by Micah Hart
Almost two weeks between GWBBs in the NBA — Robert Horry was getting hungry. Fortunately Mike Dunleavy heeded Big Shot Bob’s call, tipping in Danny Granger‘s miss at the buzzer to give the Pacers a 94-93 win over the Hornets on Monday night.
We’ll see what Horry says about it in a sec, but I have to say right off the bat, I love this one. The ball hangs on the rim as if pausing to decide whose heart to break – it almost feels like the ball itself is self-aware, and is milking the attention for all it’s worth. Then it drops. Hornets deflated, Pacers elated.
What did the Horry scale think?
Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot 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.
Difficulty: Well, they don’t get much easier than this. Dunleavy inbounds the ball to Granger with 3.9 seconds left, then immediately dives to the hole for the offensive rebound, and the Hornets are gracious enough to grant him a clear path. Chris Paul may be the best PG in the league, but Dunleavy is his responsibility on this play and his failure to box him out cost New Orleans the game. Dunleavy is right at the rim as the ball bounces out, and he gives it just enough of a nudge to clear the rim and fall through.
Game Situation: The Pacers trailed by a point to the visiting Hornets, who took the lead on the previous play on a David West jumper.
Importance: It’s only a quarter of the way through the season, but the Pacers look like they are going to be in a dogfight for one of the final few spots in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Right now the Pacers sit in 7th, but you gotta think they want to try to get at least to 6th so as to avoid a first-round series with either Boston or Miami. Wins like this will end up making a difference.
Celebration: Outstanding. The whole team takes a victory lap around Conseco Fieldhouse before Granger tackles him to the ground in front of the Pacers’ bench.
4 Horrys. I realize, looking back over how it fared in the individual catergories, that Dunleavy’s shot should grade out much lower, but this one has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Its sum on the Horry scale is greater than its parts. The basketball itself is really the star of the show, dismissing Dunleavy and Granger to minor roles while it takes center stage. First the ball takes a complete 360-spin on Granger’s initial shot, then hangs like Tiger at Augusta after Dunleavy tips it. What can I say? Sometimes art can’t be quantified and rated. This one was unique and memorable, and at the end of the day, that’s worth a little something extra.
What do you think?