by Micah Hart
Finally, a game-winner! There have been many fantastic plays in the first few weeks of this NBA season and several buzzer-beating miracles, but until last night we hadn’t seen a game-winning buzzer beater, which I think we can all agree is the greatest thing in the world ever ever (unless you are rooting for the losing team).
Any time there is a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB from now on), we will examine its bonafides in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys. After all, who else but Big Shot Bob could judge the merits of that most devastating play in basketball?
Let’s go to the videotape for last night’s GWBB, brought to you by Memphis’ 80-million dollar man, Rudy Gay.
Difficulty: I gotta give Gay pretty high marks here. First, he had to dribble around half the Miami defense in about four seconds. Second, one of the best defenders in the game, LeBron James, is draped all over him. Thirdly, the baseline fadeaway gives Gay no angle for error; the bank is closed for him on this one. All in all, a really impressive shot.
Situation: The game was tied at 95-95, so there’s no real penalty for a miss here.
Importance: It’s early in the season, but it’s safe to say that as of now, any win over the Heat carries a touch of import.
Celebration: The Grizzlies didn’t go too crazy, but Gay hitting the shot right in front of the Heat bench and then giving them a little look afterwards was a nice touch.
Grade: Four Horrys. This is about as good as it gets – there may not be another game-winner in LeBron’s face the rest of his career. But given how early in the season it is and the fact that the game was tied, four seems about the right number.
What say you?