Horry Scale: LeBron Keeps The Crown

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER I have been on the job here at the All Ball Blog since the playoffs started, and somehow we have not had a true Horry Scale-worthy shot in the postseason. There have been a few close calls, sure, but no true buzzer-beating game-winners. That is, until last night, when LeBron James scored a bucket at the buzzer to give the Miami Heat a 103-102 OT win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
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For those of you who are new around these parts, like myself, 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 Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (was it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or did it need more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

How does King James rate? Break down!

Difficulty

Actually, the shot itself wasn’t all that difficult. It was a layup. Lefty, sure, but still, it was a layup. And basically a wide-open layup, at that. Could the shot have been more difficult? For sure. (For instance, it could have been a jumper, open or contested.) But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t difficulty involved in the play, because the real difficulty was drawing up a play to get LeBron so wide open. Watching the play again, Erik Spoelstra initially used LeBron as a decoy, pretending to a set a screen for a cutting Ray Allen, and then ‘Bron spun and flashed to the ball, received the pass, turned and basically just sprinted right by his defender, Paul George. All that early movement had the Heat players running to corners, leaving the middle of the floor wide open, not only of Heat players but also Indiana defenders.

This brings up another way that this play could have been more difficult: If big Roy Hibbert had been in the game guarding the paint for the Pacers. Hibbert averaged 2.6 blocks this season for Indiana, and he had two Wednesday. Indiana coach Frank Vogel removed Hibbert on defense a few times down the stretch, because he didn’t want Hibbert to get stuck on a switch against a smaller player, or have to go out and guard Chris Bosh on the perimeter. And maybe this is just me, but if it were up to me, I’d rather lose on a long jumper from Bosh than a layup by LeBron.

What do you think, Roy, want to second-guess what would have happened if you’d been out there on the play?

hibbert

Game Situation

The stakes were pretty high, as far as the Heat were concerned: Overtime. Dwyane Wade? Fouled out. Timeouts remaining? None. Heat? Down one. Two-point-two seconds on the clock. Doesn’t get much more tense than that.

Importance

It wasn’t the NBA Finals, but being in the playoffs, in the Conference finals, it was as close as you can get without actually getting there. And it wasn’t an elimination game, but other than all that, it doesn’t get much more important.

Celebration

Whoever was directing this game for TNT did one of my favorite things, where as soon as the shot dropped, they switched to a camera way up at the top of the stadium so we could see the arena explode as the home team stole the win at the buzzer. It’s hard to see in the video above, but LeBron basically did the “stoic” celebration — staying calm, like he’s been in that situation before. My favorite celebration might have been the one from Dwyane Wade on the bench, who jumped about four feet into the air. Sore knee? Who me?

Grade

horry-starhorry-starhorry-starhorry-star

4 Horrys. I may be more lenient than previous teachers you guys have had here, but for me, LeBron’s game-winner ticked all the boxes. The only thing keeping it from being a Five Horry shot for me was that it was a layup. But then, that was due as much to LeBron’s insane athletic ability as it was to anything else. Also, I can’t come right out of the gate awarding Five Horrys to people. So there are still heights waiting to be reached.

What do you think?

(Hibbert gif via @CJZero)

98 Comments

  1. Timothy says:

    What about the chris paul buzzer beater in the first round?

    • LeQueen says:

      How about the Andre Miller buzzer beater to win a game for the Nuggets in round 1 against the Warriors? This overhyping has to stop. Somewhere big shot Rob is still twitching from laughing at the clutch comparison to the Queen. Give me a break, this is only his second buzzer beater of his entire playoff career. But go ahead, hype it up some more. It’s not like we have eyes or memories or anything.

  2. mike says:

    You forgot about Chris Paul’s buzzer beater…

    • leo says:

      cp3 is not there right now!!! he’s gone fishing

    • Klergy Koala says:

      That still doesn’t mean this was the first buzzer-beater of the playoffs. Again, LeBron is given too much credit.

