Friday, April 19, 2024
spot_img

Where Anthony Edwards’ dunk over John Collins ranks among NBA’s top 10 slams of 2023-24 season

On Monday night, Anthony Edwards had one of those dunks that get people talking about it for days. His monster slam over Utah Jazz big man John Collins is definitely worth another look. If you watched it live, you knew that right after it happened; it would make the rounds on every social media platform, talk and radio show, and all the podcasts. Not just for a couple of hours but probably a few days. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Edwards throw down a thunderous dunk on someone, as his missed dunks are even worth talking about. 

After all the hoopla that followed his posterization heard around the world, it seems like the perfect time to see how this dunk stacks up against other top slams of the season. So here’s a ranking of the season’s top 10 so far. 

10. Jaylen Brown over Rudy Gobert

Brown has proven to be one of the best in-game dunkers in part because he isn’t going to shy away from throwing it down with authority, regardless of who is lurking under the rim. Even if that someone is 7-foot, three-time Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert. 

The art of a good poster dunk is in all the details around the actual dunk. How loud was the rim when you threw it through the net? Did you play into it either by flexing on your opponent or letting out a loud yell of excitement? And perhaps most importantly, did you make your opponent fall to the ground, because we all know that just makes the dunk look cooler. Brown checked off all those boxes and more, and he’ll probably test Gobert at the rim now every chance he gets.

9. Jonathan Kuminga over Daniel Theis

Kuminga shot out of a cannon on this dunk, and unlike a lot of the other ones on this list, he did not get a giant running start to build up momentum. Kuminga was just setting an off-ball screen, flashed towards the rim where Kevon Looney placed a perfect bounce pass, and he catapulted into space. I truly don’t think Theis thought he would get up that high because you can see him muster up all his energy to try and contest that shot, but it clearly wasn’t enough, and instead, he became the victim of a poster. Oof.

8. Victor Wembanyama over Drew Eubanks

Who says big guy dunks can’t be awesome? The build-up to this dunk was almost as cool as the dunk itself. This whole sequence started out with Wembanyama crossing up Kevin Durant out on the perimeter. That alone was a highlight in itself. And if you rewind the tape a little further back for even further context, on the play right before this, Durant dunked on Wemby, so he clearly came down with the intention of doing something ridiculous.

While Durant wasn’t on the receiving end of the poster, he allowed the wide-open lane to the rim for Wemby to take off, and Eubanks got the worst of it. 

7. Ja Morant over Victor Wembanyama

In his seventh game back from a 25-game suspension, Morant made us all remember just how dangerous of a dunker he is. This would be a lot higher if Morant actually dunked on Wemby, because if you watch it, he kind of flew right past him for the dunk, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The gall to even attempt that when Wembanyama is already one of the best rim protectors in the league was a huge risk. But who better than Morant to take that chance?

6. Shaedon Sharpe over Walker Kessler

This was as clean a poster as I’ve seen. Sharpe just drove to the rim, took his two steps, and completely disregarded Kessler, who was late to switch over to Sharpe. Even if Kessler had been in a better position, I’m not sure things would’ve ended differently because Sharpe is just a ferocious dunker. It was either this or just give Sharpe a completely empty lane to pull off the same dunk. At least this way Kessler tried to put up a bit of resistance. 

5. Jalen Johnson over Austin Reaves

You have to commend Reaves for trying to take the charge here, but man, did this not go the way he expected. The staredown, the finish, and the fact that this was the first play of the game made this one of the better dunks of the season. Johnson has had some emphatic finishes this season, and this was the best of the bunch. He showed no signs of slowing down, even if he did get called for an offensive foul. Just impressive stuff from the Hawks forward.

4. Malik Monk over Kris Dunn

This is just unfair. Monk is an underrated dunker and he’s had a handful of electric finishes this season. This one, though, is by far the most disrespectful. A good indicator of a nasty dunk is how upset your opponent gets, and Dunn was not feeling Monk screaming in his face after getting posterized. Who could blame him? The Kings gave him the okie doke with De’Aaron Fox dumping the ball off to a trailing Monk, who wasn’t even fully prepared to pull off a dunk that insane. 

3. Jalen Green over Anfernee Simons

Usually, in transition situations like this, defenders won’t think twice about getting in the way to stop a dunk that clearly was going to happen, whether they’re there or not. But Simons, who just committed the turnover had a responsibility to try and stop the Rockets from scoring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. As we’ve seen Green do countless times in his career, he loaded up, glided in the air, and threw the ball down with such authority you would think he had beef with the rim. And then there was Simons, half-heartedly trying to put up some resistance. It could’ve been worse, Green could’ve sent him to the floor, but it’s never great being on the receiving end of these kinds of dunks, especially when it’s avoidable.

2. Dennis Smith Jr. over Duop Reath

Smith Jr. has had some eye-popping dunks, and some of the misses he’s had would be in best dunk-ever territory if he managed to finish them off. This one against the Trail Blazers rookie was one of his best. The fact that he’s just 6-foot-2 and is able to do stuff like this is absurd. Then you remember when he mentioned he couldn’t palm a basketball, and it just increased the level of difficulty by a billion. He has to have one of the highest verticals in the league, but even with that, it took skill to do this dunk, especially at his size.  

1. Anthony Edwards over John Collins

Was there ever any doubt? This wasn’t just the dunk of the year, this was the best dunk I’ve seen in at least the past five years (and that includes Edwards’ dunk on Yuta Watanabe in 2021). If you looked up the definition of a “poster dunk” in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Edwards trying to end Collins. All of the extra flourishes that make a dunk like this shine came through: the star power of Edwards (check), an overly excited commentator bringing the play to life (check), the crowd and bench going berserk (check), the victim of the poster getting sent to the ground in humiliating fashion (double check). Edwards is, without a doubt, the best in-game dunker in the league today, and this slam on Collins was him at the peak of his dunking powers.

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league’s biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.