Horry Scale: Harris ends Hawks’ streak


VIDEO: Harris’ streak ender

Tobias Harris was already enjoying a season with obvious forward progress, to the surprise of no one who had been tracking his career progress. One of the least-known parts of the Magic rotation or not, next to Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and 2014 lottery picks Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, Harris had established himself as an early candidate for Most Improved Player.

Add Saturday night to the resumé. Harris hits the 15-footer as time expires to give Orlando a 100-99 victory over the Hawks.

DIFFICULTY

Tough shot. Not only was time running down, not only was Harris on the move while dribbling to his left, but DeMarre Carroll played good defense. It was commendable defense, actually, the way Carroll fought off a pick, fell down, got up just as Harris received the pass and stayed on Harris the entire way. And when Harris released, Carroll’s left hand was contesting the shot.

It didn’t matter. Harris was fluid and unhurried as he cleared the defense, before the buzzer sounded after the release.

GAME SITUATION

There were 15 lead changes and 10 ties. The biggest advantages were six for the Hawks and five for the Magic. This was a game that deserved to go down to the final play.

Atlanta went up 99-98 on Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining. Orlando called timeout. The Hawks put Carroll in for defense. The Magic, wanting another shooter, put Channing Frye in for Payton.

Harris had pretty much been in the entire way, playing 39 minutes while missing nine of 15 shots before the timeout. Unfazed, he worked his way from near the baseline, through Carroll’s tight defense, called for the ball on the right wing and then dribbled. He was just to the left of the free-throw line when he pulled up.

IMPORTANCE

There went Atlanta’s nine-game winning streak. Not only that, the victories had come by an average of 14 points per. Harris ending that impressive run should get headlines around the league because of what the Hawks had been doing, and also because it is another step in Orlando building confidence. These kind of nights help a lot.

CELEBRATION

The Magic got the importance. It helped that Harris made the shot on the side of the Magic bench. He basically drifted into waiting arms after the release, He was swarmed there, while the Hawks walked dejectedly off the court at the other end.

GRADE

It was a big moment all around. Long winning streak on the line, the Magic wanting to make a statement about being able to step up to the moment, Harris needing to create his shot against tough defense and then convert when the opportunity did come — that was big even for mid-December. Three Horrys.

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Hawks, Warriors look to get out All-Star votes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In case you missed the news, voting for the 2015 NBA All-Star game began yesterday. The 64th annual game, which will take place here in New York City on February 15, takes it starting line-up from fan voting. That’s nothing new, but the new wrinkle this year is that thanks to the online voting, every NBA player is eligible to be voted for. You want to vote? You can do so right here.

To help get out the vote, teams have started releasing videos designed to raise awareness about the voting process. In Atlanta, for instance, we see Hawks players Mike Muscala and Kent Bazemore discussing how they want to vote and #which #hashtags #they #might #use in the process.


VIDEO: Hawks Vote

Meanwhile in Golden State, the Warriors have released a video demonstrating just how easy it is to vote, even to a collection of NBA legends like Jerry West, Al Attles, Nate Thurmond and Jim Barnett. It’s so easy, in fact, even a couple of kids can do it…


VIDEO: Warriors Vote

Kobe Bryant documentary trailer debuts

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen plenty of athletes in the past attempt to tell their own stories, either through book or documentaries. And even though Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is going to be another in that long line with his forthcoming documentary “MUSE,” Kobe never does anything half-heartedly, as this teaser trailer seems to indicate…


VIDEO: Kobe Muse

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Gary Harris


VIDEO: Arena Link: Gary Harris

By Gary Harris, for NBA.com

Hey everyone! Trying out my first blog for NBA.com. I feel like I started off the season well in my NBA debut about a month ago. My first minutes came against my hometown team, the Indiana Pacers. I always play well against teams from Indiana, so I knew I had to really step up in front of all my family and friends. I couldn’t believe how many people came to the game! I saw friends I hadn’t seen in years who bought tickets and came to support me, even though they were Pacers fans. I felt really proud seeing so many people in Indiana wearing Denver Nuggets colors and cheering for me, so I knew I had to have a big game as my way of saying thank you.

Getting my first minutes in an NBA game in my hometown meant a lot to me. I have been preparing for my first NBA game since I was a little kid, so playing in front of my family and friends came as a small reward for all of the hard work I’ve put in since childhood. I dreamed about playing in front of the most important people in my life in my home town for years. Seeing my dreams come true definitely was a humbling experience that made me appreciate all of the ups and downs throughout my career.

During our win against the Pacers, I had probably my most exciting play of the year. I drove by my defender and dunked on two defenders in traffic, which made Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. All of the Nuggets fans cheered pretty loud except for my mom. She wasn’t paying attention during the play and missed the whole thing, but they showed her face on TV when she realized she missed a big play. I will never let her live this one down…

We started off the season a little slow as a team, but we’ve picked up the pace considerably the last few weeks. It takes a lot of time to fully gel as a team and get on the same page with everything we do. I think teams will see a completely different Nuggets squad by the end of the season because we have so much room to grow. We have shown that we can compete with anyone in the league. Now it’s time to start building on the teaching points throughout the year so we can see some concrete evidence of progress from the beginning of the season.

