Top Plays
Top Plays

Top Plays Theatre: Ranking 2018-19's best plays

Khari Arnold, NBA.com

Mar 17, 2019 1:06 AM ET

Dwyane Wade celebrates after hitting a clutch, game-winning 3-pointer against the Warriors.

(March 15) -- In 10 years, there will be some kid watching old YouTube clips of Heat legend Dwyane Wade, attempting to assess just how good the man known as "Flash" once was.

Most of the highlights shown will be from Wade's prime, but at some point that kid will come across an insane buzzer-beater during Wade's final season, discovering the Hall of Famer still had game in his later years.

That buzzer-beater deserves to be in Wade's ultimate career highlight package, as well as in our mid-March update of the Top 10 Plays of 2018-19 so far. So, without further ado...

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1. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat | Feb. 27 vs. Warriors

The most epic and satisfying play of the year belongs to Wade and his circus 3-pointer at the buzzer, one that knocked off the two-time defending champs. It was a highlight moment from Wade’s last dance and became even more memorable when he celebrated by jumping on the scorer’s table. Even his opponent Stephen Curry labeled it an “iconic moment.”

 

 

2. James Harden, Houston Rockets | Jan. 3 vs. Warriors

Rest assured nothing was iconic about this game-winner to Stephen Curry and the Warriors, losing on their floor in overtime to ostensibly their biggest threat in the Western Conference. Harden’s bid for Kia MVP reached fever pitch levels after this tough basket.

 

 

3. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics | Feb. 7 vs. Celtics

Just how Luke Walton drew it up. The ball somehow found Rondo’s hands with 1.3 seconds left, and the well-respected former Celtic drilled the midrange jumper at the buzzer, fulfilling a long-time desire. “Believe it or not, I've always dreamed of something like this,” he said after the game.

 

 

4. Derrick Jones Jr. | March 10 vs. Raptors

“Airplane mode” simply isn’t playing fair at this point. A poor lob from Heat center Bam Adebayo winded up working in Jones Jr.’s favor as he threw down the most impressive alley-oop of the season. Peep Pascal Siakam’s reaction on the opposing bench.

 

 

5. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks | Feb. 13 vs. 76ers

Last season’s poster of the year was printed in Madison Square Garden when Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked, excuse me, jumped over Tim Hardaway Jr. This season the home team has gotten filthy with the rim-rockers. Kevin Knox saw an opportunity to go up over Ben Simmons and he did. Violently.

 

 

6. Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets | Dec. 18 vs. Lakers

Allen has proven to be a fearless big man for Brooklyn this season, unafraid to challenge the game’s biggest stars. That includes LeBron James. The Nets center emphatically denied James’ 260-pound frame at the rim, becoming just the eighth player to ever block a James’ dunk attempt.

 

 

7. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder | Feb. 23 vs. Jazz

George split two defenders at the top of the key, only to have the league’s reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year waiting for him with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. That wasn’t a problem for the Thunder star, who hit a high-arching floater over Rudy Gobert to put a cap on double-overtime and his 45-point night.

 

 

8. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers | March 12 vs. Bulls

As LeBron put it, “some things never change.” James has repeatedly demonstrated that he still has the power, flair and hops to pull off some extraordinary slams at age 34.

 

 

9. Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers | Nov. 17 vs. Hornets

Just five days after joining the team, Butler drilled a game-winning 3, then followed that up a week later with another game-winning 3. Consider both a top play of the year.

 

 

10. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz | Nov. 7 vs. Mavericks

We saw Donovan Mitchell take flight in the throwback Jazz threads during last year's slam dunk competition. He's now donning the fresh uniform in live action and making actual defenders his props.

 


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