by Micah Hart
Give it up to TNT’s schedulers. Two straight weeks with GWBBs on a Thursday night game — one more and people are going to start thinking we’re the WWE or something.
When I woke up this morning and heard the Nuggets had won on a last-second shot, I assumed Carmelo Anthony had the honors. Or Chauncey Billups. Or J.R. Smith. But no, the Nuggets snapped the Mavericks’ 10-game winning streak courtesy of Arron Afflalo, which may seem surprising. But given that he scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter last night, it makes sense that Denver would consider feeding the hot hand. Afflalo’s quietly become quite an impact player in Denver this season, hasn’t he?
Before we get to the breakdown, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a new addition the Horry Scale breakdown — a comment from Big Shot Bob himself, as he was nice enough to give his take on Afflalo’s game-winner.
Horry’s take: “First and foremost I have to give it up to Afflalo for having the guts to take the shot. Chauncey was covered pretty well on the play so he had to give it up, and Arron made himself available. The shot itself wasn’t that difficult, I give it like a 3 — he makes a nice move on the defender and goes left, which is the way most shooters like to go if you’re right-handed.
It’s the first game-winner of Afflalo’s career, so I give him credit for that.”
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How awesome is that? We hope to get Horry’s thoughts on each GWBB from here on out. Now let’s get onto the breakdown.
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.
The full investigation after the jump:
The Nuggets had plenty of time on the clock to work with, and some might argue it was foolish for them to wait so long to take a shot since they trailed in the game. Also, as Horry said, this was a fairly easy shot — but let’s give Afflalo a little credit for making it so. He gives Shawn Marion a slight hesitation move as he receives the ball from Billups, allowing him enough space for an unencumbered 21-footer.
Denver trailed Dallas 120-119 after Dirk Nowitzki improbably made just 1-of-2 from the line with 19.6 seconds left to play. The free throw gods were watching you, Dirk, and they were displeased.
I’ll say medium-to-high. As we get closer to the last quarter of the season, the playoff picture is beginning to clear up. With last night’s win, the Nuggets moved into a tie with Utah for 6th place in the West (the two teams are 1-1 head-to-head on the season, with two games left to play against each other). You definitely want to avoid being the No. 7-seed and facing the Lakers in the first round. It’s a pretty nice confidence boost to jack a team’s double-digit win streak as well, as Denver did to Dallas’ 10-game run.
It’s been a strange season in Denver with the Anthony cloud hanging over the franchise, but you’d never know it to watch the Nuggets celebrate. I love ‘Melo’s reaction immediately afterwards (which can’t be reprinted here because this is a family site, but feel free to lip read), and the packed house explodes as well. Plus, anytime you can involve the Birdman, it’s automatically a party.
3.5 Horrys. This is a pretty important win for Denver, and you always have to give more love to a GWBB that is made when the team is trailing. I am subtracting half-a-Horry for the ease of the shot, but otherwise, this was a top notch play.
What do you think?