Horry Scale: Raptors’ Joseph drains winning three-pointer


VIDEO: Cory Joseph nails game-winning three-pointer for Raptors in Washington.

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER —  Sometimes all it takes is one game, one play, one shot to sum up an entire season.  In this case, it told the tale of both the Raptors and Wizards, who are going in vastly different directions.

There was Cory Joseph burying a 3-pointer as the horn sounded to give the Raptors a fourth straight victory and a starring role as the clutch performer in Saturday night’s edition of the Horry Scale.

There was John Wall clanking a pair of free throws with 3.8 seconds left that set up the hero spot for Joseph and ultimately sent the under performing Wizards to their fourth straight defeat.  Can we start the Nick Anderson Scale in honor of gagging from the foul line?

For those unfamiliar, 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 night in November?) and celebration.   Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.

One thing to get straight: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a game-winning buzzer-beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations … basically, everything surrounding and including the shot.  In short, it’s about the total package.


Joseph may have come into the game shooting just 25 percent (4-for-16) from behind the arc on the season.  But he surely has not had a more wide open look at a trey, maybe in his entire career.  With the Washington defense looking as confused and ineffective as members of Congress, Joseph practically had time to order out for a pizza before he loaded up, let fly and found the bottom of the net.


Wall was already 6-for-25 from the field when he stepped up to the free throw line for the two shots that could have given the Wizards a three-point lead.  But a season in which he’s looked like anything but the franchise player to take Washington to the next level sank to new depths when he missed both free throws.  You just knew what was going to happen next.  With 3.0 seconds left, DeMarre Carroll shoveled the inbounds pass to DeMar DeRozan, who turned left around the corner and drove the baseline. That’s when Ramon Sessions was sucked in badly, collapsing to the lane and leaving Joseph all alone in the left corner.  DeRozan spotted him, made the easy feed and the Raptors won 84-82.


Joseph let fly, knew it was good and ran to midcourt, where he was greeted by DeRozan and a chest-bumping Kyle Lowry, then the rest of the Raptors bench.  It was a Toronto happy dance for four in a row.


We give Joseph credit for stepping up with the clock running down and his team trailing by a point.  But as mentioned, he couldn’t have a more uncontested shot if he were shooting for stuffed teddy bears on a carnival midway.  We’re giving it two Horrys.  And giving Wall two Nick the Bricks.



Kristaps Porzingis is having a block party

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On their recent four-game road trip, Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis continued to showcase the skills that have made him one of the NBA’s breakout rookies. And while his scoring and rebounding are obviously huge, his ability to block shots has also been important. On that four-game road trip, Porzingis contributed 16 blocked shots. And the Knicks rounded up all those shots into one video…

VIDEO: Porzingis blocks

Draymond Green gave Tom Izzo a nice gift

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With an off day on the schedule yesterday, Warriors forward Draymond Green was able to go see his former college team, Michigan State, playing in a nearby tournament. And not only did Green get to see the Spartans in person, he happened to be there when longtime coach Tom Izzo, who was Green’s coach in college, was going for his 500th win.

They got the win, and Green presented Izzo with a gift for all he’s meant to him through the years: a Rolex, with the inscription, “Great start”…

Steph Curry spent Thanksgiving fired up by the Carolina Panthers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For those of us involved with the NBA, one of the great things about Thanksgiving is that besides getting to spend time with family and friends, you also get a day off, something that is few and far between once the NBA season is underway. Like most of us, Steph Curry appeared to spend his down time yesterday watching some football, especially because Curry’s beloved Carolina Panthers were in action against the Dallas Cowboys. And on the way to a Panthers blowout, they got a pick-6 touchdown from linebacker Luke Kuechly, which got Curry fired up enough to take to social media and shout Luke’s praises…

1,2,3,4,5,PICK 6!

A video posted by Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on

Robin Lopez asks Orlando mascot to bop him with a hammer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen Knicks center Robin Lopez attack mascots around the NBA, so with the Knicks in Orlando, Magic mascot Stuff went on the offensive. He had Lopez read from a series of cards that, at least if you close your eyes, ends with a request for stuff to hit him with a hammer. And so Stuff had no choice, really, other than to hit Lopez with a hammer.

8-year-old Hawks fan figures out how to stop LeBron James

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — How do you stop LeBron James? It’s a question that has vexed coaches and players around the NBA since LeBron’s debut back in 2003. But maybe, just maybe, an 8-year-old Hawks fan has figured out how to stop the King.

According to a letter sent to Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, while reading a book about the Cavs and LeBron, an 8-year-old named Eli discovered that LeBron’s eponymous website contained a section that listed LeBron’s strengths and weaknesses. And if you’re looking to stop LeBron, like the Hawks may want to do, perhaps employing strategies to exploit those weaknesses is a valid idea.

(via Reddit)

Drake introduces the Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night, the Toronto Raptors celebrated Drake Night, an annual event where the evening is more or less hosted by Drake, the best-selling artist who also serves as the Raptors’ “global ambassador.” Besides wearing Drake-inspired uniforms and having him courtside all night, the Raptors turned over the pregame introductions to Drake…

VIDEO: Drake introductions

Cleveland Cavaliers join Raptors dance squad

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When an NBA dance team is on the court doing their dance routine, not much is going to make them get off the floor before they’re supposed to leave. Even if the opponent finishes their huddle early and strolls onto the court to take part in the opening tip-off. And even if that opponent is LeBron James and the Cavs. Turns out a dance team and an NBA team can co-exist…at least for a few seconds…

VIDEO: Cavs join the Raptors’ dance team


(via SBNation)

The NBA gives back on Thanksgiving

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today is Thanksgiving, a day when the U.S. takes a moment to reflect and be thankful. In the videos below, players and teams from around the NBA took some time to give back to the communities that support them throughout the year…


VIDEO: Westbrook Thanksgiving


VIDEO: Brooklyn Thanksgiving


VIDEO: Hornets Thanksgiving

Minnesota Timberwolves read mean tweets

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Twitter can be a fun, immersive experience, but as almost anyone who uses social media has probably experienced, it can also hurt, sometimes. The Minnesota Timberwolves have embraced the pain by borrowing a bit from “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and having several of their players read aloud some of the not-so-nice things that were tweeted about them.

VIDEO: T-Wolves Tweets