Bam Adebayo clinched Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference playoffs with an absolutely stunning block, with Jayson Tatum attempting a dunk with seconds remaining in overtime and getting denied at the rim by the Miami Heat center.
Seriously, watch it in slow motion and see where Adebayo’s hand was — right in front of the cylinder.
It was incredible, an instant all-time great swat in NBA playoff history.
But to those of you — and yes, there are multiple people I saw on Twitter — who think it’s better than LeBron James’ Game 7 block of Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals that led to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ title? I say: get that, er, stuff outta here.
First, let’s look at them:
Bam’s block was pretty amazing — he came from the other side of the paint, matched Tatum in the air and didn’t foul the Celtics star.
But let’s all remember that James’s block came in a Game 7 in the Finals, and that he was basically at halfcourt with Iggy streaking toward the three-point line. Yes, J.R. Smith helped force Iguodala into a layup, but how did James get all the way there, time his jump perfectly and avoid a goaltend?
It’s that added degree of difficulty and the situation that makes Bam’s block a top-three rejection (how about some love for Tayshaun Prince on Reggie Miller?) and James’s “The Block.”