Oh My God! Ja-Breaker! Full Extension!
That’s just some of the reaction from the crowd, commentators, and NBA Fans all over the world when Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant posterized Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley in Game 5 of their matchup in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Morant, who just won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award soared over Beasley in a dunk that some are calling the greatest in NBA playoffs history.
That’s a lot of History
What about Kareem Abdul Jabbar getting dunked on by “Dr. J” Julius Erving in the 1980 finals? Michael Jordan has classic dunks over the Knicks during their rivalry in the 1990s. Remember to win former star Baron Davis brought the house down when he destroyed Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, leading the “We Believe” Golden State Warriors to an upset victory?
There are plenty of dunks to choose from when selecting the greatest playoff dunks in NBA History. Our friends at the Some Dude Podcast asked the opinion of some other dudes and their listeners, and here’s what powerful dunks made the list. In no particular order, of course.
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The matchup between the Seattle Supersonics (Bring back the Sonics!) and Golden State Warriors was a scrappy one. Sonics All-Star forward Shawn Kemp and Alton Lister got into a scuffle during Game 2 of the series. Kemp not only got his revenge, let’s look at the takeaways here:
In the same game, Warriors forward Chris Gatling tried to go toe to toe with Kemp, in a losing effort. Gatling could do nothing but shake up with Kemp.
You know it’s a great dunk when it makes a movie. In the intense rivalry between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, the #GOAT, Michael Jordan dunked on Patrick Ewing and the rest of the team. This dunk was shown in a scene in the Eddie Murphy film, Boomerang.
The 1994 Eastern Conference Finals between the Bulls and Knicks was a memorable one. In game 3 of the hotly contested series, Scottie Pippen decided to sit out the remaining 1.8 seconds of the game when head coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for forward Toni Kukoc. Kukoc would go on to hit the impossible shot but the topic was around Pip’s horrible decision.
After apologizing to the team, Scottie more than made up for the mistake and capped it off by dunking on star center Patrick Ewing in what some say is the most disrespectful dunk in NBA History.
John Starks had an ax to grind with the Bulls and he had his chance to get his moment. In this dunk he posterizes the GOAT, Michael Jordan.
In what may be one of the most underrated posters of all time, Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson hit the baseline and slammed it over one of the best centers of all time, Hakeem Olajuwon.
The young upstart Minnesota Timberwolves faced the LA Lakers in the 2003 Western Conference Finals and thought they could pull the upset. Not only were they wrong. Kobe Bryant left them with the gift of a highlight.
WE BELIEVE! The Warriors shocked the world and Warriors guard Baron Davis dunked over Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko in historic fashion.
In Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, Boston Celtics then-rookie Jayson Tatum dunked over one of his idols, LeBron James… While they may have took the L, Tatum got the highlight of the season.
People forget former Chicago Bulls guard Derick Rose was an MVP. People don’t forget D. Rose posterizing Miami Heat center Joel Anthony
In the 1980 NBA Finals (the same ones we will eventually see on HBO’s “Winning Time.” “Dr. J” Julius Erving let Kareem Abdul Jabbar know he was in the house after these 2 dunks.
Then-Indiana Pacer Paul George took Lebron James and the Miami Heat to the limit and gave the fans a highlight with this amazing dunk
Anytime you dunk on a 7-feet, 7-inches tall man, it’s a highlight. T-mac did exactly that when Houston and Dallas linked up in the playoffs.
The dunk that started a dynasty! Kobe to Shaq clinched a series and eventually a NBA title when the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2001 NBA Playoffs.
Ok… Trae Young and John Collins embarrassed Joel Embiid here. Sheesh.
During the Pandemic NBA Season, Kawhie made a statement when he dunked the life outta Dallas Mavs player Maxi Kleber.
We talked about this Golden State vs. Seattle Sonics series twice already. This alley opp clinched a game 1 victory for the Sonics.
We save the best for last. Hawks center Dikembe Mutumbo told Michael Jordan in a famous All Star conversation that he never dunked on him.
Bad mistake Dikembe… Bad mistake