by Micah Hart
Well now, that didn’t take long. I was wondering how far into the 2011-12 season we’d get before someone got nice with the game-winner, and Kevin Durant decided five days was long enough. Works for me! Two straight years on the Horry Scale for KD, and I imagine many more to come.
For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) 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.
Let’s get this show on the road for the year and see how Kevin Durant rates:
For mere mortals, that’s a tough shot. For Durantula, the 30-foot-fading-turnaround is almost a layup at this point. Still, with only 1.4 seconds to release, and three Dallas defenders rushing at him (well, two Dallas defenders — what you watchin’ there Dirk?), that’s a pretty impressive make.
Vince Carter was nearly the hero tonight, as his 3-pointer gave the Mavericks the lead with under two ticks remaining. As soon as his shot went through, I checked to see how much time was left, saw 1.4, and said to myself, oooh, that’s a little too much clock for the Thunder. Not like VC could help it, but just sayin’.
It is early in the season, but I’m going to give this one pretty high marks for import. For starters, the Mavericks are the defending champs, and knocked the Thunder out of the postseason in the Western Conference Finals, so that’s a nice little payback shot for OKC. It’s no ring, but it’s a start. Secondly, in a season with only 66 games, every win counts a little bit more — and every loss you can give a potential playoff rival helps as well. The Thunder nearly gave this game away and allowed the Mavs, who had been blown out two straight games to start the season, to find a little rejuvenation. Instead, KD is a killer, and all you’ll see in the standings tomorrow is a 0 in the loss column for the team from Oklahoma.
The Thunder have terrific fans, so its no surprise to see them going hog wild. But what makes the celebration great to me is Royal Ivey, Durant’s fellow Texas alum (Hook ‘em!), coming in at the end in a suit to serve as hype man for his incredible teammate.
4 Horrys. I’ve already watched this replay about 25 times, and I could watch it 25 more. The ball barely touches the net! Sometimes I give Durant a little grief for settling for long jump shots in these scenarios when he might get something a little easier near the basket, but tonight no such option was available. Didn’t seem to bother him too much, did it? Either way, I’m just glad to have the Horry Scale back.
What do you think?