GWBB

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…

DIFFICULTY
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.

GAME SITUATION
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.

CELEBRATION
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.

GRADE
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?

Please let this happen tonight (or any other night of these Finals)

by Micah Hart

This is how you win a championship:

Apparently, this is from the Romanian league Finals, with Mobitelco Cluj Napoca using this buzzer-beater to top Ploiesti and win the championship series 4-2. Not bad, Mobitelco, not bad at all.

The Horry Scale would give this one five Horrys, no doubt about it.

H/T Deadspin

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Derek Fisher, how do you rate on the Robert Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

One of my favorite kinds of buzzer-beaters: the unexpected-decoy GWBB.

Don’t get me wrong. Derek Fisher is no stranger to big shots in clutch situations (San Antonio*, cough cough**).

* Don’t forget who was on that Spurs roster. Big Shot Bob of course.

**Watching that video again, have I completely forgotten Hedo Turkoglu’s tenure on the Spurs? I could have sworn he went straight from the Kings to the Magic. That portion of his career has been totally lost to the recesses of my brain.

Still, when a team has Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and some other guard known for last-second heroics, you assume the defense is going to focus on them. It takes a strong coach to consider that defensive initiative and take what is given. Obviously Phil Jackson fits comfortably in that category.

I wonder if Jackson is to the point where says to himself, “Self, this is a regular-season game against the Clippers. Why not gamble a little?”***

*** This theory will really gain steam when Derrick Caracter hits a game-winner.

Matt Barnes tosses it into Fisher almost immediately after ball-faking the lob to Gasol — if Kobe was the next option, Fisher couldn’t have been far behind — and Fisher heads towards the rim without hesitation. You figure in most situations, the Clippers are just happy not to have the ball in Bryant’s hands, and they’ll take their chances with Fisher. Well, chance taken, and ballgame over. Lakers beat Clippers, and the world makes sense for at least another night.

But what did Robert Horry think?

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s investigate:

Difficulty: Moderate. The closer you get to the basket the higher percentage shot you can get, and Fisher creates a nice amount of separation from Eric Bledsoe here for his running layup. Still, he has to get the shot over the outstretched arm of the leaping, 6-foot-11 DeAndre Jordan, which with this kind of time left shows pretty impressive touch by Fisher.

Game Situation: L.A. down a point after Jordan’s dunk with 3.1 seconds left. Do-or-die time for the Lakers.

Importance: Honestly, I don’t know. The Lakers-Clippers rivalry is so one-sided, I feel like this loss means more to the Clippers than the win does to the Lakers. Sorry Blake Griffin, this is what you have inherited. See what you can do to turn things around.

Celebration: This is supposed to be a Clippers home game, but listen to the crowd react. The only other road games where the Lakers get this much support are in Atlanta. Ouch babe.

Grade:

3.5 Horrys. A very nice shot, but it’s a Lakers-Clippers game — it can’t come as that much of a surprise. The Lakers are like a bully holding a smaller kid at arm’s length, then letting go quickly and watching the kid fall over in the mud. Pretty nice work though, Derek.

What do you think?

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Andrew Bogut, how do you rate on the Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

After several GWBB jumpers to start the season, last night we got our first of the tip-in variety when Andrew Bogut deflected the lob pass from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute into the net as time expired to give the Bucks a 97-95 win over the Pacers.

We are keeping Robert Horry busy in the early goings of this season.

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s put another crawfish on the barbecue grill and see how this one rates:

Difficulty: Now we’re talking. Melo, Rudy, Mo, your shots were nice — but they were jumpers. With the Bucks only left with :00.5 left to play in the game, their options were limited. There was time for a catch and shoot logistically, but barely. Most likely, they were going to have to get a tip of some kind.

I gotta give it to Milwaukee here — the Pacers had to know that something around the basket was the Bucks’ best hope, yet Mbah a Moute was still able to find Bogut flying towards the rim. You can fault Indy some for not defending it better, but Brandon Jennings does set a nice back screen on Jeff Foster to give Bogut just the amount of separation he needs to get a hand on the pass. Any time you have such little time, there is little room for error. On this play, the Bucks executed to perfection.

Game Situation: The game was tied, but when there is only half-a-second left, the score of the game only matters if a team trails by three. There are no discussions of strategy with 0.5 on the clock, no conversations about waiting for the last shot or making your move early enough to get a rebound, you just do whatever you can to get a hand on the basketball heading towards the basket and hope for the best.

Importance: The Central Division is up for grabs, Carlos Boozer‘s return to the Bulls nonwithstanding. The Pacers are proving surprisingly feisty so far, and though Milwaukee hasn’t shown their form from the end of last season, they could still factor in the race. It’s early, but wins in December count just as much as ones in April.

Celebration: Obviously the home crowd erupts, and I especially like Bogut’s Euro-style two-hand fist-shake after the ball drops.

