After taking some time to watch all of these Top 10 Play highlight reels on NBA.com, it seemed like there was quite a difference between the top plays of the Lakers, Magic and Celtics as compared with the Cavaliers. These teams were chosen for a couple reasons, first because they are basically the current top-tier teams that everyone likes to compare, and second, because I didn't see any other Western Conference team videos of note beyond the Lakers. Also you'll notice that a majority of these clips come from the playoffs. Lets take a look at each:
Lakers (link to video):
When watching the Lakers Top 10 reel, I couldn't help but get excited while reliving those great moments of the 2008-09 season. The main thing I noticed was that this is surely not the Lakers of 3-6 years ago when it could have only been a Kobe highlight reel. I was delighted to see how many of these clips were Kobe-less. Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza all made important contributions to the collection. Not only were a number of these plays offensive in nature, a number were also defensive, or defense that led to offense. The last thing you are sure to notice is the number of plays that Trevor Ariza was involved in. Let's just hope that at this time next year, Artest is a main contributor to the Top 10 plays of 2009-10.
Celtics (link to video):
In the Celtics reel, we are of course able to see Ray Allen going crazy and coming up big from three on several occasions. Perkins making a great block, Big Baby Davis hitting buzzer-beaters, KG doing his thing, Rondo assisting and showing that he can finish, Paul Pierce creating shots for himself and of course finishing in big-time moments. I think we can easily say that the Celtics, regardless of their supposed bench strength, have a fairly balanced team on both offense and defense. With the addition of Rasheed Wallace and a healthy KG, I expect the to have another strong year (semis/finals) regardless of their age.
Magic (link to video):
The Magic reel is another that is home to a nice balance of different contributors coming up big in different moments. The video begins with a huge dunk from Gortat, and is followed by a couple defensive stops, one on Kobe and another huge swat by Howard (maybe he should just catch it next time). Anthony Johnson, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and of course the team's ability to rain it in from 3-point land are all seen. They added Vince Carter which is sure to keep defenses needing another eye open allowing the team to come up big again.
Cavaliers (link to video):
Once you watch this video, I am sure you'll see where I'm going with this. LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, and of course LeBron. As I didn't watch any Cavs games beside when the Lakers played them and the playoffs, it is difficult for me to know whether or not they had much else going on besides #23. However, this clip probably does show why they weren't able to pass the magic to get into the finals. No one else was able to step up when LeBron needed it. Another thing is that while watching this set of clips, it will be interesting to see how Shaq settles in given the LeBron centered nature that the team.
Anywho, my apologies for not embedding the videos from NBA.com to make for easier watching, I couldn't quite figure out how and didn't want to mess anything up trying. Perhaps is an admin knows how, they could do it for me :)