Horry Scale: Foye Makes it Fun

VIDEO: Foye Makes It Fun

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s late here on the East Coast, but I started watching the Nuggets/Clippers game in the second half and had this vague idea that maybe, just maybe, this thing could come down to a game-winning buzzer-beater. And that’s why we’re here, right? But no, that probably wasn’t going to happen. Still, I kept watching, and kept watching…and then Randy Foye happened.

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.

OK, so you understand? For your edification, this is the thirteenth GWBB this season, an incredible pace. Can we keep it up? We’re gonna try. In the meantime, let’s break this shot down…

It was a difficult shot, but that was almost completely of the Nuggets’ making. Down 2 points, with just over six seconds to play, the Nuggets ran an inbounds play that didn’t really seem to put them in a situation to succeed. They threw the ball in to Kenneth Faried just inside the three point line. Faried then turned and tossed it to J.J. Hickson, who was even further away from the basket. What are they doing?! With just over 2 seconds left, Hickson found Foye, cutting toward the top of the key on the right side of the court. Foye caught it, well covered by Jamal Crawford. Foye used Hickson as a quasi-pick, and Blake Griffin switched onto Foye. With the clock ticking down, Foye forced up a long, contested three, from four or five feet behind the line, and he drained the shot. It wasn’t much of a play — the shot was born out of necessity more than anything. But Foye drilled it, which is why we’re here.

It had been a back-and-forth game down the stretch, with both teams fighting to grab the lead. Just moments earlier, the Nuggets were sitting on a two point lead, when the Clips got the ball to J.J. Redick. When the defense ran out on Redick, he half-heartedly drove the lane and eventually kicked it out to an open Matt Barnes on the wing, who drained the three to give the Clips a (temporary) 115-113 lead. Denver got the ball back with 6 seconds to play, with a chance to go for two to tie or three to win. They went for three, although again it seemed to be almost an accidental play. Whenever your play-by-play announcer has time to nervously say “Too much time!” twice, that probably wasn’t the play you were going for. But then, it worked, didn’t it?

It’s tough to see well in the clip above, but Foye hit the deck when the shot went in, and moments later, several other Nuggets (Hickson and Faried) hit the court and slid into Foye as if he were a base on a baseball diamond. Then the Nuggets performed several group hugs as they all left the floor. Overall, it was a fairly excited celebration, which was fun to see.

It was a tough shot — fading left and shooting right. Although, again, this was mostly Denver’s own doing. It wasn’t much of a play, wasn’t much strategy involved. I’d give this two Horrys, except that it was a really, really long three, and I enjoyed the celebration. So I’m giving this three Horrys….

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Randy Foye’s GWBB?


  1. Ryan says:

    Denver needed that one…..

    Doing that on LAC is automatic 4 star.

  2. The Truth says:

    why would you care about the celebration…

    • Kalbo!! says:

      Anyone care to answer? Maybe not. sorry @The Truth. Just try not to be a buzz-kill.

    • pKone says:

      Because Horry celebrated the HELL out of his buzzer beaters.

      Therefor on the “Horry Scale”, which is also the name of this feature article, Celebration is a key to rating the shot….
      On the Horry Scale 🙂

  3. rusty says:

    How is this not 4 or five horrys, it was a contested fading shot from 30 feet and if he missed his team would lose. it not like the game was tied or anything and if he missed they would ot. this was clutch and was a great shot, why is Lang Whitaker being so hard this year.

  4. OhhComeON! says:


    • pKone says:

      I agree it was a challenging shot, but since the difficulty was based more on incompetent play-making which forced Foye to remind everyone that he CAN hit from anywhere, you can’t give him full credit.

      As for what 5 Horry’s looks like I am envisioning the playoffs, or at least an important game for playoff position. Maybe a game between heated rivals!

      In this game one teams best player faces off against the other teams star player and in a well designed play (or mano a mano showdown) sink a highly contested shot… Stealing a victory from the Jaws of defeat!

      Celebrations in this case can vary:
      1) Full team hug-fest
      2) Puffed out, yet under-stated chest thump … like Kevin Garnett would do
      3) Whatever seems right for the player/situation

      Then you get your 5 Horry’s )

  5. Brandon says:

    How in gods name is that only 3?? and you wanted to give 2?? That was a game winning three. Fading left off of a broken play. That is an amazingly tough shot. Holy god. Just because he is not a big name?? I don’t jump off the couch much, and I’m a Miami fan. But this was a amazing game. Incredibly difficult shot that capped off a amazing team effort to beat a tough team. I will be watching more Denver and Clippers games if this is the effort i get to see. Terrible, terrible rating though. Amazing shot.

