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In perhaps the key crunch time play for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Atlanta Hawks, Jeff Green threw down a dunk over Josh Smith that was so nasty, ESPN’s John Hollinger had to devote an entire article — not a post, mind you, but an 800-word thesis — describing just how important and impressive Green’s dunk was. For instance:

So instead, Green took matters into his own hands. He spun away from Smith’s pressure, dribbled down the lane, and uncorked a right-handed statue-of-liberty slam over Smith that left the home crowd gasping. It’s rare to see one of the league’s top shot-blockers posterized in his own building, let alone on such a crucial play.

Considering last night’s win, the Thunder’s 23rd of the season, matched last season’s win total, I can see why Hollinger is treating it as more than just your run-of-the-mill NBA poster dunk. The Thunder, with young studs like Kevin Durant, Green, Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the roster, have been wearing the crown of “most exciting young team with a future in the league,” a designation they share with the Portland Trail Blazers. Now that they are learning how to win in the league, expect the “buzz” surrounding the Thunder to only increase.

Of course, when you have game-winning dunks like the one Green threw down over Josh Smith, the excitement increases rather easily. Just ask John Hollinger.