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Nominees selected for Top 10 Nuggets plays of 2010-11

Fan balloting will determine which highlights make the final cut

Nene rumbling coast-to-coast for a poster dunk against Oklahoma City.

J.R. Smith executing a triple axel against San Antonio.

Ty Lawson draining a 70-foot shot against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 2010-11 season was filled with Nuggets highlights, but Nuggets.com and Altitude Sports & Entertainment needs your help narrowing the field to the Top 10 Plays of the Year.

Nuggets.com and Altitude compiled a list of 15 nominees, and voting is now open on Altitude’s website. Be sure to tune in to Altitude later this summer to where your personal favorites land in the final countdown.

Not to influence the voting, but is my Top 3 ballot:

3) Smith does his best Scott Hamilton impression against San Antonio on Dec. 22 with a 360 layup that most figure skaters would envy. It captures the creativity and athleticism that have made Smith a SportsCenter staple during his five seasons in Denver.

2) What is it with J.R. and the Spurs? Six days before his mid-air pirouette, Smith does his best superhero impression by soaring over San Antonio rookie Gary Neal for a two-hand dunk. The Dec. 16 posterization of Neal aside, I like the fact that Smith attacked the basket instead of settling for a jumper in the final seconds of the quarter.

1) Arron Afflalo caps a 19-point fourth-quarter by rising up for a 19-foot jumper at the buzzer to beat the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 10. It was Afflalo’s first career game-winning shot at any level. “This is by far one of my better moments,” he said. “That whole quarter, my energy level was a passion for winning. I wasn’t really even thinking about my points at the time.”

Finally, I commend the Altitude production crew for their hard work in capturing and editing the highlights throughout the season. There were dozens of memorable plays to choose from, meaning some highlights didn’t make the final list of nominees.

Two in particular stand out for me.

Lawson’s record-setting 10 consecutive three-pointers against Minnesota on April 9 represented a dazzling individual display that might never be seen again. If not for an off-balance attempt at the third-quarter buzzer, Lawson’s night would have been a perfect 10.

Nuggets coach George Karl also deserves recognition for winning his 1,000th career regular-season game Dec. 10 in Toronto. Karl, one of only seven coaches in NBA history to reach the 1K milestone, has 328 wins with the Nuggets, leaving him 104 victories from Doug Moe’s franchise record of 432.

Now that I've said my peace, it is time to vote.


Aaron Lopez
Aaron J. Lopez is the primary writer for Nuggets.com, providing behind-the-scenes content, including feature stories and video for the site. Before joining the Nuggets in 2009, he spent 15 years covering Colorado sports for the Rocky Mountain News and the Associated Press. Follow him on twitter @Lopez_Nuggets. Aaron's full bio...