Just over a quarter into the NBA’s 2014-2015 season, players across the league followed Derrick Rose’s lead earlier this week and began wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in protest of the non-indictment over Eric Garner’s death by police. When Lebron James and the Cavs visited Brooklyn to face off against the Nets on Monday, each team wore the shirts ahead of the game and news that Jay Z facilitated the act followed shortly after. The shirts are now being worn during warm-ups all over the league, and the show of solidarity may be the most obvious pick for the top of end-of-week highlight reel.
Take a look at our round-up of the rest below.
Here’s Lebron later that night, baffling Jay Z on the sideline with a double-take worthy jumper.
Steph Curry has emerged as the league’s most obvious MVP candidate with the Golden State Warriors beside him as the best in the West. Here’s a game-winner from last week against the Magic. Curry pulls up and sinks the three with 2.2 seconds left.
On Wednesday against the Rockets Curry had 20 points (Klay Thompson dropped 21) and helped his team extend their winning streak to 14.
As good as the Warriors have been, this next clip is proof that the best team in the league can get stuck playing bad basketball. And for a little over a minute this week, the Warriors stooped to the Timberwolves’ level and played the worst basketball we’ve seen all season.
A day before Curry’s big three last week, Derrick Rose banked a crazy, one-handed three-pointer of his own to send the Bulls into double overtime against the Mavericks. Dallas won the game 132-129 anyway, but this is a special reminder of why it’s nice to see Rose back on the court this year.
More recently, Blake Griffin, also in overtime, sunk a game-winning three to give the Clippers a one-point win over Phoenix.
Here’s Kobe Bryant’s latest buzzer-beater highlight. Capping off the first quarter against the Kings on Tuesday, he pulled a stunt only he could and shot a long three over all five defenders. It would have been more Kobe if he made it, but this clip has a 2014 ring to it.
To his credit, Kobe, who’s currently averaging 25.5 points per game in his 19th season, became the first NBA player to reach 30,000 points and 6,000 assists a little over a week ago.
Another one of the league’s big stars, Russell Westbrook, was still fresh off a hand injury when the Thunder played the ever-struggling Pistons on Sunday. With dunks like the one below, which you can actually hear if you watch the video, fans had a good reason to worry about that hand all over again.
And when the Thunder beat the Cavs last night, Westbrook had another poster-worthy dunk for the highlight reel.
In comparison to Westbrook, Matt Bonner is not a huge star, nor is Kyle Anderson, who he dishes to below after a clever drive. But Spurs coach Gregg Popovich benched his entire usual starting line-up and gave both Bonner and Anderson (and three others) the starting nod in an apparent show of confidence against the nearly bottom-of-the-heap Knicks. The result? San Antonio’s B-team can beat New York’s best and still make it look good. (To be fair, Carmelo Anthony wasn’t playing either.)
Unfortunately for San Antonio, they’re not above it all. Last night the far below-average Lakers pulled off their second consecutive win, this time against the Spurs. Nick Young pulled off this nifty little stutter step late in the game and elicited a reaction from Kobe on the bench.
When Popovich was asked about the performance during the middle of the game, he had this to say:
It’s been a big week for game-winners, and in the clip below, Vince Carter nails a three to send his Grizzlies into double overtime against the Hornets where they won 113-107.
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