Larry Nance Jr gives us the #DunkOfTheYear in Top Play 1️⃣
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 12, 2017
The Los Angeles Lakers had many over-the-top plays during their resurgent 2016-17 season, as head coach Luke Walton and the young core battled through the growing pains. Although their 26-56 record wasn’t exactly ideal, they bookended the regular season with a strong five-game winning streak.
Players such as Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac showed immense growth, filling their roles and expanding their arsenal to impact the game in other ways. However, each of these players also have their strongpoints, exposing opponent’s weaknesses and rising to the occasion.
The Lakers are conducting a top-10 countdown of the best plays of the season, as the NBA Playoffs is set to enter the conference finals. Friday concluded the Lakers countdown, as they revealed their No. 1 play of the year. While the entire Lakers fan base anxiously waits for the NBA Draft Lottery and the results of their top-three protected pick, here is a chance to reflect upon the dominant moments of the 2016-17 season.
The top choice on the list seemed like an obvious one, an homage to Nance Jr. and the Lakers contest at the Barclays Center on Dec. 14. Nance Jr. received the ball with an open floor, crossing back to his right hand and elevating for a thunderous jam over Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez.
The dunk quickly spread throughout the media and NBA, capturing the top spot on many lists and dunk charts as well as being nominated for Dunk of the Year at the upcoming NBA Awards show. The explosiveness of the dunk quickly resonated throughout the arena, as both the Nets and Lakers bench jumped out of their seats in shock.
During his sophomore season, the Lakers forward averaged 7.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.