      • WU says:

        WELL ACTUALLY YOU GUYS OBVIOUSLY DID NOT WATCH THE GAME BECAUSE IT WASNT A TRUE BUZZER BEATER, THERE WAS STILL A A FEW FRACTIONS OF A SECOND LEFT AFTER HIS BANK SHOT

      • DangRight says:

        Don’t forget about Andre Miller buzzer beater in round 1 vs the Warriors. This overhype is laughable.

      • Lolwut says:

        @DangRight, there was 1.3 left on the clock when Miller sinked his shot. Same with CP3, 0.1 second left on the clock when the shot fell.

  3. RAY LOPEZ says:

    AFTER LEBRON JAMES WINNING BASKET, THE NEXT QUESTION IS CARMELO WHO FOR MVP?

    • aaron34 says:

      what does that have to do with anything

    • TEAMHEAT says:

      in your dreams bro. he has to climb the highest peek of the mountain before he gets the award. carmelo is one of the prolific scorer and has a very superb pull up jumper but lebron james is an all around player (can do everything in the court). the chances maybe carmelo will get the award is for durant and james to be injured. :D

  4. LabMonkey says:

    I gave it 5 because it’s the conference finals. It’s big time no matter how or what.

    • Another Heat Fan says:

      Nah it’s more of a 4.
      It was pretty easy.
      And it was just game 1.
      You knock a star off because it doesn’t max out the horry scale (based on horry’s shot vs. the kings)

  5. MANILABOY PHILIPPINES says:

    I DONT SEE ANYMIAMI HATER HERE HEHEHE… OOUUCCHHHH WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABT THE KING FOR TH WIN LOL.. HAHAHA .. MYBE HATERS TOOK THEIR OWN TEAM ISSUE DATS WHY THEY ARE NOT COMMENTING LOL….

  6. Christian says:

    What about ginobili´s trey on second OT?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wasn’t a buzzer beater.

    • JP says:

      The shot has to be a game winning buzzer beater (GWBB) to qualify for the Horry scale. Manu’s shot was not at the buzzer so it does not qualify. Still a clutch shot though that won the game.

  7. Mike says:

    He is the best of all…what a shot !!! The great things about this man is to stay calm after a shot like this. He is realy the KING. I am from Baltimore and like Miami. I can tell you this….i jumped, my wife, friend and two kids were so happy. Thanks to Lebron, Wade and Bosh…..may god bless your team guys.

    • manny says:

      honestly everybody was so happy except LeBron lol it felt like he was thinking I cant believe we won it by only one point this is such bull****sht. lol

    • angehl8 says:

      if that was a fadeaway jumpshot he would go nuts like the shot he did vs orlando he looks like crazy when he made the shot

  8. shannonmoore says:

    keep on going lebron james. you keep doing what you are doing and he keep that crown. you are the best and i love the way you play and i love watching you play. you have some serious game and that is what i like about you and the heats. you guys work as a team and that what makes you guys such a great team.

    • LeBron Everything James says:

      Totally with you. There is no one like him and he is amazing to watch. We are so lucky to be seeing it real time.
      I thought last year was the best with winning it all, but somehow he is even better now.

  9. nitsujoda says:

    what about ginobili’s three-pointer against GSW???

  10. pacer is gonna get them next round

  11. Garry says:

    Lebron is always gonna live in Dwayne Wade’s shadow. Ok he is a 4 time MVP. But Miami is Wade’s house. He brought the first ship to the Franchise. He got 2 rings on his way to a 3rd. Plus everyone that’s sayin Lebron is better than MJ. Can we compare is competition? Who in the NBA could be considered worhty competition as far as best player. Kobe, D Rose, Melo, KD, CP3 … Wade and Bosh who both play on his team. I mean snap some of these name I just had to include in there because the potential is there but… When you look at jordan who had for comp dudes like C.Barkley, C. Drexler, K. Malone, J. Stockton, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, David Robinson, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Drazen Petrovic … And the list goes on. Im a 80s baby I’m not super old but even in the early 2000s there was more comp than now. Realistically, the game is goin to be more and more teams like the celtics, miami, the lakers. Soon we’re gonna see the big 5 and it will be over. that’s the new NBA

    • Esteban says:

      Cool story, bro. Made me cry.

