(Feb. 7) -- Four of our top 10 plays this season have come in the month of February, with LeBron James joining our ranking at No. 5.
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1. The Greek Leap
Giannis Antetokounmpo showed off his mind-bending athleticism when he jumped over 6-foot-6 guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to finish a monster alley-oop. An instant in-game dunk classic.
2. Look At Larry
On the night Los Angeles celebrated Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement, Nance Jr. received an ovation himself for this brutal slam. His extension was as full as Staples Center. His hang time felt just as long as the halftime ceremony. And his elevation had one wondering if he was, in fact, unveiling the two Bryant jerseys in the rafters. Kevin Durant’s idea of a transition rejection was costly as the Lakers forward unloaded a massive posterizing jam.
3. Russ Gets Furious
Russell Westbrook is known to bang on rims, posterize defenders and react energetically afterwards with a boisterous scream that ends in a mean-mug. This was all on display against Milwaukee late in the third quarter, but it wasn’t your average Westbrook highlight. He obliterated Thon Maker. The Bucks center stands over 7 feet tall and his slight mid-air shove to Westbrook only made it look worse. The slam was so wild that you can see one of Maker’s teammates rise up off the bench to make sure his guy was OK.
4. Wiggins For The Win
‘Carmelo In The Clutch’ was almost the headline. Instead, insert Andrew Wiggins, who caught the inbounds pass with 4.6 seconds left, dribbled just past mid-court and pulled up for the deep buzzer-beating jumper.
5. The King Comes Through
LeBron James capped arguably the best game of the season with a fadeaway at the buzzer to lift Cleveland over Minnesota in overtime. To rewind a bit, the Cavs star swatted away Jimmy Butler’s attempt at a go-ahead bucket on the previous possession. A wise timeout with 1 second left set up James’ clutch jumper over Butler, providing a much-needed win and a moment of jubilance in “The Q" for the struggling Cavs.
6. Portrait Mode
NBA.com’s Dunk HQ has a variety of scintillating dunks ranked. Typically, the style of slams we feature here at TPT are of the posterizing genre. One of the best ones yet is courtesy of James Johnson. Victor Oladipo was a helpless victim and should hold his teammate accountable for biting on that pump fake. Nonetheless, say cheese!
7. Griffin Over Gobert
Blake Griffin showed no regard for last year’s Kia Defensive Player of the Year contender Rudy Gobert, throwing down a massive one-handed facial just days after dunking over Julius Randle with pure ease (see here).
8. Nuggets Tell Thunder Not This Time
After seeing Westbrook deliver the play of the year in Denver last season, it seemed appropriate that the 2017-18 campaign would provide another stunning finish. This time the home team got the last say at the buzzer. Before that happened, though, it seemed like OKC was on its way to another thrilling comeback victory in the Mile High City. Paul George drained a step-back 3 with 1.4 seconds left to tie the game for the first time after being down 20 at one point. But on the next possession, Westbrook lost sight of Gary Harris, who broke free for the buzzer-beater.
9. Vintage Dwight, Vicious Poster
Although it seemed odd, the Hawks were nice enough to give Dwight Howard a video tribute in his return to Atlanta. That classy gesture was followed up with one of the most filthiest dunks you'll see all year.
10. Lost 'Em
Kyrie Irving turned double coverage into a wide-open basket. It doesn’t take some advanced metric by 100 possessions or per 48 minutes to know who has the best handles in the league.