  6. Singaporean says:

    tough situation being 2 down… four stars for me as they had ample time for the set up, tough shot.. does celebration plays a part in the scale?? my all time 6 star horry scale will be Derek Fisher turnaround J against the Spurs.. you know which game i meant =)

  7. Singaporean says:

    This season buzzer beater game winner will be

    1) Jeff Green corner trey against Heat at their own turf..
    2) Westbrook hustle trey against the Warriors
    3) Randy Foye

  8. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    lol are you doing these just to piss people off? you would give this one TWO??? just stop seriously

  9. jordan4564 says:

    3.5 if I could allot half stars but its a tough one to grade cuz that was a pretty tough shot. I know it sounds harsh but its hard to give out 4s and 5s midway through the regular season…

  10. Three Horrys!? You give an (obviously plan-less) halfcourt shot 5 horrys and this only three!? If you could observe the play sharply, Ty Lawson (the guy who was supposed to be given the ball) was really covered, so the play was broken right away, so the Nuggets have to make an alternative random play. And in the midst of a crazy season for Denver, this shot has to matter a lot. Why in the world did you give James Johnson’s shot five horrys last season, is it because the team is from California? Give me a break.

    This shot is four horrys.

  11. A very tough shot during a crazy season for the Nuggets. This win was badly needed so why in the world will you only give this three horrys!? You rate James Johnson’s lucky shot from last year as 5 horrys and this three!? Is it because the team is the Nuggets!? Is it because the team does not have a superstar!? Oh my goodness.

    Foye’s shot is worth four Horrys

  12. Jack says:

    How can this only be 3 horry’s?!

    Down 2, hitting a huge 3 right on the buzzer. Only way it could be bigger would be in a playoff game!

  13. dustydreamnz says:

    Four Horry’s for me. Was to win the game, he was off balance and it was well behind the 3 point line.

  14. Joseph says:

    This season has been a Mother lode of game-ending gems, and I gotta say that the Horry Scale adds some real fun and spice to the NBA.com experience. Still, I’m a little curious about the consistency of your own BB rating system.

    By your definition of “Importance” it would seem impossible for a buzzer-beater to score a 5 on the Horry Scale in almost any game before the playoffs, right? Fair enough, and maybe you want to put that out there for fans—but maybe a great shot is simply a great shot, and maybe the occasion of the game-winner can speak for itself.

    Using Randy Foye’s clutch three as Exhibit A, I have to ask exactly what you mean when you judge the Difficulty of the shot. Denver’s’ weak inbounds play (not to mention Clippers defense) ran more time off the clock and gave the Nuggets only a single look at the basket, and you contend that those elements make Foye’s shot LESS difficult. Again, this is your show (and we do love it!), but would also love to get some clarification on the Shot vs. the Play when it comes to Horry-fication.

    Thanks for your column and all the great buzz it builds. Looking forward to even more!

  15. bartek says:

    Three? Four myabe even 4,5… Tough shot, great celebration, shot “win or die”, not usuall distance for treys..
    It`s 4 or more for sure for me.

  16. OldCelt says:

    Comeon, give it some love it was a TOUGH shot. If it was a playoff game 5 Horrys no doubt, but as is, 4.

  17. newklear says:

    didn’t taj gibson get 4 horry’s for a LAYUP? and now you give poor randy only 3?? not a fan of neither the clips nor the nuggets, but still smh

  18. Yotawna says:

    Four for sure. Pretty dumb to not give any regular season games five stars. Might as well save this whole Horry segment for playoffs only.

    Difficulty: A set play would mean an easy shot. Why would that be deserving of more Horrys. This shot was a couple steps behind the three with a super athlete contesting, off the dribble, fading away. No it is not a Kobe triple pump fake fade away splash bomb but its 9/10 difficulty for sure.

    Game Situation: Who cares about how it got there but down 2 and to splash a long three means 10/10 for game situation.

    Celebration: Pointless but if we really need to grade it the team did a good job mobbing Foye. 8.5/10

  19. Tom says:

    damn you suck at grading. If you gave turner a 3 this is easily a 4

  20. Jjizzle says:

    lang whitaker can’t rate shots on the horry scale. He just can’t.

