The anatomy of a poster

by Zettler Clay

Jeff Van Gundy called it the “top play of the year.” Others are saying it’s the top dunk of the playoffs, revisionist memory and all (I think Taj Gibson may have a few things to say about that). But we’ll just settle for “a dunk that’s well-entrenched in Kevin Durant’s highlight reel for the rest of his career.”

Below is the video of the highlight, but here at All Ball, we endeavor to go further than that. If your first name is “Brendan” and last name is “Haywood,” this might be the time for you to disengage from this post.

The astute eye would notice there wasn’t a hand-on-rim connection in this play and might be inclined to discredit it. This position has been discussed ad nauseum by the Hang Time crew and NBA.com’s LeMont Calloway, who handles the Dunk Ladder. But I’d caution against discounting a play in which a 6-foot-9 player extends clean over the top of a 7-foot center and while being pushed away from the hoop, still manages to … just look at it again for yourself.

56 Comments

  1. ma name is rudy says:

    kd dont got nothing on my man rudy gay it wasnt even that great of a dunk all those hypocrites against blake griffin cant say nothing about his dunks if this is counted as one =/

    • JonJon says:

      Ok dude..you are ultimately dumb for your post #1 Rudy Gay has missed like half the season # 2 He missed the playoffs #3 The blog is talking about best dunks, not best dunkers so try to keep ur selfish opinions to yourself…”it wasnt even that great of a dunk” are u retarted?! #1 It was right over a Center #2 dudes head was at the rim #3 he took the contact #4 he fell backwards and still dunk’d it while getting fouled….one of the best dunks EVER right here!!

  2. Brian says:

    If this play doesn’t happen, the Thunder are looking at an 0-2 deficit. Thankfully for OKC fans, it did.

  3. Ashcruel says:

    nice dunk..
    but not the dunk of the year :/

  4. Ryan says:

    Great Dunk and one of the best in the conference finals (give Taj Gibson some love). Best of the year? Not even close. Blake Griffin ruled all in-game dunks this year and he had a couple against New York early this year that were 10X better than this. I love KD and this was a game changer so props are due.

  5. Poor “ma name is rudy”, he needs to go get remedial English lessons.Should have stayed in school and stopped smoking crack. Kevin Durant made the drunk of the year. To bad, so sad, punk.

  6. zombie autopilot says:

    good play but that’s not a dunk.

    • JonJon says:

      If dwight howards super man dunk was a dunk when he jus threw the ball into the rim then this def is a dunk, atleast durants hand made contact with the rim

  7. Ri Mtrgh says:

    not so great../// if i were haywood i would knock him harder.. injured him for good.. go to the finals and do it with wade.. dallas champions haywood extra bonus

    • MikeNOR says:

      “Injure him for good” jealous Mavs fan, hm??? d…b a..s Ri MTrghwhatever…Durant dont need to do that on D-Wade, Gibson does…

    • Brian says:

      But I’ll bet you were all pissed off when Bynum tried to do that to Barea. You’re an idiot.

  8. alfred says:

    thats how the OKC guys serves to be the best rookie team of the NBA history..dont stop believing guys..only loosers quit..

  9. Darren says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!

  10. kantankruz ~ Thunder Down Under says:

    One of the top few of the playoffs (both of Gibson’s were epic as well), absolute game changer today. Maybe top 20 this year and I think Blake owns prob the top 8 or so. Go Thunder!

  11. ulol deng says:

    it was a dunk and taj gibsons dunk was ugly it was a travelling but the ref didnt called it a travel. :P
    fyi KD’s hand contact with the ring but becoz of the ugly push it looked like he didnt touched it.

  12. JubilantJordan says:

    “A slam dunk is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim”

    And one or two of his fingers touched the rim. So guess what guys… it’s a dunk.

  13. BEANTOWNSTANDUP617 says:

    TAJ GIBSON DUNK ON D WADE IS BY FAR THE BEST DUNK IN THE PLAYOFFS (IT HAPPEND IN THE 1ST Q AND CHANGE THE WHOLE GAME) AND BLAKE GRIFFEN HAS THE BEST DUNKS IN GAME DURING THE SEASON… THE DUNK WAS GOOD FOR KD HE NEED TO DO MORE DUNKS LIKE THAT!!!

