Horry Scale: Dre Day


VIDEO: Iguodala’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And now the Horry Scale nominees will come fast and furious. After Jeff Green’s game winner just a few days ago, last night’s late TNT game gave us our second nominee of the season, on a last-second shot that didn’t exactly go as planned.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain. What is the Horry Scale? For those who 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 Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

With the rules in place, let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Golden State’s Andre Iguodala at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (By the way, we will not call him Iggy, because he hates the nickname Iggy.)

DIFFICULTY
In terms of basketball fundamentals, Iguodala was able to take a relatively normal jumper — he was moving toward the baseline with the ball in his right (shooting) hand. But we should note here that the play we saw executed was not the play Mark Jackson drew up, according to Iguodala.
Dre said he was supposed to get the ball, fake a dribble handoff to Klay Thompson, who was inbounding, and then look for his shot. And when they lined up for the play, Kevin Durant was assigned to Iguodala. But the Thunder were switching on the play, and when Thabo Sefolosha switched onto Iguodala and basically overplayed as Iguodala cut toward Thompson, Iguodala make the executive decision to cut backdoor — “I took a page out of Kobe’s book,” said Iguodala — and he found room to receive the pass. If nothing else I just love this play as an example of how much happens in an NBA game that is unplanned — these guys are constantly making plays that are based on reads and reactions, and when multiple players are in sync on something like that, it can be a beautiful thing. Sefolosha defended the shot pretty well and recovered enough to get up in Iguodala’s release, but Dre put enough arc on the ball to not only clear the defender, but also take pretty much the entire clock before it splashed home.

GAME SITUATION
It’s worth noting that just seconds before Iguodala’s shot, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook drained a long three-pointer on a broken play to give OKC the temporary 115-114 lead. And frankly, I was a bit surprised Iguodala’s shot was a game-winning shot, because when the ball was inbounded there were 2.3 seconds left. And in the NBA, 2.3 seconds can be an eternity — enough time to catch the ball and run a quick play, or make a few moves even. As the Warriors were inbounding the ball, TNT’s Reggie Miller noted, “A lot of time left for a dribble or two for the Warriors, to get this shot off.” Watching the replays, I’m still not convinced there shouldn’t have been a few tenths of a second added back on after this shot. That is barely any time, I know, but hey, Derek Fisher is on the Thunder, isn’t he?

IMPORTANCE
Let me say this here: I am not perfect. In my breakdown of Jeff Green’s game-winner, I discounted my rating of the shot because I felt like it was such an early-season game that it wouldn’t really have ramifications down the line. And in the comments, you guys upbraided me for not accepting that for the Celtics, beating the defending champs at home was a big deal. Looking back, I probably should have given the Green play a 4. There, I said it. But we don’t choose these things, they choose us, and we just have to move on. So before I go and discount this shot for taking place so early in the season, let’s realize that beating Oklahoma City meant a lot to the Warriors, regardless of the point in the season.

CELEBRATION
Hitting a dagger at home means built-in celebratory upgrades, such as confetti and a raucous crowd. After the shot connected, Iguodala instinctively sprinted to halfcourt, and the Warriors bench rushed the floor. We also got a shot of a calm, grinning Jermaine O’Neal, surveying the action from the sideline like the old man who’d seen it all and felt proud for these kids. And you think the Warriors weren’t excited? Check out the celebration from owner Joe Lacob

LacobGoesNutsGSWOKC

Fist pumps in a blazer, you guys.

GRADE
As stated earlier, I caught flack for giving Jeff Green three Horrys, and I have publicly reconsidered my position on that one. For a while I wondered if my legacy here at All Ball would be as the Simon Cowell of the Horry Scale, the tough judge nobody could impress. But nobody likes a meanie, and it’s no fun to have a heart two sizes too small. So for this shot, for reasons outlined above that go above and beyond what was basically a fadeaway jumper, I’m going with four Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-starhorry-star

That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give Andre Iguodala’s game winner?

(GIF via @CJZero)

34 Comments

  1. rich says:

    I never like the ‘Horry’ scale referral – it’s almost laughable ! These guys (and a lot of other players for that matter) hit a lot of an even better winning shots than Horry himself. I was watching on TV when Horry made those winning shots and I can definitely say I enjoyed others winning shot a lot more. No disrespect to Horry.

    • B-Ball4Life says:

      @rich…Yeah, I hated Robert back in the days because he always hit the shots against teams I was rooting back then.
      But there is a reason why this is called Horry scale. Simply because he made a tonne of those shots. He is called Big Shot Rob for a reason. Sure there have been much better and more difficult buzzer beaters/game winners but he made a career out of it (with seven rings!!!)

  2. NBA fan says:

    And yet Jeff Green’s buzzer beater over the Heat from the 3-point line only received 3 Horrys

  3. Whouwh says:

    Jeff greens buzzer beater worths 4 Horrys, too. I understand the aspect of the importance of the matchup,but the the difficulty of Greens shot was nuch higher.

  4. Sayote says:

    cut the author some slack.. at least he admitted he should’ve given Green’s shot a higher rating…

  5. kanuk says:

    2-pointer there mr.horry.

  6. seneca warrior says:

    I think Andre’s shot should receive a top ranking because the Warriors had a double digit lead through most of the 4th quarter and the Thunder came back. It was just moments before that the Thunder took the lead on a fortunate long range 3-pointer, yet Andre was poised enough to make his game winning shot with the clock running out. This showed his ability to not only make changes on the fly, but to be focused on what had to get done, not what had just happened.