Adjusting to the NBA lifestyle definitely takes some time to get used to, but I think I’ve handled it pretty well so far. We travel way more than I ever did in college, so that is also an adjustment. I’ve got a good group of teammates to learn from, so they make the transition a lot smoother for me. Having another rookie (Erick Green) to go through the process with also helps ease the stress a little bit. Knowing I’m going through the same issues with another person makes my issues more manageable because we can figure out solutions together. All in all, the transition is going well, and I’m really lucky to be in this position.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read my diary. For updates on everything about our journey this season, be sure to follow me on twitter @thats_G_ and tune in for our games throughout the year. I know we have a lot of great basketball ahead, and I’m very excited to see where this season takes us!

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Mario Batali

America Farm To Table_cover image

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. Today we check in with one of the world’s great chefs, Mario Batali. Mario owns restaurants around the globe, has written nearly a dozen cookbooks (his latest is America — Farm to Table) and is a co-host of “The Chew.” All Ball readers already knew Mario was an NBA fan, so it’s worth taking a moment to exchange emails with him about the upcoming NBA Christmas Day slate…

ME: Last year you told us you root for both the Knicks and the Nets. How do you feel about the state of the two franchises right now?

MARIO: Not ideal, but I am still a supporter.

ME: You told us you take your sons on an NBA road trip each year. Where have you yet to see a game that you’d like to visit?

MARIO: This year for Leo, it will be the Pelicans, because we love New Orleans.Christmas2014

ME: All-Star Weekend in New York City is a few months away. Any don’t-miss stops you have for people visiting town?

MARIO: Eataly, Pearl Oyster Bar, Buvette, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Otto, Babbo, Lupa, Casa Mono.

ME: What Christmas gift would you give to the Knicks? To the Nets?

MARIO: Bourbon to drown their sadness and linguine with clams to build them back up again.

ME: What Christmas Day traditions do you and your family share?

MARIO: Presents, brunch, NBA hoops, winter beach walk, ham and biscuits.

ME: What’s your go-to snack/food to eat when watching NBA games on Christmas Day?

MARIO: Snacks will be salami and cheese from Eataly, smoked whitefish from Carlson’s in Leland, hard cider from Tandem in Suttons Bay, and Goat Cheese from Idyll Farms in Northport.

ME: Give us your predictions for the Christmas Day lineup. First up, Washington Wizards at New York Knicks?

MARIO: Knicks will give me a Christmas Day win, by 5.

ME: San Antonio Spurs at OKC Thunder?

MARIO: Spurs by 4.

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat?

MARIO: Cavs will finally have it together and win by 2.

ME: Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls?

MARIO: Bulls by 5.

ME: And finally, Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors?

MARIO: [Stephen] Curry will dust them — Warriors by 12.

The Sacramento Kings get revenge on Shaq

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’ve ever wondered how NBA players feel about being spotlighted on Shaqtin’ A Fool, I think it’s safe to say they usually aren’t thrilled about it. But rather than complain, the Sacramento Kings recently decided to get even. In this video, several Kings players take over Shaquille O’Neal‘s role and narrate a series of clips of Shaq’s not-so-great moments. Sorry Diesel, you had it coming…


VIDEO: Kings Shaqtin

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Vol. 4, Episode 6


VIDEO: Shaqtin’ A Fool: Vol. 4, Episode 6

The Holidays are here which means Shaq was feeling extra generous when he choose this week’s plays. Vote for your favorite Shaqtin’ A Fool moment and tweet your favorite to #Shaqtin!
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Shaqtin’ A Fool: Old School

Shaq went to the wayback machine and found the best “Old School” moments in NBA foolishness history, including his own. Take a tour and vote for the best (worst?) plays that the Big Fella deemed worthy of Shaqtin’ A Fool and tweet your favorite to #Shaqtin!

Shaqtin’ A Fool Old School: Best Of The 80s | 90s | 2000s | Shaq-


SHAQTIN’ A FOOL: BEST OF THE 80s


VIDEO: Best Of The 80s

 


SHAQTIN’ A FOOL: BEST OF THE 90s


VIDEO: Best Of The 90s

 


SHAQTIN’ A FOOL: BEST OF 2000-2011 (“PRE-SHAQTIN”)


VIDEO: Best Of The 00s

 


SHAQTIN’ A FOOL: BEST OF SHAQ


VIDEO: Best Of Shaq

 

Tracy McGrady is back to being a rookie?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There was speculation this week that Tracy McGrady wanted to return to the NBA, a rumor that McGrady himself debunked yesterday on Facebook. But two years ago, McGrady spent a season in China, and even though he was in his 30s at the time, he was still a rookie. And as we see in this new commercial from Foot Locker starring McGrady and Portland’s Damian Lillard, rookies have to do their rookie duties, no matter how old they may be…


VIDEO: Rookie Life

Harry the Hawk stands up for mascots, challenges Robin Lopez

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just yesterday we examined the disturbing serial hatred Portland center Robin Lopez has for mascots all over the NBA. Well, one NBA mascot has seen enough and has thrown down a public comically oversized gauntlet to Lopez. Atlanta’s Harry the Hawk posted the following video to Instagram last night, showing that he’s ready for Lopez when Portland rolls into Atlanta on January 30. That may be over a month away, but the anticipation is building.

You don't bully mascots and get away with it, Robin Lopez!

A video posted by Atlanta Hawks (@atlhawks) on