  14. Jozi says:

    YES!!!! PLAY OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!

  15. Mike says:

    So far, only 2 or 3 dunks can get consideration for top 10 dunks of the year: Both Tja’s Game1 vs the Heat, and Kobe’s dunk on Okafor. Durant’s dunk is awsome, but it lacks some major factor: Game changer? I think it was too early into the game to say that… Commitment of the blocker? Haywood was soft on the play. the lack of power on the dunk made it less explosive.

    • Ed says:

      Less explosive?! How is that not explosive? He had the full extension, full elevation. Gibson’s dunks were great. Your point, BLOCKER’S COMMITMENT, Wade was not committed..he just tried to bother Gibson because he didn’t thought he’d dunked the ball. Plus Wade’s 6’6 and Gibson is 6’9 or 6’10? And please, do you seriously think you’re a better game/play reader than Jeff Van Gundy who was there and saw the whole thing LIVE. SERIOUSLY DUDE, WATCH IT AGAIN.

      • apollo says:

        don’t believe everything jeff van gundy says. he said miami was gonna break the bull’s recoed of 72 wins. did it happen ? don’t think so. it was a very good dunk but “DUNK OF THE YEAR ” not even close. check out the dunk of amare on greg monroe, griffin over almost everybody, then judge it for yourself

  16. Shanwntay Owens says:

    Dewayne Wades dunk on Kendrick Perkins was one of the greatest dunks of all time and that’s the TRUTH!!!!! Everyone elses dunk were comparible, but D-Wade’s was Beastly!!!!! Watch a clip of it!!!!!

  17. LeBron youcantdohowIdo James says:

    In my opinion that was great dunk, but not one of the best.

    In order to be one of the best, the ball must bounce on the floor before the dunkers’ feet. That why lots of tall guys dunks are not that nice because when they dunk their feet are close to the floor (except Dwight Howard)

    Other thing… a nice dunk is when the guy pull hard the rim, like shaq use to do and like LeBron normally does.

    So these 2 points I did not see at Durant’s dunk.

    The nicest thing was the elevation, which was helped by the contact.

    • LeBron youcantdohowIdo James says:

      This dunk made me remember The LeBron’s dunk against Celtics 2 or 3 years ago in KG’s face.

      Looks very similar.

  18. tata says:

    Durant’s dunk was good but Taj Gibson’s 2nd dunk in game 1 made me jump off the couch and scream. That is a true dunkmeter.

  19. sin says:

    Wade’s 360 dunk on Perkins is about three hundred times better than this. And probably top three in the season with Blake’s dunks on Gallinari and Mozgov. Jeff Van Gundy just says stupid things on a regular basis to get atention.

  20. nkmavs says:

    oh please, this one dunk is to become the dunk of the year? i’d prefer griffin’s version (which i totally do). And durant’s dirty plays including two elbows to stevenson which wasn’t even called had saved him the fouling out. but i guess teams do get lucky.

    • Nada says:

      You’re still mad because Big Daddy Joel Crawford was not there to bail Dirt out the second game!!!!

  21. Ashton says:

    to brian this play would not have affected the outcome as thunder would still win with or without the 3 point play.

  22. Goran D. says:

    The elevation does it on this Durantula’s slam!

  23. Teva says:

    why does the site nba.com like this one?
    4th quarter, 1 game down, KD penetrates entire defense, 1 hand 1 foot, MJ style speed dunk, perfect composure, draws huge foul, incredible height + his mama in the building, in MAVS building chidren please
    easily one of the best dunks of postseason

  24. jeff says:

    best dunk of the playoffs as far as being a momentum changer lost man off the dribble over 7 footer head at the rim plus he was (flagrant) fouled. Dunk of the year was JR Smith two handed and 1 over Gary Neal…and Im a Spurs fan!