    • Zag says:

      Of course he won’t coz he’s the leading player in the heat. Kobe was in the LA b4 Shaq went…Did that mean that Shaq was in Kobe’s shadow?!!!! He was the leader of the team. MJ wouldn’t have got his rings without another great scorer/defender (Pippen), a great rebounder (Grant or Rodman – which LeBron doesn’t have) and a great shooter (Paxon, Kerr, Kukoc). BTW, what u r saying about the NBA today is exactly how the NBA was in the 80s and 90s Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Scott…MJ, Pippen, Grant/Rodman…Shaq,Kobe, Horry…Hakeem, Drexler, Horry…My point is that every winning team had at least 2 hall of famers and a good role players and a great coach. To win a championship, you need usually at least the BIG 2 and you can’t compare Bosh to James and Wade…They’re basically the big 2.5

      • Sandy says:

        Well said buddy. This was the reason he came out of Cleveland. He was the only lone warrior who got double teamed and sometimes even triple teamed. You cannot win championship with just one hall of famer. Show me a team which one championship with a single Hall of famer!!

      • angehl8 says:

        Dirk Nowitzki 2011 maybe u will put Jasonkidd.

    • Pointless says:

      so your point is ? pointless

  12. James says:

    What about Andre Miller’s layup in game 1 of the first round?

  13. barak says:

    MICHEAL JORDAN AND MAGIC STILL HAVE THE BEST BUZZER BEATERSS

  14. Mo says:

    after the chris paul “buzzer beater” the clock got reset, I think. so that wasn’t a true buzzer beater.

  15. Alex says:

    LeBron made an important lay-up, a buzzer beater, a game winner. I agree. Now, could we move on? I’m tired of hearing about who made a mistake, who was right. And yes, LeBron is the top alfa dog in the NBA, ‘though I dislike the guy.
    So, the best player in NBA at this moment, made an important shot. That’s why he’s the best.
    I repeat myself… Now, could we move on?

  16. Abandon says:

    traveling

  17. Heat1 says:

    Who cares James made it. It goes in they win that’s what matter I mean everyone can make a buzzer beater shot.

  18. Heat1 says:

    You can’t compare MJ with LBJ it’s like comparing a Ferrari with a Porsche I mean MJ did the best thing for the bulls and James does the best thing for the heat

    • Garry says:

      Lebron wouldn’t have been as succesful back in Jordan’s era, Shawn Kemp and Lebron have the same game, but Lebron has a consistent jumpshot which Kemp didn’t have.

      • What says:

        How did Shawn Kemp have the same game as LeBron? He played as a straight four. LeBron plays as a point forward. Is the teams primary ball handler and distributor and defends 4 out of 5 positions. Shawn Kemp defended power forwards and played power forward, pretty cut and dry, while LeBron plays a hybrid point forward small/power position. You can argue he isn’t great as much as you want but you can’t argue his game is the same as Shawn Kemp. So different. The only thing comparable is their athleticism which in both cases is remarkable.

    • Pointless says:

      huh ? does this blog compare MJ to LBJ ? your point is ? pointless .

  19. Do Your Research says:

    Chris Paul buzzer beater, like many have noticed, was the first one, in the first round. change the headline please

  20. Amused says:

    Not sure this play even belongs on the Horry scale. Horry is known for buzzer-beating 3s, and thus the Horry Scale has traditionally been about buzzer- beating 3s. So if anyone deserves high marks for a buzzer-beating, Horryesque 3 worthy of the Horry Scale, it’s Manu Ginobili, whose 3 at the buzzer at the end of SECOND OVERTIME clinched the win for the Spurs against GSW. And by the way, while we’re all celebrating LBJ’s Game 1 winner, the Spurs are up 2-0 and still not getting much respect. The Spurs will beat the Grizz and face the Heat in the Finals, and LeBron and the Heat will have their hands full with their toughest competition yet.

