Top Plays Ladder
The NBA.com Top Plays Ladder is a free-flowing, continuously updated chart that ranks the best plays of 2012-13. When a play happens that brings you to your feet, check here to see how it ranks. And if it ain't here, sound the alarm.
The Final Four
May 19 -- Four weeks of NBA Playoff basketball has yielded the debris of 12 fallen teams, leaving the last four to fight on.
Dreams of a LeBron-'Melo conference finals matchup were slashed by the Pacers, whose egalitarian brand of offensive output counters the star-powered engine of their biggest obstacle in Miami.
Four weeks ago, the Thunder were a lock to get back to the Western Conference Finals. Then they watched their primary offensive catalyst Russell Westbrook score 16 points in the second half against the Rockets on one knee. A day later, his season ended with the announcement of a torn right meniscus, greatly altering the playoff landscape.
That led to the emergence of Reggie Jackson, who demonstrated a knack for playmaking, including one of the niftiest fast break finishes you'll ever see. Later in the same series, Tayshaun Prince brought down a left-handed hammer over three hands to give southpaws everywhere a vicarious thrill -- en route to sealing the Thunder's demise.
The "Next Man Up" mantra applies in the Top Plays Realm as well, with new stars scratching for their shine in the postseason light. Iman Shumpert's monstrous putback yam, Nate Robinson's rejection of LeBron James, Stephen Curry's one-legged 3 off the dribble and Kawhi Leonard's smooth poster dunk over Harrison Barnes stand out.
Sound off on which playoff finishes have stood out to you at NBATopPlays@turner.com.
-- Zettler Clay IV, NBA.com