Before this week, I was used to hearing rumblings from the dwindling number of critics of LeBron James who claim his dunks are stale and hardly ever coming on a defender.
To their credit, LeBron hasn’t had many devastating poster dunks in awhile, partly because defenders are smart enough to get out of the way, defenses are more focused when playing the Heat and especially on LeBron, and also because he may not want to waste that energy when he could go up for a layup and get the same number of points as a dunk.
But then this happened:
LeBron threw down a towering one-handed dunk over the top of 6-5 rookie guard, Ben McLemore, who foolishly attempted to draw a charge on the driving James.
The dunk brought out the NBA community in droves, leading to nearly a million views on the NBA’s official YouTube video account featuring the posterization.
Before we even had time to allow the dunk to resonate in our minds, LeBron did himself one better less than a week later, this time dunking on the 6-8 Paul Millsap, who, like McLemore, attempted to draw a charge on a driving James.
The Atlanta Hawks threw Al Horford to defend LeBron in the waning seconds on an eventual overtime-win for the Heat. Seeing the mismatch, James drove in, initiated flight sequence and dunked it over Millsap, who turned out to be a good sport about the whole matter afterwards.
Most fans have been debating between these two dunks on which was the more ferocious, but they both may pale in comparison to the already-forgotten dunk of LeBron’s at the expense of Luis Scola and David West.
How did we forget about this already? LeBron turned Scola into a statue before dunking over notorious Heat-nuisance David West. How is this not being considered among LeBron’s best dunks of the season?
It’s intriguing how two of LeBron’s dunks, the posters on West and Millsap, occurred against players who have a longstanding history of being Heat-killers. Has LeBron become so talented that he now picks-and-chooses who he wants to dunk on?
I imagine that all three of these dunks, especially the last two, will prompt defenders in returning to just moving out of the way or simply hacking LeBron on a drive to the rim.