There really isn’t much separating Shannon Brown from Nate Robinson. Both are built like football players on the basketball court, both are short for their natural position, but both make up for that lack of height with explosive athleticism.
Nate and Shannon are also both free agents this summer, and in their current roles as “highlight” players — i.e. easy to overrate because they pop up on YouTube on a regular basis — need those big plays to stick in the minds of GM’s as they look for long-term security in the League. While Nate is scrounging for garbage time minutes as the Celtics get closer to the NBA Finals, Shannon helped his cause in Sunday’s Lakers/Suns game thanks to a Jordan-esque follow dunk off a missed free throw. But do Shannon and Nate crack the list of Top 10 highlight-makers (dunks, circus shots, blocks, dimes, game-winners) still active in the postseason?
1. Dwight Howard
The monster dunks haven’t been as easy to come by lately, but Dwight is still good for sending somebody’s shot (2.6 bpg vs. Boston) to the popcorn man.
2. Kobe Bryant
Still the No. 1 option if you need a game-winner, Kobe is a walking clinic in creative moves to get buckets.
3. Shannon Brown
He’s like the NBA version of a kick returner. Fearless going into the teeth of a defense, and although he’ll only pop off a big play occasionally, it can change the momentum of a game when he does.
4. Rajon Rondo
Take a point guard, give him hands the size of Dr. J’s, and you get a slew of fake behind-the-back moves and Sidney Deane-like buckets.
5. Vince Carter
Always a staple on the highlight reel. But about that “Playing the biggest game of his life” thing … No comment …
6. Tony Allen
His landings are still scary, but the lift-off, flight and finish are things of beauty.
7. Amar’e Stoudemire
Few players can score at the rim with as much power and finesse.
8. Jason Richardson
He’s been more of a shooter than a finisher this postseason, but don’t sleep on his above-the-rim game.
9. Ray Allen
More likely to make the highlight reel with a game-winning dagger, but ask Dwight: Ray can still throw it down on you.
10. Steve Nash
Arguably the game’s most accurate pinpoint passer is still finding the impossible angles (14.3 apg vs. L.A.) and making improbable shots.