Grade:

4 Horrys. Very high marks for difficulty, and the division aspect of the game raises the stakes.

What do you think?

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Carmelo Anthony, how do you rate on the Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

Wow. Four weeks of the season go by with nary a single GWBB, and now we’ve had three in a week. Someone is digging the Horry scale!

Last night we had our first come-from-behind GWBB, courtesy of Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, who used ‘Melo’s heroics to beat the Bulls 98-97 in Denver. Let’s take a look at the action, and then we’ll see what Big Shot Bob has to say about it. Roll it!

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s see how this one rates:

Difficulty: At first glance, this jumper looks pretty routine, much like Mo Williams‘ GWBB from Wednesday. ‘Melo’s shot is a fairly standard one from the elbow that most NBA players should be able to make. But upon closer inspection, I think we have to say that part of the reason it looks so easy is due to Carmelo’s outstanding offensive capabilities. Maybe a lot of players can make that shot, but not a lot of players can create that much space for themselves in that kind of situation. You can blame Luol Deng if you want, but he has to be prepared for so many different things that Carmelo can do, it’s not a surprise to me that he falls for the jab-step so easily. This isn’t an easy shot, yet because the ball is in Carmelo’s hands, it certainly looks that way.

Game Situation: The Nuggets trailed by one, so if Melo misses, the ballgame is over. It’s our first do-or-die of the season. However, I’m inclined to detract a few style points here due to the fact that Denver blew a 19-point lead in the second half to a Derrick Rose-less Chicago team. Yes the Nuggets trailed by a point, but they shouldn’t have ever put themselves in that situation to begin with.

Importance: It’s early still, but both the Nuggets and Bulls have championship aspirations. Couple that with all of the rumors of Chicago as a potential destination for Anthony, and this one felt like the stakes were a little higher. Wouldn’t it be interesting if seeing this kind of clutch performance (the shot was Anthony’s 14th career game-winner) up close and personal ended up being the final piece of evidence that convinced the Bulls to pull the trigger on a deal?

Celebration: Muted, but for a reason. ‘Melo battled flu-like symptoms the entire night, symptoms that him feeling, as he put it, “terrible”, all night.

Grade:

3.5 Horrys. ‘Melo does indeed make it look easy to his credit, but the shot itself is nothing special, and I have to take off a half-star for the fact that Denver never should have needed heroics in the first place.

What do you think?

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Mo Williams, how do you rate on the Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

Well that didn’t take long. After Rudy Gay hit the NBA’s first game-winning buzzer-beater last Saturday, it only took four more days before our next entry into the 2010-11 ledger. Mo Williams, step right up to claim your prize:

A refresher — any time there is a GWBB, we will examine its bonafides  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s see how this one rates:

Difficulty: It’s a nice shot, no doubt, and Brandon Jennings does all he can to bother Williams. However, this isn’t that hard a shot for an NBA player to make, a face-up jumper from just left-of-center.

Game situation: Tie game, so no harm no foul if it’s a miss.

Importance: In the early season, neither the Bucks or Cavs are doing much to make themselves look like contenders, but I’ll say this — given their summer, I have to think every win feels just a little bit sweeter for Cleveland this year.

Celebration: Mo Williams jumps on the scorer’s table as the crowd in Cleveland goes wild. That’s quite a little Thanksgiving present for the Cleveland fans.

Grade: Three Horrys. Thought about giving it a 2.5, but I bumped them up an extra half-an-Horry for being an antidote to the Cavs’ fans misery.

How do you rate it?

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Rating Rudy Gay’s game-winner against the Heat

by Micah Hart

Finally, a game-winner! There have been many fantastic plays in the first few weeks of this NBA season and several buzzer-beating miracles, but until last night we hadn’t seen a game-winning buzzer beater, which I think we can all agree is the greatest thing in the world ever ever (unless you are rooting for the losing team).

Any time there is a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB from now on), we will examine its bonafides  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys. After all, who else but Big Shot Bob could judge the merits of that most devastating play in basketball?

Let’s go to the videotape for last night’s GWBB, brought to you by Memphis’ 80-million dollar man, Rudy Gay.

Difficulty: I gotta give Gay pretty high marks here. First, he had to dribble around half the Miami defense in about four seconds. Second, one of the best defenders in the game, LeBron James, is draped all over him. Thirdly, the baseline fadeaway gives Gay no angle for error; the bank is closed for him on this one. All in all, a really impressive shot.

Situation: The game was tied at 95-95, so there’s no real penalty for a miss here.

Importance: It’s early in the season, but it’s safe to say that as of now, any win over the Heat carries a touch of import.

Celebration: The Grizzlies didn’t go too crazy, but Gay hitting the shot right in front of the Heat bench and then giving them a little look afterwards was a nice touch.

Grade: Four Horrys. This is about as good as it gets – there may not be another game-winner in LeBron’s face the rest of his career. But given how early in the season it is and the fact that the game was tied, four seems about the right number.

What say you?

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.