  7. Johnm says:

    I think this is fair.
    I might’ve given this one 3.5 stars if it were possible. Just because I think it’s less difficult than the one green hit and Green’s deserved 4 stars.
    But was glad to see you revoked your rating of Green’s shot. Not because I think the commenters were right and you were wrong, but because it shows strength to change your rating even if you don’t agree with the commenters.

  8. jason west says:

    this was a good shot but not better than Jeff Green’s a few days ago. This one should be 3 horrys and jeffs 4!!!

  9. Enderwilson says:

    4 stars? This is really putting the value of the Horry-scale in question. If Andre’s shot is considered a 4-star, then what kind of shots are going to be 1-3? What about all the shots that we will see this season that will decide more important games, and for the lesser of two unevenly matched teams? Will those get 4 as well? Shouldn’t we save the 4 or 5 for game winners that actually have meaning to the team’s season? To me this is a 3 at most. Two evenly matched teams, early in the season, with over 2 seconds left and the game on the line by a mere 2 points. Not a 3-ball, but 2.

    Sorry but this doesn’t belong in the same neighborhood (=4 stars) as the crucial playoff and finals game-deciders that Horry has put up.
    (Note of interest: this is coming from a lifelong Sacramento Kings fan.)

  10. jmndodge says:

    I gave the shot a 5 – don’t get to watch as many games, was fortunate to catch this game – great play on both sides. I will admit that I might grade a bit high, as i would give K.Love a 1.5 on each of his game almost winners – the failed attempt at Cleveland a while back and the put back the other night (3 shots that didn’t go it, Love’s the last). Being in position to win and having the ball touch your hands and move toward the basket is an exciting thing. For the wolves in recent years it hasn’t happened all that often, but this shot will loom bigger as the season progresses – might just be a key factor in the playoff placements.

  11. this was a 3 says:

    if Iggy hit same shot on Durant who is longer and taller, this would of resulted in 4 stars.

    don’t u agree?

  12. rp says:

    you should have really put more thought into the scale before you started using it.. you havent even cemented your criteria yet! sure, you corrected your position on jeffs shot, which obviously deserved a 4, but it was probably because you realized it would be ridiculous to rate andres shot over jeffs. a game winning 3 over lebron in miami gets the same rating as a game winning 2 over sefolosha in gs?? this isnt a fan blog, this is nba.com. get it together!

  13. Slicky says:

    “So before I go and discount this shot for taking place so early in the season, let’s realize that beating Oklahoma City meant a lot to the Warriors, regardless of the point in the season.”

    So the Celtic’s, who before the season started were considered one of the bottom feeder’s beating the Heat didn’t mean a lot? Face it Lang, you S Lebron’s D.

  14. jim says:

    Five. Horry was a face the basket spot up shooter. If anything the difficulty of his shots should be measured on the Dre scale.

    Hard, hard back cut on a premier defender, knowing where the open spot was before the inbounds, top notch read ‘n’ recog, full sprint to get there, money.

    Five stars.

  15. abdijabar says:

    yeah Jeff green buzzer beater was better and should got 5 horrays

  16. MS says:

    How can this be 4 stars and Jeff Green’s only be worth 3 stars? I thought we are early in the season and nothing can get more than 3 stars. That’s what the same writer said on Green’s 3!
    At least you recognize that you made a mistake on Green’s, that I respect. Not many people have the courage to admit their mistakes.

  17. Hoopzah says:

    Maaaan, this looks like the referees call for “stars cannot be touch, can take 4+ steps to the basket and can argue calls”. I love your posts but this Horry scale thing makes no sense… Jeff Green had less than this one? You’re just feeding markets over here…

  18. rtl3 says:

    Gotta be a 3-pointer to break into the 4 Horrys. 3.5 at best.
    Respect on rescinding the judgement on Green’s shot. That was a 4 all day.

  19. soch says:

    I say 3 horry’s. Jeff Green was alot more difficult and that was a 4. 5 horrys for difficulty+playoff. so I think 3 for this one sounds right.

  20. TheAll-Star136 says:

    IGUODALA!

  21. Ed says:

    that shot indeed reminded me of Kobe´s shot against the Suns a few years ago in the playoffs to send it to overtime (if Im not mistaken…)
    but just cuz many ppl (me included) tought the Jeff Green shot was worth 4 stars you didn´t need to change ur mind on that one. its nice to have different opinions. it generates discussion and that makes ppl use their brains a bit

  22. izf says:

    better than jeff green’s? no.

  23. GRRR says:

    so you gave this -i cant tell otherwise,very big- shot 4 stars.
    …after you gave Jeff Green’s SHOOT OF THE YEAR 3 WITH LESS THAN 1 SECOND.OVER THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD.ON THE CORBER OF THE COURT.

    and the nerda are gonna start ‘did you read the article???’ ‘you did not read the article!!’

  24. djrjx says:

    Fail Fail Fail
    “Andre Iguodala’s game-winning 3-pointer gets put to our patented All Ball test.”

    It wasn’t a 3-pointer!!! How could writers on the official NBA site fail like this?

  25. JayEm says:

    the home page says Iguodala’s shot was a 3 pointer, just thought I’d point that out for correcting

  26. Oliver says:

    It should be 3… js

  27. Alex says:

    I get that the author was attempting to remedy his error on Green’s grade through Iguodala’s, but there’s really a big difference here. Dre had 2.3 seconds to catch the ball, turn around and fire. Most playmakers of Dre’s model consider that a relatively routine shot. Jeff Green’s shot had much more difficulty. With only six tenths of a second, it was a catch and shoot scenario. Guarded by the league’s best defender, AND it’s a 3 point shot. I think Dre deserves 4 Horrys, but Green deserved five.