LeBron James and the Miami Heat produced plenty of high-flying highlights en route to winning the 2012 NBA championship, but one of the best plays of the postseason may have come from a team that they eliminated way back in the first round.
A few games before the New York Knicks were sent packing by Miami in the first round, J.R. Smith threw down a wild, acrobatic double-pump slam in Game 3 that seemed like it shook Madison Square Garden. Down by 10 early in the fourth quarter, the Knicks guard drove to his right past LeBron, found some open space underneath the hoop before soaring across the lane for the emphatic dunk.
Yes, Heat fans (and some folks in Seattle) may be the only ones smiling at the conclusion of the 2012 NBA postseason but there were loads of crowd-pleasing moments like this along the way.
Kobe Bryant reached deep into his young bag of tricks and threw down a reverse dunk against Oklahoma City. We were treated to one of Rajon Rondo's beautiful fake behind-the-back passes in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, Blake Griffin did something spectacular in his playoffs debut (and it wasn't a dunk). Even Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee showed he has what it takes to perform in the postseason (Seriously, that actually happened).
So now that the 2012 NBA postseason has officially come to a close and champion has been crowned, it's time to sit back and watch some of the most thrilling highlights that the playoffs had to offer. Which one do you think was the best of the best? Are there any must-see moments that we're missing?
Smith's Nasty Dunk
J.R. Smith sinks a monster dunk against Lebron James and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Pierce's Big Three
Paul Pierce hits a big three point shot within the final seconds of Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
McGee Lifts Off
Javalle McGee goes to the rim and picks up the foul during Game 5 against the Lakes.
Durant's Beautiful Jumper
Kevin Durant executes a jumper during the final seconds to put the Thunder over the Spurs in Game 1 for a clutch win.
Wade Throws It Down
Dwayne Wade follows up James' miss with a monster dunk in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Carmelo Holds It Down
Carmelo Anthony slams one hard during the first quarter in Miami.
Cunningham Comes Through
Dante Cunningham finds the rim over Blake Griffin during Game 1 in Memphis.
Rondo The Magician
Rajon Rondo shows off his quick hands with a beautiful fake during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston.
Kobe Being Kobe
Bryant hits a reverse dunk in Oklahoma City.
The Griffin Hustle
Blake Griffin dives to recover a loose ball to set-up a monster dunk from Jordan.
Danny Granger Buckets
Granger leads the pack to sink a dunk during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Noah Breaking Ankles
Joakim Noah shows off some fancy footwork before setting up Boozer for a quality three.
Duncan Keeps Dunkin'
Tim Duncan delivers a huge dunk over Serge Ibaka and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
J.J. Reddick hits a clutch three to tie the Pacers during the final seconds of the fourth quarter during Game 4.
Griffin's Nasty Alley-Oop
Chris Paul sets up Blake Griffin for a massive dunk, his 7th assist of the night, during Game 3.
Harden-Durant Set It Off
james Harden finds Kevin Durant to sink a bucket during the final minutes of Game 4.
Parker Ties It Up
Tony Parker ties up the Thunder with a clutch shot in the fourth quarter.