  21. blaz says:

    4 Horrys for that?! Come on… Wasn’t a tough shot. Wasn’t a shot at all. Defender was late. Wasn’t under def. pressure. No double team was made. Wasn’t in the finals. Wasn’t in elimination game. Wasn’t on the road court. Three pointer wasn’t needed. Wasn’t even pretty looking.
    4 points that play would get on 10 point scale. Let’s compare that to “the shot”, Steve Kerr for three, Horry’s any amazing g-winners, and any other memorable and outstanding plays. Those mentioned above should get 11 stars comparing to four for this play.
    I understand that the history is beeing made right now, but it doesn’t make that play that fantastic…
    Importance 2/5
    Difficulty 2/5
    Defence lev 1/5
    Beauty of the shot 1/5
    And that is all for THAT PARTICULAR PLAY. More should be said about LBJ overall performance, and East Finals triple double he produced.

  22. not quite says:

    regarding CP3: I’m pretty sure the refs gave the other team some fraction of a second = no actual buzzer beater

  23. Victor gonzalez says:

    There has been like 5 game winners in the playoffs so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this article is wack!

  24. theholyspectator says:

    if it was a jumper it woulda been sweet, but lebron isnt a lethal confident jump shooter like mj was…woulda been pretty and nice and epic but that layup was also great…

    • LeBron Everything James says:

      This is not only a back-handed compliment, it is a really picky thing to say. Come on.

  25. thomas says:

    Lebrons game winner: Travelling!!

    • Erlo says:

      Since when is two steps traveling?

      • Chil says:

        It is 3 steps. When he received the ball, he pivoted with right foot. He dribbled on left foot step and the ball came back to the control of left hand when he took the next step which is the right foot. As he grabbed the ball and took the steps, this right foot became pivot. This pivot foot came back down before he released the ball so it is 3 steps and thus, traveling. I would have been fair if his last two steps came down together, but it did not. If it is to be said strictly by the rule, it was traveling.

      • Erlo says:

        I did this frame by frame again to see if I could tell what you were talknig about. There is only two steps. Sorry. You can try again though. Haters gon hate no matter what I guess.

    • manny says:

      when have you ever seen a travel call with one 2.2 seconds in the game. I was happy that the referees did not have nothing to do with the game out come. both team made plays until the clock expired

  26. langwhitaker says:

    Hey guys, for what it’s worth, after Chris Paul’s shot there was still 0.1 left on the clock, so Memphis had a chance to inbound the ball. Splitting hairs, sure, but it wasn’t a buzzer beater.

  27. Erlo says:

    I am so glad I get to watch the best of all time become just that. Keep it going Lebron, everyone knows you will be on the top when it’s all said and done. Not everyone will admit it … but they know.

  28. Chad says:

    Chris pauls shot was reviewed and .1 second was put back on the clock so it was not technically a buzzer beater.

  29. Chris says:

    TERRIBLE ARTICLE… even if CP3 wasnt a buzzer beater in rd1 what about Miller against the Warriors – also a buzzer beater. Ginobili 3 pointer in round 3?

    Do your research or at least watch the games, SMH, pathetic, get off Lebron’s jock.

    ALL of those were way tougher shots as well. The Horry Scale sucks, and should be abolished immediately!

    • manny says:

      regardless of previous game winner it does not change the fact that it was a nice play that might have a big impact on this series especially if it goes to seven games

  30. ism says:

    If Miami gets the title again, this shot may become the most iconic moment of their playoff run. That alone should be worth 5 Horrys. I’d give it 4.5 if it were possible since it wasn’t all that spectacular, but in its quickness with no time to give and its execution it should equal a rather open 3 or a contested mid-range jumper. Not anyone could have pulled this move off, it takes a lot of nerves and experience.

