Top Plays
Top Plays
Top Plays
Top Plays

Top Plays Theatre: Ranking 2016-17's best plays

Khari Arnold, NBA.com

Nov 30, 2016 8:41 AM ET

Mar. 19 - It shouldn't shock anyone that Russell Westbrook found a way to make another appearance.

If it does, seeing his cross court pass to Victor Oladipo at No. 5 of our ranking will provide any form of clarity.

1. Hello Brooklyn

Lakers fans often make their appearances at road games, so it's never a surprise to see pleasant reactions for the purple and gold outside of Staples Center. But when the opposing team can barely control themselves after a play, that's a whole different story.

Take a close look at the Nets bench. 

0:28

2. Irving Does It Again

The gift that keeps on giving.

Whether it’s June or December, in Oakland or Cleveland, over Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving’s jumper has 'clutch' written all over it.  

2:15

And for flashback purposes, here's one clip with both of Irving's game-winners.

0:32

3. Shammgod!

It's been the Russell Westbrook show this season, and the program continued when he brought out the ridiculous Shammgod crossover to dribble past Tyler Ulis. Respect.

0:27

4. LaVine Leaps Like No Other

There's no way that when Zach LaVine retires this photo isn't framed to its max capacity somewhere in his house. 

0:19

5. Westbrook Introduces Thread To Needle

You’d think throwing a cross court, transition pass from beyond halfcourt in between the legs of a defender and on target to the beneficiary would be quite the challenge, right?

Just like averaging a triple-double throughout a season would be, right?

Well, clearly not if you’re Russell Westbrook, who fires off one of the best assists you’ll see this season.

0:17

6. Clutch On Both Ends

Yes, this is more of a sequence, but with Kawhi Leonard cementing himself as one of the best two-way players in the game, it’s only fair that this is his ‘play,’ and a top one of the season.

Leonard drains a late 3-pointer, hustles right back to guard Harden on defense, maneuvers around a screen, then times his jump perfectly to block Harden from behind and secure a Spurs victory.

It immediately sparked his case for MVP.

1:08

7. Vision Of A Vet

LeBron James demonstrates what it means to have great court vision.‘The King’ dishes a bounce pass from beyond the arc to the baseline, while using a no-look head fake as the ball travels in between Andrew Wiggins’ legs to Derrick Williams.

Credit LeBron for helping create three points as Williams makes the basket and goes on to hit the free throw after being fouled. The length of the pass and cross court factor bumps Westbrook’s assist slightly higher than LeBron’s.

Slightly.  

0:19

8. Richard Hits Rewind

Who would’ve thought a 36-year-old would have one of the best dunks of the season?

Then again, his age is what made this so special. Richard Jefferson climbing the ladder for a ridiculous poster slam even had LeBron James searching for the fountain of youth.

0:24

9. Westbrook Does What He Wants

Unlike last season, every opposing team knows which Thunder player gets the ball in crunch time. Yet, no one still had a chance on this play. How many players would even attempt to seal a victory with their off hand on top of a defender who's six inches taller than him?

Quietly overlooked was how quickly he lost his original defender on his way to the rim. Again, no one had a chance.

0:58

10. What Has He Dunn?

That was probably the question raised by Shabazz Napier, who was left searching for the ball after Kris Dunn used a scintillating dribble move to sneak past him and make a fancy assist.

The fact that this was done in an actual NBA game is amazing. It’s the type of highlight you’d see in a 10-minute mixtape of Hot Sauce from AND1.

0:17

Remember, there’s a special home that rates and ranks buzzer-beaters and monster slams, respectively, at our Horry Scale and Dunk HQ location. 

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