Horry Scale: Bayless keeps Bucks alive


VIDEO: Bucks’ guard Jerryd Bayless’ layup keeps Milwaukee’s season alive.

Jerryd Bayless headed to the sideline as if he hit a shot to end the first quarter, of a game in January, against a lottery team. He basically calmly walked off.

But that smile. It was bigger than the arena, a louder statement than the home crowd, more of a barometer of the new mood among the Bucks than the updated playoff standings. That smile, the one a lot of people in Wisconsin now have.

Jared Dudley made the great pass, Bayless made the twisting layup at the buzzer, and the Bucks had finally pushed through against the Bulls, going from the double-overtime loss on Thursday and the 0-3 deficit in the best-of-seven series to the 92-90 victory Saturday in Milwaukee.

DIFFICULTY

For Bayless? Not much. He had to catch the ball going away from the basket and turn slightly to flip the ball in with his right hand while taking a slight hit from defender Derrick Rose.

The pass was the hard part. Throwing the ball in from the left sideline, Dudley completed a perfect pass, through Joakim Noah applying pressure on Dudley and through Rose staying close to Bayless. The pass could not have been better.

GAME SITUATION

Rose’s eighth turnover of the day — a day he probably never forgets — gave the Bucks the ball with 1.3 seconds remaining in a 90-90 game. Coach Jason Kidd called one timeout, a full. Then another, a 20.

And the series situation. Milwaukee had already lost in overtime in the series, two days before, and likely would have had another extra period if it didn’t convert on this last try. Lose this one as well and the season’s over.

IMPORTANCE

C’mon.

CELEBRATION

It was a great scene. Bayless may have been calm as he walked to the sideline, but once there, he was mobbed by teammates as the building went wild, at least the people who hadn’t made the drive from Chicago to watch. Even the scene looked good from overhead, with many Bucks fans waving the white T-shirts left on the seats before the game.

GRADE

Five Horrys, and only because that’s the limit. A basket to win a playoff game, against a neighborhood rival, with the possibility of elimination looming — that easily deserves the max.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-starhorry-starhorry-star

Meet the Warriors ‘Gold Suit Man’

By Jeff Case

Some NBA teams have entire sections of their stadium dedicated to loyal fans: the Area 55 crew at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Pacers, the Red Rowdies at Toyota Center for the Rockets, the Kia 6th Man section at Philips Arena for the Hawks and many others that we’re probably missing.

Oracle Arena is best known for its raucous cast of Warriors supporters, but one fan in particular stands out at home games, a gentleman known as “Gold Suit Man”. A college student by day, Oliver Wald has, in recent years, become one of the best known Warriors fans around.


VIDEO: Warriors Gold Suit Man

Proof Paul Pierce really doesn’t want to return to Canada

By Jeff Case

The Washington Wizards have a 2-0 series lead on the Toronto Raptors in their first-round series, winning both games North of the border. After the Game 2 win (and as the series shifts to D.C.), the Washington Post reported Wizards forward Paul Pierce was overheard saying he didn’t want to make a return trip to Canada. Why? Because he didn’t want to go through customs.

As players headed to the locker room after the game, Pierce shouted, “I don’t want to go through customs no more!”

Thanks to the Wizards, we have video proof of Pierce saying that — although what the team captured isn’t the same exact quote as what the Post had.

CDX_SLzWIAEOeqN

 

Throwback Thursday: Jerry West


VIDEO: Jerry West was a legendary NBA scorer

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Jerry West’s Finals feat

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West is associated with many feats in NBA lore, but on this date 46 years ago, he pulled off one of his greatest ever.

In Game 1 of the 1969 NBA Finals, West scored 53 points to lift the Lakers to a 120-118 win over the Boston Celtics. Although the Celtics would eventually go on to win the series in seven games, West held a place in NBA lore for many years to come. His 53 points stood as a Finals record until Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls broke it with a 55-point effort in Game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals (a 111-105 Chicago victory over the Phoenix Suns).