  31. Landon says:

    Lebron had a easy lay up really wow did anyone see ginobles shoot man people act like its the end of the series after the first game

  32. charles says:

    everybody is always hating. even if he’s not your favorite, he did what he was supposed to and made the game winning shot. it was a great play.

  33. Pepe says:

    This is stupid.. 4 horrys for that? LAME.. just because is LeBron, everyone is making such a buzz.. this was one of easiest buzzer beaters that Ive seen..

  34. bobcatsaretoonice says:

    4 horries for a wide open layup…seriously?

  35. sanjay says:

    @chill,
    you are totally wrong! After he turns and start moving, the ball is pitched!After he pitches the ball, he takes two steps and jumps on both feet before he comes down on them! it is not travelling at all! It was a perfect play!

    • Erlo says:

      I agree. Went frame by frame. THere is no travel. Honestly, yes, Lebron DOES travel a lot during play. But honestly, everyone else does too. In this case though. No traveling.

  36. Liv says:

    a win is a win guys!!! it was a designed play… a perfect one! okay it was just a lay up but it was the pacers fault that’s why it became a lay up. No hibbert and for sure you noticed how wrong paul george guarded LeBron. It was quick thinking on the part of Lebron…. It was a genius play that needs credit. credit for the coach, credit for the player who hits the basket and also credit to the 5 guys who made that play happen. perfect execution my friends that’s why there is a thing called practice.

    how many guys have you seen did a lay up and missed and it was not even crucial like that. Focus concentration and determination couldn’t be acquired overnight.

    Haters gonna hate! Don’t forget its not always about the players. most of the times it’s all about the people who created this team. the people who made this team a champion team. the people who made the players sacrifice their salaries just to be on top. yes or no!

  37. angehl8 says:

    how about Andre Miller Buzzer beater against GS?that’s more difficult than this!!

  38. Rome says:

    lebron James showed us what a true MVP does in situations like this! “let go let lebron”

  39. BlueCollarGoldTinted says:

    it still hurts

  40. Forgiven Sinner says:

    Pretty exciting play. Having been a Cleveland fan for 43 years, I’m used to seeing Lebron hit these last second shots. It WAS an easy layup–the hard part was beating Paul George off the dribble and to the basket, 23 feet (he got the ball at the three point line) in 2 seconds. Lebron made it look easy. Since Paul George is a great defender, and 30 pounds lighter (at least) I gave LBJ 4 stars. Against anyone else, it’d be a 3 star. That includes Hibbard.

    Would Hibbard have been able to stop LBJ’s layup? Maybe. A pull up jumper? No.

  41. hihftakja says:

    1 horry shot in my opinion

  42. Ian Moore says:

    People always be hating. The definition of cluth. Lebron is 7-12 in game winning or tying buckets in the playoffs when either tied or down with less than 30 seconds on the clock. The highest of any active player and if I’m not mistaken off all time. Give credit where credit is due. That’s better than kobe, melo, kd and jordan. Not to mention he scored on the man who drained a 30+ foot 3pt jumper to go into overtime, and hit 3 clutch free throws in overtime to go up by 1 with 2.2 seconds left in OT. All in a 30pt triple double performance.

  43. GWEN says:

    LEBRON IS THE BEST PLAYER ON THE PLANET RIGHT NOW. IT WAS THE BEST BUZZER BEATER FOR ALL HEAT FANS

  44. jamarxyz says:

    the weakest buzzer beater i ever seen in my life…..no one even closed the lane up….the play looked phony just like the rest of the nba….atleast in the 80’s you could play defense…the game today is too phony and too soft.

    • Ian Moore says:

      True but that’s because players are paid too much money. If I’m paying you 80 plus million to play a sport, and a physical player injures you due to his arrogance, I’d be pissed.

