NBA Top Shot Starter Kit: Best Northwest Division Moments Under $25
by Paul Brown
In Series 2, the Northwest Division had two of the top three records in the West and two big award winners: Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. Needless to say, there is star power everywhere in the Northwest. Whether it’s budding young talent in Oklahoma City and Minnesota or the established names in Portland, every NBA fan can find plenty of iconic Top Shot Moments currently under $25.
When I started on NBA Top Shot, I realized quickly the best way to maximize the fun of Top Shot was to find the Moments that have the most value to me personally — that could be being at the game and seeing it live or simply loving your team’s City Edition jersey.
Here are some ideas to help you sort through the hundreds of Moments on Top Shot and start your collection, especially if you’re a fan of the Nuggets, Jazz, Timberwolves, Thunder, or Blazers. Whether you’re completing an NBA team set for Collector Score bonuses or looking to dominate the upcoming MomentRanks Play season, you can get started with these Moments.
The only rules I set out were five different players for MomentRanks Play purposes at an affordable price — under $25 at the time of writing. That way, you can start with a broader Top Shot collection and don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket.
The Nuggets MVP led the league in double-doubles and contributed across the board every night, making him a must-have player for MomentRanks Play — daily fantasy for Top Shot Moments. Denver fans have more Jokić Moments to choose from for under $25, but with 16 triple-doubles last year, the assist boost on this near full-court bounce pass was impossible to pass up.
Jamal Murray truly came into his own playing a major role in the Nuggets trip to the Western Conference Finals in the NBA bubble. And he’ll be back on the court in the 2021-22 season after missing much of 2021. Here he takes the handoff from Jokić and explodes for a dunk. Denver had a lot of fun uniforms and they’re all on display in the Series 2 Base set.
Campazzo was a very pleasant surprise for the Nuggets in his rookie year. This Hustle & Show set is very completable to add to your Collector Score. This Moment opens with a Campazzo steal, but the headliner is a beautiful drop-off behind the back assist for a Michael Porter Jr. dunk.
As his role increases with each season, Michael Porter Jr. has impressed more and more. He looks to be an integral part of the Nuggets franchise moving forward. In this Moment, Porter uses a great off-ball cut and Jokić feed to get a clear lane to the hoop.
In this Debut Moment, Zeke Nnaji takes a long baseball pass and throws down the fast break dunk on the Cavaliers defense. It is his only Moment, so you will need it to complete the team set for Series 2, it showcases their very unique City jersey. It won’t have Play utility, but it could be useful for Collector Score purposes in the future.
A top producer from a fantasy standpoint, Karl-Anthony Towns is a great addition to any Top Shot collection. After forcing a steal, he takes off from a step inside the free-throw line and finishes on the other end with a monster dunk. Although his talent may be lost in Minnesota, let’s not forget that KAT is one of the league’s elite big men.
Brought to Minnesota to run the offense with strong decision making and shooting, D’Angelo Russell has fit into the Timberwolves offense well when he’s healthy and on the court. Here he shows off a full arsenal, using a screen before crossing his defender and pulling up to drain the jumper.
In his second stint in the Twin Cities, Ricky Rubio has solidified himself as a fan favorite. Though Timberwolves fans typically think of him for his flashy passing, when given the space he can use that excellent ball handling and nifty footwork to get himself easy buckets as well.
Jarred Vanderbilt debuts on Top Shot by finishing a monstrous alley-oop, showing that Anthony Edwards isn’t the only dunker in Minnesota,. Co-starring a smooth flip pass by D’Angelo Russell, Vanderbilt collects the ball and throws it down with one hand but plenty of power.
Hernangomez debuts with fancy footwork and a beautiful up and under move for an easy layup. One unique thing about the Timberwolves is that prior to Series 3, every player required to attain their team set Collector Score bonus is available in Series 2, grabbing these debuts now will make it easier to keep qualifying for new pack drops.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Thunder fans were thrilled at the news of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander signing an extension this offseason because of plays like this. SGA uses a wicked crossover to free up and drive to the rim where he leaps then splits another double team for an acrobatic layup. This is the Cool Cat standard we are all used to seeing from the top common set of series 2.
