In past years, collections of the Wizards top plays were usually a collection of John Wall throwing alley-oops to JaVale McGee and the 1/100 circus shots that Nick Young would make to remind you of his unharnessed talent. This year, with so many games with actual importance, we were treated to a different caliber of highlights this year. This is just my attempt at sorting out the best plays of the year. If there's a play that you feel was improperly ranked I invite you to use the comments and social media to inform me of why your opinion is superior.
To the list!
10. John Wall's game-saving block on Kyle Lowry
Unfortunately, this was not the only time Kyle Lowry had a potential game-winning shot in the paint blocked.
9. Bradley Beal breaking Paul George's ankles
It's time for a scavenger hunt: Find another player in NBA that made 40 percent of his threes and can cross up one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Take your time.
8. Nene's block on LeBron
While this isn't the most impressive play of the season, it's probably the one you've watched the most this season. There's just something special about watching LeBron James get blocked. Nene also gets an honorable mention for this dunk on LeBron in the closing minutes of that game.
7. John Wall's circus shot against the Bulls
I'm guessing I might catch some slack for not putting this play higher on the list. I give Wall lots of credit just for having the ability to muster up a shot given how Dunleavy wrapped him up. But still, there's still a certain degree of luck involved in making a shot you throw up over your shoulder while being spun around. Personally, I'd rather celebrate the skill and effort of the plays ranked higher than the luck and improbability of this shot. Related: That's why Trevor Ariza's shot against the Hawks missed the cut.
6. Marcin Gortat's dunk on Ian Mahinmi
If this dunk happened in the regular season, it probably doesn't make the cut, but the playoffs has a way of making things important. That said, PLEASE HAMMER, DON'T HURT 'EM.
5. Andre Miller's deep pass to Bradley Beal
This play is lot like your typical touchdown pass, except the defenders are bigger and harder to see over, Andre Miller had less time to read the defense than your average quarterback, and the ball is harder to throw. But other than that, just like tossing around the ol' pigskin.
4. John Wall's dunk on Greg Monroe
Greg Monroe kept John Wall from finishing a dunk at the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge. Greg Monroe did not have the chance to do that here.
3. John Wall's steal against the Spurs to force double-overtime
The best part of this play wasn't the steal or the layup, it was the realization that the Wizards weren't giving up against the Spurs, something that would normally happen halfway through the third quarter in years past.
2. Nene's game-winning dunk against the Pelicans
If a John Wall-Nene pick & roll of the inbound for a game-winning shot looks familiar, it's because it is. What made this play sweeter is how they were able to do it against a much more competent outfit than the Heat's B-Unit and they managed to keep Anthony Davis from ruining the play.
1. Bradley Beal's block on Jameer Nelson to set up a Trevor Ariza three
Like all of Stefon's favorite clubs, this play had everything:
A John Wall turnover.
- Bradley Beal making an incredible chase down block.
- John Wall hustling to recover Beal's block and push the ball back up court.
- Trevor Booker quietly making a screen to open up Trevor Ariza for a shot.
- Trevor Ariza making a corner three, assisted by John Wall.
- Orlando's color commentator, Jeff Turner, saying "Holy smokes, that was good." after everything finished.