The 2015-16 season is in the books, and yet I’m hungry for more hoops. Summer league is happening (and about to end), for an NBA fiend like me, I need something else to munch on. And what’s tastier than another round of AGR’s All-Slamma-Jamma teams? Probably pizza. Definitely pizza–gotta eat some of that soon.
Anyway, until the pizza gets here I’ll get started on writing this year’s article showcasing the season’s top dunkers: The 2015-16 All-Slamma-Jamma Teams.
Slamma-Jamma 1st team:
PG, Russell Westbrook: Different year, same story. Westbrook once again had an MVP quality season, and the athleticism that makes that possible also makes his insane rim attacks possible as well. While Westbrook lacked a signature dunk among his 69 dunks (the most of any point guard), I attribute that to people moving out of the way more than they used to. As is true every season, Westbrook dunks harder than anyone. It’s the only way he knows how.
SG, DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan makes his first Slamma-Jamma first team, in part thanks to this nasty posterization of Rudy Gobert (he only had 36 dunks on the year). While DeRozan has always been Slamma-Jamma worthy, his increased aggressiveness in driving to the hole has allowed his hops to shine. His dunking offers a solid combination of posters, oops, and creativity.
SF, LeBron James: After a down-year in 2014-15, LeBron James rebounded to become second only to Giannis among non-bigs in dunks (111). And this year, LBJ had some all-timers for his highlight real. Gracing this year’s top dunks for LeBron are a several reverse double-pumps in traffic, alley-oops that perhaps no other players could finish, and some lefty dunks for good measure.
PF, Anthony Davis: AD’s dunks weren’t particularly noteworthy this year, but you have to give credit where credit is due: his 147 dunks were more than any non-center in the league. As per usual, Davis thrived off of putbacks, alley-oops, and pick-and-roll feeds.
C, DeAndre Jordan: DJ didn’t have any dunks that broke Twitter this year, but his dunk on Greg Monroe was pretty damn sweet. Once again, he led the league in dunks (227), put people on posters, and finished alley-oops in ways that only he knows how to.
Slamma-Jamma 2nd team:
PG, Zach LaVine: Lavine’s 52 dunks were the second-most among point guards. Som might argue he should be on the first team after becoming the back-to-back dunk contest champ, but supplanting Westbrook requires more in-game dunks. What Lavine lacked in the poster department he made up for in the style department, with beautiful 360s and windmills highlighting is in game repertoire.
SG, Jimmy Butler: Butler didn’t put too many people on posters, but he dunked the most among shooting guards (69) and gets up high on his signature two-handed alley-oops off of back door cuts.
SF, Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak turned it on this year–his 141 dunks ranked 6th league-wide and were the most of any non-big. Giannis has a unique ability to euro-step into a dunk, which is fitting given his European roots. It’s a spectacular sight–a feat of coordination, explosion, and length. His ability to dribble, run, jump, and reach make him a devastating finisher on the break and in semi-transition.
PF, Aaron Gordon: Gordon has a case for being a first-teamer after his vicious dunk contest, but 72 dunks isn’t enough. Among those 72 dunks, though, we some gems. Gordon has serious bounce–he’s one of those dunkers that seems to coil his entire body in pursuit of maximum explosion. The result is grace, power, and awe. And of course, in-game windmills and borderline free throw line dunks. I’m excited to see if Gordon can continue his slamming ways next season.
C, Dwight Howard: Dwight may never dunk with the frequency or ferocity he did as a member of the Magic, but don’t sleep in what he still brings to the table. He finished second in the league with 176 dunks, which was a solid 25 more than 3rd-place finisher Nerlens Noel. Dwight’s dunks this year included posters, oops, and reverse dunks. In Atlanta’s pass-happy system, hopefully we’ll get more of the same now that he’s a Hawk.
Will JaVale ever get back in the mix? Can DeAndre Jordan fly? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.