whiteside's Got Talent

The fans up north in The Six have developed a reputation as a raucous bunch. And as the first NBA home of Half Man-Half Amazing Vince Carter, they know a good dunk when they see one. Except they showed no love to Hassan Whiteside, who proved that today's NBA big man isn't our grandfather's NBA big man. Dikembe Mutombo definitely couldn't pull this off.



9. Night-Night Slam From Brandon Knight

Let's put the Brandon Knight jokes to bed once and for all. Sure, he was on the wrong end of one of the most epic posters of all time. But the tables have turned as Knight turns out the lights on Evan Turner.



10. 'Double T' Takes On Two

If Brandon Knight's slam silences the jokes, let's hope Tristan Thompson's jam on the Pacers does the same for him. We'll leave it at that.


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