NBA 10 best plays of the 2021 calendar year

With so many highlights to choose from, we’re counting down the Association’s 10 best plays of the calendar year.

For all the ups and downs of 2021, at least one thing is true – basketball fans were treated to a jam-packed year of NBA hoops.

From slams and buzzer-beaters to clutch sequences and historic records to the Milwaukee Bucks taking home their first championship in 50 years, the league provided its fair share of memorable moments.

10. Zion posterizes Metu

Unfortunately, the former No. 1 pick Zion Williamson is out of action this season, but that does not mean he wasn´t able to make his mark this year. One of the league’s most powerful dunkers used a jab step to blow past Chimezie Metu and posterize him.

9. Barnes game-winner

The Sacramento Kings haven’t had much to celebrate over the past years and 2021 was no better. Nevertheless, Harrison Barnes produced a remarkable game-winner that the team’s fans surely won’t be sick of any time soon.

With the Kings trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers by one with 1.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Harrison Barnes channeled his inner Christian Laettner, catching a full-court pass then falling away to the right before connecting on a decisive 3-pointer.

8. Nets “play of the year”

The Brooklyn Nets became the “Superteam” in 2021, adding James Harden, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Patty Mills to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

All that talent was on full display in this masterful sequence.

7. Collins baptizes Embiid

Usually is Joel Embiid that posterizes other players, but the Sizers star found himself on the other side during last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks.

With the Hawks trailing by single digits in the third quarter, star floor general Trae Young lobbed a pass up high to roll man John Collins, who proceeded to climb the ladder known as Mt. Embiid before unleashing a vicious slam on the defensive stalwart.

6. Luka Magic single hand game-winner 

Luka Doncic has been putting on a show since his rookie campaign, but this clutch game-winner against the Grizzlies maybe cream of the crop.

Down two with 1.8 seconds on the clock, Luka did the following…

5. Bridges hammer over Capela

This kid is something… Another dunk of the year for the candidate came from  Charlotte Hornets high-flyer Miles Bridges, who absolutely embarrassed Atlanta center Clint Capela with this aerial assault.

4. Curry breaks the all-time 3-point record to become the best shooter in the NBA history

While not a highlight in itself, no moment this year induces more emotion than watching Steph Curry break the league’s 3-point record in front of a packed Madison Square Garden.

3. Edwards dunk over Watanabe

Anthony Edwards has quickly established himself as a high-flying human highlight reel during his brief NBA career. Of all his impressive dunks to date, his ridiculous poster over Yuta Watanabe certainly takes the cake.

2. Most dramatic game-ending

In easily the wildest, most improbable sequence of 2021, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander swished an off-balance 3-point heave from the logo to tie things up against the New Orleans Pelicans with 1.4 seconds remaining. SGA’s shot was impressive but managed to somehow quickly get outdone by Devonte’ Graham, who casually sank a seemingly impossible 61-foot trey to secure a thrilling victory.

 1. Holiday’s steal and alley-opp to Giannis in the NBA Finals

Very rarely can the balance of an entire campaign come down to one play, but that’s exactly what happened when Jrue Holiday forced a steal and lobbed up a perfect pass for a Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk in the NBA Finals.

Phoenix would likely win the game if they score on that possession, with two opportunities to clinch the series. But, Giannis’ and-one poster slam sealed the deal on the road and led to the Bucks’ first championship since 1971.



Source: TheScore

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