"I always used slam-dunking as a tool for intimidation." - Dominique Wilkins
The purpose of this page is to provide detailed stats about dunks in the NBA league. Feel free to use this information as long as you link to the original source.
- Dunks in the NBA over time
- Player impact on team dunks
- Share of dunks in team points
- Distribution of Dunks by quarter, game time, and position
Dunks in the NBA over time
- The number of dunks in a regular NBA season jumped by 35% since the 2001-02 season.
- The increase in the last decade (since 2010-11) is 28%.
- In the 2018-19 season only, there was a 15% increase in dunks compared to the season before.
- Denver Nuggets lead the NBA with 420 dunks per season since 2001-02 season, followed by the Thunder, Lakers, and Clippers.
- San Antonio Spurs have a league-low 197 dunks per season. Pacers and Celtics close the bottom 3.
Player impact on team dunks
These are the largest increases in the team's dunk count compared to the season before, along with the players who arrived at the team in question.
|Player Arrived||Team||Season||Dunks||Prior Season||Improvement|
- 2018-19 season had the biggest growth since 2001, with 15% more dunks than the season before.
- Centers and playmakers have the largest impact on the number of team dunks.
- Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Kidd are the only players whose arrival led to over 100% increase in team dunks.
- Trae Young is the only rookie on the top10 list of players with the highest impact on the team dunks.
These are the largest decreases in the team's dunk count compared to the season before, along with the major factors that led to the decrease.
|Team||Season||Dunks||Prior Season||Decrease||What Happened|
|ATL||2013-14||154||323||-52%||Mike Buddenholzer became a head coach|
|PHO||2005-06||275||505||-46%||Amare Stoudemire got injured, out for a season|
|BRK||2004-05||217||394||-45%||Vince Carter came to the Nets|
|CHI||2003-04||158||272||-42%||Eddy Curry (center) left the team|
|DAL||2015-16||214||364||-41%||Tyson Chandler (center) left the team|
|WAS||2012-13||296||477||-38%||JaVale McGee (center) left the team|
|BOS||2015-16||169||267||-37%||Rajon Rondo (point guard) left the team|
|SAS||2017-18||192||292||-34%||Dwane Dedmon (center) left the team|
- 2009-10 season had the biggest decrease in dunks, dropping by 8% from a season before.
- It's shocking to see that the number of dunks by the New Jersey Nets decreased by 45% when they brought in one of the best dunkers the game has ever seen.
- Atlanta's 52% decrease shows how big of an impact a coach has on a team.
Share of dunks in team points
|Season||Dunks in Total Points||Dunks in 2P FG Made|
- Since James Harden became a Rocket in 2012-13, no other team has a bigger share of dunks in 2P field goals (20%).
- The Rockets led the league 4 times, were 3rd twice, and 4th one time during this period.
- Since 2014-15 season, the Rockets (20.2%) and the Jazz (19.2%) lead the league in the dunk/2P field goal ratio.
- The Spurs (8.2%) and the Pacers (8.7%) have the league's lowest since 2015.
- The Jazz 2018-19 season, where almost a quarter of their 2-pointers were dunks (24.7%), stands as the league's record since 2001.
- In 2008-09, the Spurs had only 3% of dunks in their 2-point shots, which is the league's lowest since 2001.
Distribution of dunks by quarter
- Teams are logging 50% more dunks in 2019 than in the 2002 season, while the average growth was 35%.
- Dunks in the 4th quarter of the game grew 2.3x more than dunks in the 1st quarter.
- Last season had the most equal distribution of dunks among quarters, with only 1.7% range.
- In 2001-02, the range was 6.8%.
- 2018-19 was the first season where 4th quarter didn't have the lowest number of dunks in the game.
- It was also the first season with a minimum of 2500 dunks in each quarter.
Dunks by game time
|Minutes in the game||
- 1st and 3rd quarters follow the same pattern: increase of dunks over the first 9 minutes, then a decrease in the last 3 minutes.
- 2nd and 4th quarters also have identical patterns: most dunks occur during the first 3 minutes, then constant drop as the quarter progresses.
- There have been more dunks during the first 36 minutes of games in 2018/19 than in the whole 2001-02 season.
This chart shows the number of dunks scored by NBA players when their team's point in the game fall within each of the following ranges.
- The number of dunks made while teams scored over 100 points jumped by 518% since the 2001-02 season.
- Dunks during 80-100 team points scored jumped by 90% since 2002.
- Lower scoring intervals didn't have any significant increase during the same period (10%).
- 2018-19 was the first season with more than 1000 dunks during the 100+ scoring interval.
- The range among scoring intervals decreased from 23% to 11% since 2002.
Dunks by position
- Power forwards faced the biggest dunking decline, dropping from 30% to 21% share in total dunks.
- Centers have increased their share in total dunks from 35% in 2001-02 to 48% in 2018-19.
- Point guards doubled their share in total dunks in 2018-19 with 6%, jumping from 3% in 2001-02.
- Small forwards also faced a decline, from 22% to 15%.
- Shooting guards are the only position that maintained their share: 10% in 2002, 11% in 2019.
- Since 2014-15 season, dunks by centers increased by 65%, while power forwards dropped by 4%.
