Wednesday was a pretty great night in the NBA, especially if you hate the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, love the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers, and can't get enough of point guards making huge plays in the closing seconds to secure big wins for their teams. Everyone (outside of Boston, L.A. and NYC, that is) agrees on all of those things; they are inarguable.
Likewise inarguable? My world-famous Dan Devine's Inarguable Power Rankings, which identify which items in a group of things (say, versions of the Knicks' "Go New York Go" theme) are most powerful. In this episode: Dan Devine's Inarguable Wednesday's Point Guard Game-Winners Power Rankings.
Click the jump to behold the full list. And please remember, as always, that the list is the list.
Everything about Thomas' play (which was not included in the league's game-winner package, but should have been) was cool — that he read Ariza's intent the whole way, that he tracked the ball to the backcourt (something that defenders so often forget that they need to do in these situations), that he won the ball in the air from Greivis Vasquez (who is nine inches taller than Thomas, according to their listed heights, which might be a bit off on either side) and that he put the pass in a perfect spot for Salmons to be able to catch in stride, seal off the onrushing Jarrett Jack and go straight up to the rim for the game's final two points. It was a really great play.
WHY DOES IT RANK WHERE IT RANKS: Because this highlight also prominently featured Trevor Ariza and John Salmons, whom no NBA fan actually wants to see, and because selecting Isaiah Thomas anywhere higher than the absolute lowest possible spot in which he can be selected would derail a pretty rad narrative. Congratulations, Isaiah, on adding the #DDIPR's Mr. Irrelevant title to your mantel of perceived slights. Long may it fuel your fire.
4. Jordan Farmar buries a 28-footer with 0.2 seconds left to beat the Los Angeles Clippers.
It was obviously a great shot by Farmar, who has been the New Jersey Nets' most accurate long-range shooter this year, posting a 46.6 percent mark from deep that outstrips even deadeye Anthony Morrow (39.5 percent from 3-point land, in a "down" year). Even better? The feed by Deron Williams, who threw what had to be about a 26-foot bounce pass past a scrambling Chris Paul that hit Farmar right in the hands and perfectly in his shooting pocket, so he could just rise and fire. The best part, though, to my ears, was the reaction by Nets play-by-play man Ian Eagle, whose "got it/buries it" combo was like a safer, less threatening Kevin Harlan. Just a very fun moment for a Nets team that could use some more big wins like this.
WHY DOES IT RANK WHERE IT RANKS: Because despite the degree of difficulty in making a shot from that far away, CP3 did his level best to give Farmar as clean a look as he could by just completely forgetting the inbounder and chasing Williams. Also, yes, it was a great shot, but put your hand down, Jordan Farmar. You are still very much Jordan Farmar, FYI.
3. Kyrie Irving goes (just about) the length of the court and hits a double-clutch layup while falling down to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a one-point lead over the Denver Nuggets with four seconds remaining.
My esteemed associate Eric Freeman already touched on what made Irving's layup — which proved to be the clincher when Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson couldn't pull a game-winner out of his hat for the third straight game — so great, and he was bang-on about all of it. One thing I'd add: In watching the end of Cavs/Nuggets, I was stunned at how much I expected Irving to win it for Cleveland. In less than three months, Kyrie Irving has rendered all my questions about his brief resume obsolete, and I now expect him to beat Western Conference playoff teams. That's pretty great.
WHY DOES IT RANK WHERE IT RANKS: Because there was still time on the clock for Denver to answer, which Lawson's shown the last couple of nights he's very capable of doing, and also because I bet this made Chris Andersen sad, and thinking of Birdman being sad makes me sad. Mostly, though, because this next one was so dope.
2. Derrick Rose steps back to slay the Milwaukee Bucks at the buzzer.
The way he rocks Brandon Jennings just a bit off-balance, the space he creates with that jump-step, the elevation he gets to clear his field of vision, the utter control and command of the pace of the play, the fact that he left Milwaukee no time to respond in locking down yet another win for his East-leading Chicago Bulls ... this one's got everything. Plus, it gave us this great Derrick Rose mean mug:
WHY DOES IT RANK WHERE IT RANKS: Rose's buzzer-beater is clearly the best of these four game-winning plays. So why is it No. 2?
WHY DOES IT RANK WHERE IT RANKS: Without electricity, none of the players would have had lights on in the arena to see the basket. Also, none of the cameras would have been working or able to record the moving images you see above. Also, none of our cable or satellite networks would have been able to transmit those images, and none of our televisions would have been able to receive them and broadcast them to our eyes. Once again, electricity proves itself to be the most powerful power there is.
You will not be permitted to argue my power rankings — as always, the list is the list — but if you would like to submit your own rankings, please feel free to do so in the comments, at our Facebook page or on Twitter.
- Jordan Farmar
- Trevor Ariza
- New York Knicks
- John Salmons
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Boston Celtics