  21. JoeRocker says:

    I’d give it 3,5 horrys, but i find it absurd that you’d give it 2 comparing with the 3-4-5 horrys that you’ve given to other GWs during the season. Your judgement consistently lacks of consistency.

  22. Ryan says:

    That shot deserves 4-5 stars… This article deserves 1-star for rating that shot 3…

  23. plzz says:

    whaaaaaaaaaaat u serious? this is the best all season behind green’s. super tough shot, the celebration was real cool, the crowd reaction too and against great D and a great team. this is like 4,5 stars or 4 at the very, very least.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty sure westbrook had a better turnaround 3 pt from the corner with less time on the clock earlier this season…

  24. Adam says:

    How did a three-pointer from become a 4-point play? ” the Nuggets were sitting on a two point lead” “Matt Barnes on the wing, who drained the three to give the Clips a (temporary) 115-113 lead.”

  25. nflwa says:

    how did taj gibson get 4 horrys on a lay up but foye got 3 with a three ball?

  26. lbj says:

    Making buzzer beaters will not win u any rings u need to join the king lebron in miami we will trade future hall of famer norris cole in exchange for foye starting lineup:

    1. Randy Foye
    2. Dwyane Wade
    3. The King
    4. Battier
    5. Bosh

    threepeat for sure

    • M"AIR"J says:

      You wont win 6 rings by playing for the heat, you gotta play with the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan we will trade a bag of empty chips for LBJ

  27. will says:

    5 stars….
    difficulty, it was far out the 3point line against 2 defenders
    game situation … see saw battle against a top 4 team
    they were behind by 2…. a miss wouldn’t have been an overtime, unlike some of the buzzer beaters, but a loss.
    celebration, the arena rocked.

  28. Minty says:

    4 Horrys

    If this was anywhere in the playoffs I’d give 5.
    Surely the fact that it quickly became a broken play with time rapidly winding down made it a much more difficult shot, so even more impressive as a buzzer beater?

  29. Okat lets talk this over says:

    1. Celebration
    First of all, why are we grading the dudes CELEBRATION. The celebration is completely meaningless, there are shots we would give 5 horrys but you take it down (or pump up in this case) because of a stupid celebration? I can’t tell you how some of Michael Jordan’s, Kobe’s, Reggie Miller’s shots had a great celebration and some of their other shots did not. Are you legitimately trying to tell me that you would take the quality of the shot down because of something that happened after the game? Who honestly cares about how the player celebrates?
    2.”again, this was mostly Denver’s own doing. It wasn’t much of a play, wasn’t much strategy involved”
    This is a direct quote from YOU LANG “again, this was mostly Denver’s own doing. It wasn’t much of a play, wasn’t much strategy involved” Okay so lets break this down. “again, this was mostly Denver’s own doing” Every game winner EVER game winner has this scenario in it, Michael Jordan would not need any of those game winners if it was not chicago’s own doing. This is a ridiculous statement. Are you trying to convince yourself that in this ONE game winner it was the winning teams fault that they almost lose the game? That is truly ridiculous. Next part “It wasn’t much of a play, wasn’t much strategy involved.” Let me tell you something else, most game winners are not planned. Usually what ends up happening is that the play is broken, and someone needs to bail you out. Jeff Green over LeBron was a great example.How about Kobe’s game winner over Portland when he still had Shaq. Was that one PLANNED? Reggies 3 over New Jersey? How about Derek fishers .4 seconds? How about when Michael Jordan finished the Jazz off in game 6 during the finals? That was not planned. This is a completely ridiculous statement, If anything thats what makes this shot even better, broken play desperation 3 thats well contested.
    Overall Lang simply cannot rate game winners to save his liffe. This is truly terrible, I mean give the shooter some credit! I am not a denver fan or a LAC fan, but seriously when you start robbing people of well deserved credit you should stop writing about it.

  30. Paul says:

    how’s this a three horry, but gibson’s left handed lay-up game winner from a couple of weeks ago a four horry?

  31. Jesus rivera says:

    That was a 1, Horry came up big on BIG important games, not regular season games. It was a great shot by Foye but its not like he expected it to go in, it was pure luck. For that I give it a 1.

