There are few things in life more pleasing to watch than a perfectly executed alley-oop slamma jamma. That moment when the two players involved have their eyes locked in an instantaneous realization of what is about to go down, a second later, it’s all over as the ball has been thrown down with the defense only able to look at one another in attempt to pass fault. In the NBA the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers are two teams that at times make opposing defenses look just plain silly.
The shot with the highest field goal percentage in basketball is the dunk. You have the best chance of scoring if you take the ball right to the hoop and score it. Granted, this is not an easy task with opposing players doing their damnedest to keep this from happening. A good way to get around and behind defenders is to push the pace, get up the court and take a high-percentage shot. Playing fast and getting points in the paint is a great way to score a lot of points and the Nuggets and Clippers do it well.
This is all well and good, but which team deserves the title of Lob City? The Nuggets only half-court play sometimes seems to be the alley-oop, primarily from Andre Miller, and they definitely utilize JaVale McGee‘s height and the athletic abilities of Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala to finish the play. The CBS Sports website lists the leagues top dunkers thus far in the season and McGee comes in second at 131, Faried is sixth with 102 and Iguodala is eighth with 94.
The Clippers are the original title-holders of Lob City and won’t let go of the moniker without a fight. Chris Paul dishes out 9.5 assists a game, with many alley-oops going to Blake Griffin, who has a league leading 145 dunks. DeAndre Jordan also finishes with a dunk frequently, coming in at third with 125.
By my calculations that gives the Nuggets a 327-270 advantage in the number of dunks thrown down. I realize Lob City denotes alley-oops and these numbers don’t examine the exact number of alley-oops thrown down, but I still think the Nuggets give the Clippers a run for their money when it comes to determining which city deserves the title. No doubt about it, if you watch either of these teams in action you are guaranteed to see a few monstrous alley-oops and hear a few oohs and aahs.
There is one thing that is for sure though. The Clippers are the better all-around team. They play better defense consistently and have a higher free-throw percentage. The Clippers are in a solid third place in the Western Conference and would probably be a better match for either the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who knows, maybe the players for the Clippers don’t like the label Lob City and would rather be seen as a team that can do it all. Alley-oops are definitely crowd pleasing, but nothing pleases a crowd more than winning games.