by Micah Hart
Only three game-winning buzzer beaters so far this season. A product of the condensed schedule? Complete coincidence? Whatever it is, here’s hoping the second half of the season brings a few more of them.
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.
The Timberwolves, like any young team with talent but lacking in crunch-time experience, seem to find themselves in a lot of games that come down to the wire. They are getting that experience quickly — the last Horry Scale entry also featured a Timberwolf. Tonight’s heroics were provided by Hang Time Blog favorite Luke Ridnour. Let’s see how he stacks up to his teammate:
This shot was pretty easy, thanks in large part by the Jazz deciding that defense wasn’t really necessary on their part. After making quick work of Gordon Hayward, Ridnour gets into the paint where Al Jefferson lurks. Jefferson stays at home though, and Luke gets a pretty uncontested look at a floater for the win. To be fair, that shot is pretty delicate regardless of whether it’s contested or not, but any point guard worth his salt should have that in their arsenal.
The Timberwolves trailed by 16 with 9:36 left to play, but went on a tear to take a two-point lead with 22.3 seconds left to play. Jefferson then tied the game against his former team on a jumper with 7.0 seconds left to play, and the Timberwolves called timeout and took the ball out at half court. A pretty decent set up for Minnesota, with plenty of time to get a shot off and no penalty for a miss.
Utah and Minnesota are both on the fringe of the playoff chase, and in the loaded West every win counts. This is particularly nice for the Timberwolves, especially given how they lost the other night.
Ridnour gives the traditional two fingers pointed skyward, and the team rallies around to congratulate him by the bench. It’s always great when a shorter player does something — always more exciting when one of his teammates picks him up to celebrate.
2 Horrys. All in all a fairly pedestrian buzzer-beater, largely due to the Jazz’ defensive indifference, but I’ll give it an extra Horry due to both teams’ proximity to each other in the race for the 8 spot in the West, plus the terrific fourth-quarter comeback to get them in position to win in the first place.
What do you think?