  32. T-wolves pup says:

    4th quarter foye. He was what made timberwolves fun to watch as I was growing up. Can’t help but smile at this shot

  33. Anonymous says:

    So Im reading the comments here and some of these paint a pretty vivid picture of how “amazing” this shot was …then I watch the video and please I see why it was barely given a 3 star rating, maybe their strategy had failed an they had to pull something out of their a@@ but geez straight away that shot was hardly contested right behind the 3 pt line some of you jokers make it seem like he was halfway to half court and he was barely fading my god basketball and its jokers this gake makes no sense anyways why do u run back and forth scoring and scoring the only thing that matters is the last 2 mins anyways! They should raise the rim about another 5 ft and see the amazing shots and dunks then thatd make it actually interesting to watch most of these players can just stick their hand in the basket without having to jump its almost like if baseball just put a Tee at home plate give me a break

  34. GRRR says:


  35. Joel Osteen says:

    I always log onto NBA.com everyday and read the majority of the articles but I never-ever leave a comment but this Lang Whitaker guy is so dam annoying that I just have to say something. How the hell can you give an incredible shot like this 3 Horrys? You been extremely hard on all 13 buzzer-beaters this year and have made this entire series discouraging to read. You should be replaced. The NBA should insert someone who actually gets excited about amazing buzzer beaters like this one and who knows how to express that excitement to their fans because that is why we log onto the site in the first place. All you’re doing is making us fans not want to click on these dam Horry Scale articles because you’re going to downplay everything. Not to mention the disrespect players like Joe Johnson and Randy Foye and every other player you downplayed this year might be feeling because of the poor score you bestowed on them. You should be ashamed calling yourself a basketball fan yet alone an NBA writer. Most shots this year deserved 4 or 5 stars and you shut them all down like if they were shots taken in shoot around or practice. I bet you a million dollars if that was Kevin Durant or Lebron James who took that same exact shot last night in that same exact situation you would give them 5 horrys right? You’re extremely pathetic, I hope you get replaced.

  36. TTKIN says:

    I was gonna give it 4 stars, but since LAC was without CP3, I gave it a 3. Plus it’s only midseason.

  37. joenba says:

    this is a four. five if it was a playoff. celebration was great. fun to see players sliding into half court.

  38. pKone says:

    For all of you who want this to be a 5, I ask this:

    When Kevin Durant drains a 3-ball to win game 7 of The Finals (with some other all-star in his face) and the team swamps the floor in celebration… what do you give that play?

    Because you already used up your “5 out of 5”, can’t get any better, Horry Rating on Foye’s shot in a mid-season game against a non-rival on their way to the lottery….


  39. I gave this 4 Horrys because of the overall context with the Nuggets having been dealt all kinds of blows, from their restructuring of management on down to the team (injuries from Gallo, McGee and Robinson now to boot). And what happens? The Nugget’s bench steps up against the staggering Clipper’s offensive and defensive stamina? You have unrecognized players, Hickson, Quinicy Miller, Fournier and Foye cutting in and amounting to what was a miraculous shot with limited resources and game-time experience as you really have, and still beat the Clippers. We’ll see with time, but I’m seeing Foye’s play as one that has seriously strengthened this team and offered a glimpse into what it can do when everybody on the floor buys in.

  40. Respect GWBB says:

    Dear Lang Whitaker,

    Some of your past ratings have really dumbfounded many people. Jeff Green’s GWBB should have been at least a 4. Same with Foye’s. People agree because in the poll, more than half of voters believe this was a 4. Tighten up.

    Respect GWBB

  41. Lol says:

    The writer’s grading sucks. First Jeff Green now this..not much learning since i guess..

  42. bball says:

    Insane shot. Deserves a 4 at least

  43. Agudo says:

    Went into the shot with pace, deep from the top of the key, with Blakes big melon and hand in his face. 4 Horrys

  44. Jovera says:

    Foye should have five horrys because what he has done (even if he missed the shot). You see the video, He deliberately take the part to shoot the ball in last seconds of the game, when no one seems wanted to do it. It was not only making the game fun indeed. He brought an example to learn. You should have the ball to change the opportunity become the success.

  45. Jay says:

    It was a good shot however what most of you are not realising is that this is just a regular season game and therefore can only be a 3 max as 4 and 5 are for playoff games where it really counts. And where big shot bob made his name as a clutch player with 6 rings!!!