Horry Scale: Joe Knows

VIDEO: Joe Johnson Does It Again

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s late at night, I’ve got one full day of vacation staring me in the face, and before I drift off to bed, I’m thinking about the last few things I’d like to accomplish (a long nap tomorrow, not doing chores, etc.) before heading back to the blizzard in NYC. And then Joe Johnson does it again. The Brooklyn Nets needed a win in the worst way, and who better to turn to than Joe Cool?

I know we usually air these posts out a bit, but this one is going to be a bit more to the point, because, you know, vacation. But before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: 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.

One other thing before we move on: I’ve received a few emails from Blazers fans and Thunder fans wondering why I had not done Horry Scale posts for their teams when Lillard and Westbrook have hit game-winners. My reasoning is sound: Those guys have hit game-winners, yes, but they both left tenths of a second on the clock. And as we all know from reading the rules above, we are looking for shots with 0.0 remaining on the clock.

Which leads us to Joe Johnson…

The toughest part of Joe’s game winner was having the 6-10ish Serge Ibaka guarding him. But the rest of the shot was the same kind of shot Joe’s been knocking down his entire pro career. He inbounded the ball to Kevin Garnett, who handed it back to Joe, and then you can see all the other Nets clear out of the way and just let Joe do his thing. I’ve often said that if Joe Johnson were in a one-on-one contest against any other NBA player, I think he’d fare pretty well, because he’s terrific at using his dribble and his size to nearly always get his shot off. And this instance was no exception.

More like season situation. The Nets have famously been something of a mess this season, and the recent season-ending injury to Brook Lopez led to many thinking it was time to put the final fork in the Nets (if we hadn’t already). So to say they needed a win not just on this night but to give life to their season is no understatement. And I’m pretty sure nobody thought that win would come on the road, against the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder.

Rowdy. Even moreso than on Johnson’s previous game-winner this season. Of course, even though this isn’t an overtime finish, the Nets probably have more at stake now than they did a few weeks back. They’ve been knocked down, but they got up again.

We’ve had a run of 4 Horry scores of late, and I think it’s time to break that streak. While the shot over the bigger defender was impressive, it was a basic jumper in a one-on-one setting. So I’m giving this three Horrys

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys does Joe Johnson’s GWBB deserve?


  1. Roy says:

    Sorry to bust your basketballs here Lang, but this deserves four Horry’s. It was a much needed win for the struggling Net’s against a Top 4 team, on the road I might add. Sure they weren’t down and it would have went to overtime, but still. I think it needs a 4.

  2. Dingdong B says:

    how about jeff green’s shot against miami with 0.6 remaining in the clock?

  3. pokie says:

    I have to give it five. But not to Joe. I give it to Jason Kidd. He cracked the rotation riddle last night by playing Livingston and Williams together in the backcourt with Pierce at the three and Joe at the four plus KG. He shrunk the giant Nets down to Heat-size to reel the Thunder back in and may just have discovered something very important for his club moving forward. Kudos, Rookie.

  4. Akeem says:

    Yes a 4. They put a lot of energy into coming back. Over-time in OKC may not of worked well for them. Also, he went into his shoot after a cross over and stepped into the shot from a behind the back dribble, with Ibaka all over him. NOT a typical jump shot my friend.

  5. RufioQuin says:

    Good lord y’all, that was just nasty. Like pokie said.. they may have something with that starting lineup. I know this team (along with the Knicks) have been the joke of the nba thus far… but I am pretty sure the Nets are the last team Miami would want to see in the first round. Paul Pierce has always been able to get into Lebron’s head a least a little, and there aren’t many players who’ve done that.

  6. JackKG4Lifer says:

    This one’s a 5. Considering how low these Nets confidence were before the game and their entire season before this one…This one is 5!

  7. Baller says:

    I give a definite 4.

  8. boxoffice says:

    Next year you might have to change the name to Joe Scale.

  9. Bullsfan says:

    Did the owner of this blog ever play ball?? Everthing is called an ‘easy jumper’ while this was a fade-away over a (nearly) 7footer!!!

    • dq says:

      Yeah it was a tough shot, and in hindsight we might think it would deserve more Horry’s if this shot represents the turning point in the Nets’ season. But not a lot was at stake here: Game tied up at 93; if Joe misses, they go to an extra session where if they win, it’s still a surprise, but if they lose, nobody really cares. Only if they turn their season around after this would I argue that this shot should’ve gotten a higher rating, but for now I agree with 3.

    • Game Time says:

      Well for the past three buzzer beaters people have been criticizing his score since they were jumpers inside the arc as well.

  10. Ezra Fleming says:

    Wow I Cant Believe Oklahoma Let That Slide By Ibaka Was Like Right Dere I Swear I Watched It 4 Times In Dis Belief

  11. Tom says:

    That was far from a basic jumper… easily a 4

  12. Game Time says:

    I still wouldn’t give a shot more than 2 that was inside that arc.

  13. KJ says:

    This was the last time I read this crap Horry Sh… easy??? the only EASY I can think is that an OKC easy win over the NETS, but as y’all saw they sliding NETS defeated OKC fancy!! this dude should start looking for another thing to do.. you lack of judgement dude!

  14. #30 says:

    For me its a 5, That was Joe signature move, going left then behind the back to take tough shot.

  15. jordan4564 says:

    You all fail to realize that the scale is out of 5! You can’t just throw around 4s and 5s to every one who hits a buzzer beater… Ya’ll are saying this is a 5/5 and ray allen’s game tying finals shot it 5/5 WTH!?! thats non sense! 3/5 MAX!

    The Game was tied so if he misses so what!? They go to overtime! How in the hell is that at 4 or 5?? BTW is anyone of you ppl commenting play any ball you’d know that that MID RANGE fade is practiced so much its an easier shot from that range. the level of difficulty is lower than you think, even when guarded (for nba shooters), from that close. Had it been a three pointer i still dont hink you cud award it a .5 star more cuz again, THE GAME WAS TIED!!!!!


    Good job Lang!!

    • Akeem says:

      Mid range??? he was at the top of the key. that’s just inside the 3 pt line. He was also fading to the right, WITH I-blocka in his face…4

      • jordan4564 says:

        In case you’ve forgotten the top of the key is still a mid range jumper lol. If you’re giving the difficulty of the shot a 4 thats fair, even though johnson make that shot in his sleep. Overall it cant be more than 3, regular season tied game mid range all takes away from the importance of the shot.

  16. wisdom says:

    two at max. The fact that you hit a buzzer bee does not mean you have to get at leat 3…

    the fact that you’re on the list is an honor, even with two stars.

    two is max for this shot