After Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, NBA Legend and Hall of Famer, Magic Johnson went on Twitter to give props to Bam Adebayo. He came up with the game-saving block to give the Heat a 1-0 lead in the series thanks to a 117-114 victory.
The 23-year-old big-man came up with a huge block on Jayson Tatum, who drove by Jimmy Butler and went up for a game tying block.
Adebayo’s block certainly impressed everyone that even the Greatest Point Guard of All-Time acknowledged it as “the best defensive play I’ve ever seen in the playoffs!!!!”
If you got the Magic Johnson to say that on your play, you know you did something amazing.
But his quote of “the best defensive play I’ve ever seen in the playoffs!!!!” got me thinking. Obviously, that is his opinion but what are some of the most impressive blocks in NBA playoffs history?
Here’s my take to some of the most jaw-dropping blocks in NBA playoffs history.
2009 NBA East Semifinals, Dwight Howard sent Ray Allen’s shot to the crowd.
2013 NBA East Semifinals, Nate Robinson’s monster block on LeBron James in transition.
2013 NBA Finals, LeBron James strongly denied Tiago Splitter up top.
1994 NBA Finals, Hakeem Olajuwon swatted John Starks’ shot to win his first NBA title
No. 1 – King James’ historic Game 7 block on Andre Igoudala
Let’s start our list with what many people consider as “The Greatest Block of All-Time”.
What else hasn’t been said about this LeBron James block on Andre Igoudala.
After being down 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, against all odds the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to force the series in Game 7 and with 1:55 left in the game with the score tied at 89, the best sequence of the series happened.
Kyrie Irving put up a go-ahead floater but missed. Igoudala took the rebound, attacked the transition with Stephen Curry and like an eagle swooping in to catch his prey, James came out of nowhere to block the lay-up and keep the game tied which eventually led to their big win.
Igoudala had about 10 step advantage on James, but somehow, he still got blocked. If that doesn’t impress you, I don’t know what will.
No. 2 – Chris Bosh capped off an amazing comeback with the game saving block.
The 2013 NBA Finals saw one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA history.
Down five, 89-94, with 25 seconds left in the game, the Miami Heat knew that they had to pull off something big in order to stop the coronation of the San Antonio Spurs, who were poised to win the title in Game 6 with a 3-2 lead in the series.
We all remember the James three-pointer to keep the Heat in the game, and surely, we haven’t forgotten the clutch three-pointer of Ray Allen in the corner to force the game into Overtime.
But what most people tend to forget is the two-game saving blocks that Chris Bosh had on Tony Parker and Danny Green.
Two clutch blocks after a clutch three by one of the greatest shooters of all-time, that’s how a comeback should be made.
No. 3 – Big Ben Wallace denies Shaquille O’Neal
2006 Eastern Conference Finals. The Miami Heat was on the verge of reaching the NBA Finals as they led 3-1 in the series against the Detroit Pistons.
The Heat were relying on the dynamic duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. The Flash and Superman of Miami. But the veteran heavy and defensive line-up of Detroit just wouldn’t quit.
In Game 5 of the series, the Heat were looking to finally dispatch the Pistons and move on to the NBA Finals but Ben Wallace and his crew had other plans.
Detroit had a great showing in the first three quarter, controlling the floor with their defense and making high percentage shots as well.
And in the third quarter with 8:28 on the clock and the Pistons leading, 55-51, Big Ben rocked O’Neal’s bell with an emphatic block that had the crowd and the commentary team going crazy.
A block on Shaq alone is already jaw-dropping but to block his shot with such force, that alone shows why Wallace should be in the Hall of Fame.
No. 4 – Tayshaun Prince’s daredevil chase down block on Reggie Miller
In the 2004 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, two of the best defensive teams at the time went head-to-head.
In 2004, the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers had one thing in common. Suffocating defense.
At the time, Indiana was known as the squad that had that can block shots force teams to take bad shots like Jermaine O’Neal, young Ron Artest, Al Harrington and Jamaal Tinsley. While Detroit had the Wallace “brothers” in Ben and Rasheed underneath plus the excellent perimeter defense of Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chauncy Billups.
The Pacers took Game 1 of that series and was looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead. But the Pistons were able to do enough to take a 69-67 lead with 24 seconds left in the game.
With 24 seconds left, Billups attacked but was stripped by Tinsley, who then recovered the ball. They tossed it ahead to Miller who had a good 16-step advantage on Prince but somehow, Prince managed to get back on Defense and come up with a huge block to keep their lead and eventually win.
What made this block one of the best is the distance Prince had to cover to get be able to block Miller’s shot.
The Pistons to win the series and the title as well.