A viral Moment from this season was Lu Dort drilling this game winner. I enjoy the replay showing the backboard lighting up perfectly as time . The excitement of the team is captured in their celebration after Dort drops to the floor. This Moment adds excitement to any Thunder collection.
This season Kenrich Williams made his debut in Oklahoma City and on Top Shot, the latter with this acrobatic layup. After the take off, Williams ducks underneath a defender and extends the ball to the opposite side of the rim for the finish. Williams will return as a role player on the Thunder bench this season.
Drafted as a longer term project, Aleksej Pokusevski showed many flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, earning his debut Moment in his first career game. This assist still has two Rookie Badges and shows a smoothness that is uncommon for players his size with a crisp behind the back pass setting up an easy dunk.
I enjoy true team plays and Moments with a “co-star,” however the co-star of this Moment does not play for the Thunder. Isaiah Roby breaks the ankles of Nikola Vucevic before driving to the hoop, where the help defense makes a business decision to not be a part of Roby’s poster. Huge dunk on this Moment from Roby.
Portland Trail Blazers
It’s always Dame Time in Portland. Thought of for his scoring and deep threes, this assist Moment is perfect. It not only has a half-court pass to dunk champion Derrick Jones Jr., but it also gets you a bigger boost for your MomentRanks Play lineup, in which you can probably start him most nights.
A deep threat who can fill it on any given night, CJ has made himself so at home in Portland he appeared on an episode of Portlandia. Plus, he’s an investor and Top Shot and a Certified Baller (an NBA player with a Top Shot account). This Moment will always take you back to a Moment in time, as you see the empty sidelines in Portland. McCollum spins and uses a between-the-legs crossover before hitting the crunch time jumper.
This is the only wedgie Moment in Top Shot — where the ball gets stuck between the rim and backboard. A must-own for all true basketball fans, Anfernee Simons forced the wedgie as he blocks a layup just right to leave it pinned. It’s an iconic meme Moment.
With an apparently effortless pass, Damian Lillard flings the ball almost the full length of the court, where Norman Powell is waiting to take off. With the news of him returning to Portland, Blazer fans should see Powell as part of the team’s core for years to come.
Though his time with the Trail Blazers has come to a close, this Moment will go down in NBA history and Melo will always be wearing a Blazer jersey. This 3-point shot moved Anthony into 10th on the all-time scoring list and will be a requirement for all fans of NBA history.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has a Seeing Stars Moment in this category with a lower mint count. And that one’s a dunk on Giannis, so I don’t blame you if that is the direction you choose to go. Maybe just get both? But I chose this Hustle & Show Moment because it is the rare double Block Moment. Gobert shows off why has won the DPOY award multiple times, blocking the Hornets on each side of the rim on the same play.
Celebrate star Donovan Mitchell making his second All-Star team with the Seeing Stars Moment, recognizing his spot on the 2021 All-Star roster. As the leader of the Jazz offense at only 25 years old, every collector in and out of Utah will want to add him. Plus, the handles designation gives him a boost for MR Play purposes.
Conley regained his form for the Jazz this season making his first career All-Star team. In this Moment, Conley crosses over Kawhi Leonard then fakes a pass before laying it up and in. Jazz fans are hoping that him resigning means the future holds more seasons with the West’s best record.
It’s not under $25, but keep in mind that Conley also is also featured as the first ever Top Shot Moment with audio (narration), with his Seeing Stars Challenge reward. It’s $84 as of publishing
Joe Ingles had a 19-point performance in this playoff win vs the Clippers. The most impressive two of them came off this trick shot. Ingles finger rolls the ball off the top of the backboard and in with a shot that would win most games of HORSE.
No Jazz list would be complete without the 6th man of the year. Jordan Clarkson finds new ways to score every time he steps on the court. The spin move he uses to get free is so quick he leaves himself off balance making his finger roll all the more impressive.