Top 50 Plays of the NBA Preseason (VIDEOS)

by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam

Tomorrow night—the opening night of the ’12-’13 NBA season—will officially mark the League’s return to equilibrium. Not that it matters at all anymore, but last summer’s lockout had a profound, trickling-down impact on League order. Training camps were basically non-existent, team practices were a novelty and back-to-back-to-backs made the players—and their bodies—feel as if they were 16 and back on the AAU circuit. Between the Dwightmare, Linsanity, the fall of Derrick Rose and LeBron’s first Championship, the season—albeit one of the most exciting in recent memory, partly because of said storylines— felt rushed, cluttered and, at various points, like seven months of organized chaos.

This year, though, it’s go-time.

Carmelo Anthony will finally embark on his first full season in New York; the Brooklyn Nets exist; Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are on the same team as Kobe Bryant; LeBron James is coming for his second NBA Championship; the OKC Thunder, a team that should be on its way to the tip-top, may fall the opposite way because of James Harden’s departure; Harden and Andrew Bynum, once peripheral factors, are now franchise centerpieces; the Denver Nuggets, lacking a bonafide superstar, will try to defeat conventional wisdom and NBA history by contending for a title. And so on…

In reality, there’s just too much to look forward to.

But before we take a step forward, let us reflect on what occurred during the 2012 NBA preseason. Of course, the past three weeks have no bearing on what’ll unfold over the next eight months. On a macro level, the preseason means virtually nothing. On a micro level, however, the preseason was a great first glimpse.

And that’s exactly, in its totality, what the video gallery at the bottom of this post is: a first glimpse.

The gallery below showcases the 50 best plays of the preseason, featuring Howard and Nash in Hollywood, Ray Allen in South Beach, Gerald Green in Indiana, Anthony Davis in New Orleans, Jonas Valanciunas in Toronto, Jeff Green in Boston, and so, so much more. There’s a few Oh My Goodness highlights (what’s good, Jeremy Evans?), a handful of eye-catching dunks, blocks and assists, and, more than anything else, countless plays that made us realize the NBA is finally here.

We’re back, folks.