The NBA is filled with incredible, mind-blowing plays yearly. The best players in the league hit some of the best shots or make the best plays. Reflecting on this, what are the top five most impressive plays from the 2018-2019 regular season?
5. Harden’s Warrior Heartbreaker
Kicking off the top five plays of the year is James Harden.
On January 3rd, the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors met for their second time this season in a game heavily anticipated for weeks. Harden left with the last laugh in the overtime thriller.
With under six seconds to go, Harden received the ball with the Rockets down two. After a measly pick set by P.J. Tucker, the Beard took this game into his own hands.
Harden rose up for a deep three, draped by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, but it didn’t even matter. The MVP candidate drained the three to go up one with only a single second left on the clock. Furthermore, Houston wins a pivotal game against the Warriors.
4. Luka Magic?
On December 23rd, the Dallas Mavericks took on the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland. After a hard fought game down to the end of regulation, the Mavs found themselves in a tough, unlikely situation.
There was only 0.06 on the clock. Yes, you read that correctly, SIX TENTHS. The Mavericks were down three, in-bounding the ball underneath Portland’s basket. Jalen Brunson found Luka Doncic streaking to the far corner, where Doncic had to hoist up a prayer over the outstretched arms of C.J. McCollum.
That prayer was answered as he got the shot off in time and absolutely nailed it to tie the game. In the end, Dallas fell to Portland, but that doesn’t take away from the difficulty of the shot, and that Doncic was a rookie.
3. Not Your Buddy
On January 19th, the Detroit Pistons and Buddy Hield became………not buddies. After having a fantastic game all night long against Detroit, Hield topped the game off with an acrobatic, game winning three at the buzzer.
After mishandling the inbound pass, Hield found himself in a triple team. However, the former star of Oklahoma somehow stepped through the triple team to shoot a one legged three while fading away from the basket. Hield absolutely nailed the circus shot on his way to a 35 point game to lead the Sacramento Kings to a victory over the Pistons.
2. All Hail the King
On February 21st, the Los Angeles Lakers were in the midst of a heated playoff race. A big win against the New Orleans Pelicans is exactly what they needed to get their confidence back.
Los Angeles was up three with about thirty seconds to go in the game. After a broken offensive possession, LeBron James decided to improvise and do it all by himself. The King lost the ball during his drive to the rim, but regained control of the ball that led him to the corner with Jrue Holiday hot on his trail.
Realizing the shot clock was under three seconds, the King knew to attempt some kind of shot. That being a fade away, one legged shot with Holiday in his grill. James hit the shot, leading the Lakers to a big win at the time.
1. One Last Dance
On January 27th, Dwyane Wade hit one of the biggest shots of his career in his final year playing in the NBA. The Miami Heat were big underdogs to the two time defending champion Warriors, but that didn’t seem to matter.
Miami found themselves down two points in the final possession of the game. The ball was with Dion Waiters with less than five seconds to go. After Waiters failed to create a shot for himself, he dumped the ball off to an open Wade at the top of the key.
Thereafter, the space closed quickly as Kevin Durant lunged at Wade with his long arms, forcing Wade into a pump fake instead. He patiently watched KD fly by, then went up with his shot, where it was blocked by Jordan Bell.
Finally, the ball landed back into the Flash’s hands where he threw up a wild shot to get it off before the buzzer. It was a stepback, one legged shot that he got no lift on whatsoever, banking it in at the horn to send Golden State back across the country with a loss.