Player breakdown - best dunkers
Table: Most dunks since the 2000-01 season
- Surprisingly, 4 out of 10 highest-volume dunkers are not power forwards or centers.
- From 1435 players with at least 1 dunk since 2001-02, top10 dunkers (0.7%) account for more than 10% of all recorded dunks.
- Top50 (3% of players) account for more than 30% of all dunks.
- Only 3 players have over 1000 dunks in less than 10 seasons (Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond).
- Dwayne Wade (13th), Kobe Bryant (34th), Vince Carter (38th), and Jason Richardson (45th) are the only guards among the top50.
- Russell Westbrook leads point guards with 514 dunks by 2018-19 (75th overall).
- The next point guard on the list is James Harden with 310 (155th overall).
- Chuck Hayes is the center with the lowest dunk rate among centers with at least 10 seasons in the NBA; 15 dunks in 11 seasons.
- There are 10 point guards with more than 100 dunks since the 2001-02 season.
Table: Highest Dunks per season averages since the 2000-01 season
|Rnk||Player||Seasons||Dunks||Dunks Per Season|
- 22 NBA players average over 100 dunks per season played.
- 10 out of those 22 have played 5 or fewer seasons in the league.
- Ben Simmons is the only guard who averages over 100 dunks per season.
Table: Highest Dunk per Game averages since the 2000-01 season
|Rnk||Player||Games||Dunks||Dunks Per Game|
- 8 NBA players since 2001-02 season averaged over 2 dunks per game.
- Only 69 from over 1,400 players average more than 1 dunk per game.
- 7 out of those 69 are not big men, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- 21 out of the 69 have been in the league 5 seasons or less.
- Dwight Howard is the only player in the top20 who played more than 1,000 NBA game.
Table: Most dunks in a season by a player since the 2000-01 season
- Rudy Gobert is the only NBA player with more than 300 dunks in one season (2018-19).
- 11 players had 200+ dunk seasons. Shaquille O'Neal had 6 seasons with more than 200 dunks, and Dwight Howard had 5. No other player had more than 2 since the 2000-01 season.
- 92 players had 100+ dunk season since 2000-01. Dwight Howard leads the way with 14 of those seasons, followed by LeBron James with 12 seasons. Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan follow with 9.
- 20 NBA players account for over 50% of 100+ dunk seasons.
- Dwayne Wade (5) and Ben Simmons (2) are the only guards with multiple 100+ dunks seasons.
- Only 2 guards made the top100 dunks seasons - Dwayne Wade in 2005-06 (152 dunks), and Ben Simmons in 2017-18 with 148 dunks.
Table: Highest share of dunks in total points by a player since the 2000-01 season
- DeAndre Jordan is the only NBA player who got more than 50% of his season points through dunks (minimum 41 games player, 10 PPG).
- Jordan holds 6 out of top10 spots in this aspect.
- Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard are the only players who got more than 30% of their points through dunks while averaging more than 20 points per game.
- Andre Iguodala is the only non-big with over 25% of points made through dunking.
- Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant are the only players averaging more than 30 points per game in a season while getting at least 10% of those points through dunks.
- Shaq, Giannis, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Anthony Davis are the only players averaging more than 25 points per game in a season while getting at least 20% of those points through dunks.
Player breakdown - dunks assistants
Table: Most dunk assists since the 2000-01 season
- LeBron James is the only forward with over 1,000 dunks assists since the 2000-01 season.
- LeBron is also the only player ranked top10 in both dunks made and dunks assisted.
- 10 out of 1821 players are responsible for 10% of all dunk assists made since 2000-01.
- Pau Gasol is the highest-ranking center on the list, with 467 dunk assists.
Table: Highest dunk assists per season averages since the 2000-01 season
|Rnk||Player||Seasons||Dunk Assists||Assists per Season|
- Only 7 NBA players average more than 100 dunk assists per season
- Nikola Jokic is the only center averaging more than 50 dunk assists per season, and the only center in top100 (31st)
- Joe Ingles is the only player among top50 (17th) who is not a main ball-handler on the team
- LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Dwayne Wade, and Andre Iguodala are the only players inside top50 with more dunks than dunk assists
Table: Most dunk assists in a season since the 2000-01 season
- Only 3 players had a 200+ dunk assists seasons.
- Trae Young is the highest-placed rookie on the list, ranking 7th with 191 dunk assists in the 2018-19 season.
- Only 8 different players hold top30 highest dunk assist seasons: Chris Paul (7 times), Russel Westbrook (5 times), Andre Miller (5 times), James Harden (4 times), Steve Nash (4 times), Jason Kidd (3 times), Lou Williams and Trae Young (1 time each).
- LeBron James (2 times), and Hedo Türkoğlu are the only non-guards recording over 100 dunk assists in a season.
Table: Highes share of dunk assists in total assists since the 200-01 season
|Rnk||Player||Seasons||Assists||Dunks Assists||Share of Dunk Assists|
*Minimum 100 assist per season
- Only 24 NBA players have more than 20% dunk assist share. 14 out of those 24 have been in the league less than 5 seasons. 6 out of the 24 have been in the league for more than 10 seasons.
- James Harden, Russel Westbrook, and Andre Miller are the only members of 20% club with more than 1,000 career dunk assists.
- The league average is 12.5% since the 2000-01 season.
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