“Skyler’s Swishes” is a column by Skyler Trepel recapping the top three events from the past week of NBA play.
This week’s swishes include one of the greatest dunks of all time, a rebound for an entire franchise and two new members of the 50-point club.
If you enjoy basketball, you can likely remember where you were when you saw your first great poster dunk. This weekend, a whole new generation got their own version of this moment as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards completely posterized Yuta Wantanabe of the Toronto Raptors.
This got social media buzzing with all-time great dunks such as Kobe Bryant “baptizing” Dwight Howard, Vince Carter’s “dunk of death” over the 7-foot-2 Frédéric Weis, Dwyane Wade detonating on Anderson Varejão and LeBron James’ iconic poster on Jason Terry.
When Edwards caught the ball on the left wing near the end of the third quarter, no one knew what would happen next. He drove towards the rim and launched skywards from the baseline.
His arm extended nearly two feet above the rim and he pretended like Wantanabe wasn’t even there. The physics of Edwards throwing this down barely make sense with how far away he was from the rim, but that wouldn’t stop him.
Wantanabe jumped in the air but Edwards slammed into his body with ferocity. He put his hand on Wantanabe’s head for elevation and stuffed his body in between his legs.
This picture will live on forever as one of the greatest dunks of all time.
The Wizards have had such a good week that they’re making it hard to justify the usual criticism.
The Wizards had lofty expectations to begin their season as the duo of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook came together. These expectations didn’t pan out as the Wizards had a putrid start to their season with only six wins in their first 23 games.
However, things are finally coming together for them in more ways than one this week. Beal averaged over 30 points a game last year, but was not even an All-NBA selection. This year, he leads the league in scoring and finally earned his first All-Star starting appearance.
Not only that, but the Wizards are on a four-game winning streak as the duo of Beal and Westbrook starts to gel. During this stretch they’ve beaten some of the league’s best including the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers.
Don’t look now, but the Wizards are only 2.5 games out of playoff contention and may be one of the scariest teams to face in a seven-game series if they can keep this up.
On Friday, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets became the newest members of the NBA’s 50-point club.
Embiid is having an MVP-caliber season and has long been encroaching on this prolific milestone. His history of injuries and the fact many thought he would never return to full health makes it that much sweeter.
Embiid was able to score any way he wanted on this night as he had a flurry of mid-range shots and buckets inside. He may be 7 feet tall, but Embiid showed off his shooting touch all night.
He capped off his career night with a fading mid-range jumper to seal the win for the 76ers.
Murray made waves in the NBA bubble with his spectacular play and scoring, but got off to a slow start by those standards this season. However, that all changed on Friday.
Murray balled out, shooting 21-of-25 from the field with incredible slam dunks and eight 3-pointers. He attempted no free throws and skied through the entire Cleveland Cavaliers defense to cap off his career night with a high-flying slam.
“Skyler’s Swishes” runs every Monday.