In honor of West’s Finals feat all those years ago, we take a look back at the storied career of one of the best shooting guards in NBA history:


Gallery: Jerry West’s career

What are your favorite Abdul-Jabbar memories? Leave your comments below!

J.J. Watt has a blast at Game 2 of Rockets-Mavs series

By Jeff Case

The Houston Rockets are expecting a big playoff run in 2015, what with their fancy, new pregame intros and whatnot. Tuesday night’s Game 2 moved Houston to 2-0 in its series with the rival Dallas Mavericks and delighted the fans at Toyota Center — one of whom was Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.

Before the game, Watt and his fellow Rockets fans were treated to a masterful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by 12-year-old Nicholas Connors:

After which Watt congratulated Connors on his rendition (and clearly shocked him in the process):

And lastly, Watt soaked up the Rockets’ win with some celebratory dancing:


VIDEO: J.J. Watt dances after the Game 2 win

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Ludacris Edition

VIDEO: Shaqtin’ A Fool: Ludacris Edition

Ludacris made a special appearance on Inside the NBA on Tuesday night so Shaq queued up a special “Ludcaris Edition” of Shaqtin’ A Fool. Vote for this week’s best Shaqtin’ Ludacris A Fool moment and tweet your favorite to #Shaqtin!


Cavaliers, Rockets debut new intros for playoffs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I’m in Cleveland right now covering Games 1 and 2 of the Cavs/Celtics series, so I got to see in-person the Cavs’ pregame introductions on Sunday afternoon, which were awfully impressive — Kevin Love actually mentioned getting fired up by them in his postgame comments. But it’s not just hot in Cleveland — every team in the playoffs brings it big-time, to give their team the best home court advantage possible.

Here are the new postseason intros from the Cavs and the Rockets…


VIDEO: Cavs court projections


VIDEO: Rockets Postseason

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony pay tribute to Blake Griffin dunk victims

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but there’s never a bad time to hear “Crossroads,” their 1995 hit song paying tribute to their departed friends and family.

In this case, however, Bone Thugs turned up on ESPN’s “SportsNation” to sing the song in tribute mostly to Spurs center Aron Baynes, who got got three times by Blake Griffin in Game 1 of their series.

I wonder if he has an Uncle Charles, y’all?


VIDEO: Bone Thugs

DeAndre Jordan is Batman

black_grey

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERDeAndre Jordan is the Los Angeles Clippers’ likely all-defensive team center, a man who stops all opponents attempting to infiltrate his territory. Perhaps DJ takes some of his principles from one of our great, if not greatest, superheroes, Batman. Jordan says he’s a big, big Batman fan, and on a recent day off, Jordan went to Warner Bros. studios in Hollywood and got a chance to see some historic Batman memorabilia, as well as stuff from the upcoming Batman v Superman movie. Here’s a gallery of images from the Clippers, and be sure to check the video below…


VIDEO: Jordan is Batman

Warriors fans give Monty Williams some help

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The fans at Golden State Warriors games have long been known for creating one of the loudest in-game environments in the NBA. Opposing players and coaches are well acquainted with this, as nobody seems to relish having to play in Oracle Arena, a.k.a. Roar-acle Arena.

But it was still stunning to hear Pelicans coach Monty Williams admit this yesterday before Game 2 of the Pelicans/Warriors series. As Williams said

“I’m not so sure that the decibel level is legal there, and I’m serious. They’ve done studies on that. Being on the competition committee, there’s got to be something to that because it does get a little out of hand. I’ve talked about it for years, they’ve got some of the best fans in the league here, and they show up early. The music before the game, they’re playing old school music, and it’s right above your locker room. And you’re like, ‘These people are crazy, man. This is pretty cool.’ So I’m sure it has an effect, but after a few minutes, it’s just basketball.”

If Williams was looking for a way to further motivate Golden State’s already rabid fans, he found a proper avenue: Last night the fans were louder than ever, cheering on Golden State in their Game 2 victory.

But Warriors fans didn’t forget about Williams. To make sure he was properly protected, some helpful Warriors fan left a little gift on the scorer’s table right next to the Warriors’ bench…

(via B/R)