By Jeff Case, NBA.com
The creator of the Horry Scale, Micah Hart, has moved on from NBA.com-land. Still, his brainchild will live on. Now, only two days into the season, we have our first candidate of 2012-13 in Tony Parker.
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 gives it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, who is kind of the patron saint of last-second clutchiness.
For longtime Spurs fans, it might have been sweeter than usual to see Parker nailing a game-winning jump shot, if only because it wasn’t all that long ago that many questioned if Parker could add a reliable jump shot to his dangerous dribble-drive game.
How does Mr. Parker’s shot Thursday stack up? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned above, this is a now-routine shot for Parker — which was something you couldn’t always say about his outside game. We’d rate this one a medium difficulty, though, seeing as how last season’s shotblocking king, Serge Ibaka, was in the neighborhood and wasn’t that far behind in getting a hand on the ball. The shot could have been a lot tougher, though, had OKC All-Star Russell Westbrook not gotten lost on the pass from Danny Green to Parker, something that Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith took Westbrook to task for on “Inside the NBA.”
Score tied at 84 with 5.9 seconds left. Parker had nailed a 3-pointer with 28.4 seconds left to tie the score and OKC had a chance to claim the lead, but Kevin Durant had the ball stolen by Kawhi Leonard as Durant came off a screen (in another play that Charles and Kenny didn’t like).
This was the second game of the season for San Antonio and OKC’s season-opener, so the importance would seem muted. There is, of course, the fact that these were the teams in last season’s West finals … and that OKC came back from an 0-2 hole to vanquish the Spurs … and that these squads remain among the West favorites again. This game adds another chapter to the overall lore of the rivalry and may end up mattering come season’s end. The importance factor, then, is semi-high with a chance of super-high later in the season.
3½ Horrys. It’s a well-executed shot and Parker proves that his game has plenty of range. The rivalry factor with OKC colors things and the potential future impact of this game to the West hierarchy beefs up the rating from what it would be were it any other game or teams (it’d probably be like 2 stars, IMO, if that were the case).
What do you think?