Horry Scale: Evan Almighty

VIDEO: Turner’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And the hits just keep on coming. It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late. (That’s because it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late.) The news never stops, you guys.

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, tonight we look to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, where Evan Turner doesn’t care how many Horry Scale entries it takes to get a win for the Sixers…

In terms of the shot itself, it goes down in the game log as “Turner Driving Layup Shot.” But in actuality it was so much more. Evan Turner is actually the player who inbounded the ball on this play. Sixers C Spencer Hawes released away from the basket and caught the lob pass, at which point Turner took off on a sprint. He ran to Hawes for a dribble hand-off and basically used Hawes as a pivot point, U-turning back in toward the rim. At this point the Nets had two guys on Turner — Brook Lopez and Shaun Livingston. Turner adroitly gives a little hesitation and then fires down to the left block for a layup. Just as Turner leaves his feet, Paul Pierce slides in and takes the contact from Turner. Is this a charge? Is it a block? We’ll leave that for Joe Borgia, because in this case it’s officially neither: No call is made. Turner releases the ball with about 1.4 seconds remaining. The ball then bounces around the rim, kissing the iron three different times as the clock expires, before finally dropping through for the 121-120 Sixers win. It wasn’t a long shot, but there were many things that broke Philly’s way on the play.

Not only was the game in overtime, but Pierce had hit a three-pointer a few seconds earlier to put Brooklyn ahead 120-119. With six seconds left to play in overtime, the Sixers had to inbound the ball under their own basket. Inbounding the ball under the basket is always tough — the backboard itself limits several passing angles that would be available from any other spot on the court. The play the Sixers came up with, which we broke down above, was pretty great — the Nets obviously didn’t expect Hawes to be the target on the play, and once Hawes had the ball, the Sixers used a sneaky backscreen to free Turner. Also worth noting is that the Sixers had lost seven straight games coming into this one and are about to leave on a six-game road trip to the West Coast. So not only did they need the win, but losing their eighth straight in an overtime game would have made things even more difficult to stomach.

I counted nine members of the Sixers who get involved in the initial celebration, mobbing Turner. That’s seventy-five percent of the night’s active roster, an important threshold to hit for our grading purposes. I feel like the celebration was also a bit subdued because whenever there’s a GWBB where the shot is released so close to the buzzer, there’s always that moment of indecision where you’re not sure whether or not the shot will actually count until the referees review the replay. In this case it was rather obvious, but it’s not official until it’s official.

I’m trying to go more with my gut on these, after I had to admit I underscored Jeff Green‘s season-opening shot. So for this shot, with the creative inbounds play, the contact on the shot, the dramatic bounces on the rim, the game being in overtime and the Sixers ending the seven-game L streak, I’m going with Four Horrys.

horry-star horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s game-winning buzzer-beater?


  1. Mark says:

    It’s pretty cool that Evan actually asked Brett Brown to call a play for him and he delivered in OT after a stellar game. 3 Horrys I think.

  2. Ryan says:

    That was such a charge. Yeah he kind of shaked a little but his feet were planted firmly by the time Turner crashed into him., NBA even only showed slow motion of the one angle to not let you see how obvious it was. How he got the lucky bounce, no one knows, but I can’t believe these plays don’t end in fouls, that was either a foul for the 3 point play, or a charging foul….I mean come on refs.

    Apparently the NBA “allows fouls on final plays”. Bogut got fouled on a rebound and lost to the Spurs, not to mention they didn’t call that tip in so they could check it. I haven’t seen this obvious “one way siding” since the MLS and Soccer. Where the ref pretends like he doesn’t want to call the game, meaning he doesn’t want to be the deciding factor, so he just lets anything happen. So in free kicks, guys get throw to ground and they still allow the point.

    It is Nets own fault for not sealing the game, but it sucks when bad plays happen to finish a game. To many back to back on National TV….

    • Ryan says:

      Well…..there “might” be a split second between him “fully” planting his 2nd foot, and the take off second of Turner. But he shifted his leg in time, he was fully there way before he got there.

      Still, I don’t like games ending in plays like this, cause if this is true, the refs DIDN’T call the foul on Nets, which would have left 1.1 seconds on the game!

      This is turrible….meaning Nets should have gotten another possession after Turner threw a free throw or, they call the foul on Turner and basically go to another OT. But the refs choked and ruined another ender.

    • skrutz says:

      Its not necessarily when Turner hits him that decides it- its the fact he was vertical about the same fraction of a second Peirce get his footing. Very hard, could have been either way. As easy as it is to blame refs, and say what was what – thats a pretty damn hard job to call important stuff like that properly in a split second.

    • Ouu says:

      Good of you to expose such corruption.

    • manu says:

      i completely agree with you, at the end of that game refs said I love this gaaaame hehehe

  3. Ace says:

    3 Horry’s at best, 4 is ridiculous. For one, it was a charge, for another, it needed a very friendly roll to go in, which tells me it was as much luck as it was good execution of the shot, probably more so. You can’t give a guy 4 Horry’s for getting a hometown call from the refs and about three lucky bounces off the rim.

  4. Jonathan says:

    ya that is a charge

  5. jsmith says:

    1 star off for so much time left
    1 star off for being so close to the basket, basically a floater/layup
    1 star off for being uncontested
    1 star off for being a charge
    also, it was not an important game…

    1 HORRY simply because it won the game at the buzzer and they would have lost otherwise

    • Tony C says:

      I’d add a half star because i believe the sixers were on a terrible losing streak. It takes a lot of effort and guts to dig yourself out of a hole. He fought to the last second and wanted the win very badly, and he got it. To the end – we fight. I give him 1.5 Horrys.

  6. Randy says:

    it was clearly a charge in my eyes and should’ve never counted but since it did ill give it 1 star

  7. Daniel says:

    Like the Clippers but that was a charge! No doubt!

  8. A person says:

    3.5 Horrys

  9. Totally says:

    Complete charge!!

  10. Jake says:

    Argueably a 3-second violation on Thad Young as well as the no-call on the charge/block. It’s a nice make but I wouldn’t give it more than 3 Horrys. Whitaker always over-complicates the ratings.

  11. Hey says:

    I think that the only factors in grading a buzzer beater should be game situation and difficulty. Celebration hasn’t got anything to do with the shot,it’s after. Please, why are we talking about bounces on the rim?Seriously..

  12. chopsui11 says:

    2 horrible teams….both in the east…..i would give it 3….2 in reality

  13. dustydreamnz says:

    Yeah, I thought charge. You don’t see many called these days. Can afford to be aggressive with the ball.

  14. Myke says:

    who cares about a clear foul, when the refs dont call it?
    and yes it was a charge!!

    but i would give it a 3, because:
    – not much space
    – win or lose situation