  45. EliteBaller says:

    I don’t understand how this is a clutch shot. These guys have trained sooo much that everything is repetition. They don’t get nervous, why would they. They know they can hit that shot in their sleep. Nervousness is how confident you are. That being said, Everyone acts as if Lebron has been a better clutch player than The Mamba. He is called The Black Mamba for a reason. James is good but there are no other superstar forwards in the league. And lebron is built like a power forward. I wonder how he would of done against Barkley, Ewing, and Malone…….

  46. heroagain says:

    he does it again…LBJ save the heat of game 1 of ECF…looking forward of more to it :D

  47. ITS A LAY UP says:

    Wtf this is a lay up!!!!!!!!!! and it gets 4!??? What the hell is going on? Plz Horry’s shot vs kings was a 5 that lay up should be a 2! Say w/e u want to say its a lay up and there is no defender! 2

  48. david says:

    the reason lebron didnt go crazyy is because he knew it was just a reguler good exicuted play nothing more than that besides the fact that he won the game for them and he did it the play perfectly….no need to start analizing like that ….

  49. jason says:

    it’s not his first. Lebron hit a game winning three pointer in game 2 of the cavs-magic conference finals in ’09.

  50. Nitin says:

    Is it just me or Wade was already in the court before the buzzer went off?

  51. rara says:

    this is what nba is all about now, writers and media and whoever has their favourites, so they make them as shiny as stars in the sky when they make the simplest thing as a layup… only man who should be getting 4 horrys in this play is coach spo for designing good play, emptying the space in the middle allowing lebron an easy layup… someone crazy would say teams practice plays like that while training. as i started reading the article named LEBRON KEEPS HIS CROWN (i read maybe first 10 sentences before i puked) i thought i didnt remeber well and lebron took the ball at half court and hit fadeaway 3 over 2 defenders… give credit where credit is due,articles like this make me want to stop watching nba… thank you all you bandwagoners and to all you with eyes wide open adios and stay true

  52. Crystal says:

    There’s always a hater somewhere…..he cant help that hes just that good….HE’S THE KING

  53. Sioti says:

    I give it 5 because it’s hard to beat your defense and get a wide open layup in just 2 ticks.

  54. botter says:

    why are you guys bringing up cp3, manu, miller’s (etc) buzzer beater? we’re talking about lebron’s game winning shot here, if you want other guys game winners then that’s for another article.

    i’ll give it 4.5 horrys.

    that layup was difficult, much more than a contested jump shot. he made it look easy, not many could drive like that under 2 secs. especially PG (NBA 2nd all defensive team, MIP) guarding you.

  55. NJ says:

    I dont think a player who commits 2 traveling violations in 2.2 seconds deserves any respect.
    Even less the referees that saw the replay a bunch of times before declaring the call “valid”

    1. He steps and removes his base foot without dribbling ( thats travelling )
    2. Takes 3 steps to the hoop ( thats travelling )

    Its disrespectful for Indiana Pacers and all the NBA Fans ( Im an OKC fan ) that the NBA just dosen’t make
    calls on the entire Miami Heat squad, none the less when its a game winning situation.

    Congratulations NBA you have become a disgrace.

  56. Aaron says:

    OK Chris Paul’s buzzer beater was 100 times better. James wasn’t even contended, it was an uncontested lay-up. That was weak, Mr. Lang Whitaker, you need a new job… I honestly feel angry that there is an article or blog about Lebron James having the first buzzed beater of the playoffs. Mr. Lang Whitaker, you must have missed the first part of the playoffs while you were getting ready for the WNBA???

  57. Aaron says:

    1, my vote was a 1 for this play, it was weak. It could maybe be a 2 but nothing more than a 2.

  58. Deep says:

    Anyone who said Lebrons shot should get a five on the Horry scale for that shot hasn’t seen Robert Horry’s game winners.