  25. Kimy says:

    If you are a spurs fan you like Ginobilli?….gooood! Duncan or Parker? Your team already lost. It´s a pity. Keep going my friend, put the whole d…irty world in your mouth/ because Spurs deserved win…..I´m sad…I have no more words to say….
    Let´s go Mavs!!!!!!! I´m Mavs fun but cOme on!

  26. Kimy says:

    I mean…THERE YOU GO…baby.. put the whole ….the whole, the whole, the whole ….effort. Oh! More fool me!.

  27. Bulls!!! says:

    what abt this dunk? I think this deserves to the same category as durant’s dunk…and it happened in the same playoffs so making durant’s dunk a clear dunk of the year or of the playoff’s will be stupid

  28. albert says:

    KD with no regard for human life!!!!!!

  29. KD is awesome says:

    Technically its still a dunk cuz at 0:12 his fingertips still made contact with the rim

  30. Paul says:

    Yeah, i think this one is the best dunk/facial of the year, kd is ma man. Look how high he was, look what he dunked on, now get it? Dunk of the year babeeeeeeee! OKC 4 the Nba champions

  31. SU4life says:

    who the heck cares whether or not it was “called” a dunk the kid single handedly changed the game and the series for that matter with one of the best “game changing” plays of the year. Blake had most of the dunks when the game didnt matter and lets face it the clippers? come on they were a joke this year this kid “Kevin Durant” is a competitor and one who deserves even more credit then given. You can not credit that boy enough for what hes doin for the People of OKC and new and upcoming teams the guys a beast…final

  32. sure? says:

    this is better, why? because of the obvious..

    KD dunked over someone who is taller than him..

    Gibson dunked over shorter than him..

    need more explanation?

  33. Anil Ergunay says:

    wtf are u guys talking about? jr smith’s dunk over gary neal is the best dunk of the year. Period.

  34. LOLZ says:

    true that.
    KD is a beast
    gibsons dunk was pretty damn proo but D-wade is obviously a better player but im a bit biased since im a WADE fan. but the worlds gotta face the truth KD’s dunk was better then gibson’s and last years dunk on varejao by WADE is by far better then all of them since Wades a SG and he Dunked on a C with contact

  35. TWOTYMA says:

    This dunk, much like the Taj dunk on Wade was nothing! In both, the defender was sliding over in coverage. It wasn’t a man -on- man dunk, just a penetrating to the rim, and defender sliding over to make a already easy shot, a lil more difficult.

  36. oscar says:

    wade over varejao….yeah its not this year…..but it was THAT disgusting

  37. Blake Griffin says:

    Does anyone remember me?
    Why didn’t we make the playoffs…

  38. K-ROB3K Spurs fan says:

    That KD dunk was Nasty his head was like ot the rim…I didn’t know KD had it in him..correction Wade is 6’4” Nobody dunks on people like Amare..he serves facials nastier than anybody on a consistent basis..whne he’s healthy…Vince carter is the best dunker ever! How do you jump OVER a 7 footer on a fast break in an olympic game? ! Greatest play in basketball history my opinion

  39. Fady says:

    why is it that when KD dunks he is 6-9 but when he crosses someone up he is 6-11 or something… great dunk though.. ooohhhhh mamma

  40. perk says:

    The fact that he it was only a half court play, and that KD got so unbelievably high was what made play one of the best.

  41. Not the best dunk of the year, but without doubt the best play of the playoffs. Kevin Durant is the future of NBA!

  42. B. Haywood says:

    Peja! Close the gate!

  43. BigDunksAllDay says:

    If you look at 13 seconds his hand clearly smashes the rim when he throws the ball down! correct me if im wrong but last time i checked thats a form of dunking????

  44. AK47 says:

    Dunking is scoring the ball on a downward motion. “Oh mummy, but the man didnt touching the rim blah blah blah…” what a bunch of dimwits.

    This dunk is pretty nasty, but Haywood got caught on a bad rotation,

    I agree with Oscar – Wade over Varejao, now that was a sight to behold haha. I still like my Amare Stoudemire 1 on 1 posters the best.

    And yes, JR on Gary Neal = best of the year. That boy positively flies.