Posts Tagged ‘Al Jefferson’

Horry Scale: Walker’s Walk-Off


VIDEO: Walker’s Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New York Knicks were off to a franchise record-worst start. The Charlotte Hornets had lost ten in a row. But despite initial appearances, tonight didn’t do anything to remedy the situation for the Knicks.

Twenty-four hours after losing a close game at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, tonight in Charlotte the Knicks mounted an impressive comeback to hold a one-point lead with four seconds left, only to see their win float away with a lay-up from Charlotte’s Kemba Walker.

And it’s not like the Knicks, off to a 4-17 start and losers of six consecutive coming in, were the only team struggling here. The Hornets, a team tabbed by many to compete for a Southeast Division title, came into this game riding a 10-game losing skid with a 5-15 record. But it all ended in the capable hands of Kemba Walker. (And not for the first time.)

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.

One thing I’d like to clear up: 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. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

Let’s get to the game-winner…

DIFFICULTY
To be honest, it should have been harder. With 4 seconds left on the clock, the Hornets had the ball out of bounds along the sideline, down one. The Knicks had J.R. Smith — not noted for his defense — guarding the inbounder. And Hornets center Al Jefferson set what was basically a cursory screen on Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni, as Kemba Walker popped free to receive the pass.

And then — and this is the weird part — Walker just dribbled directly down the left side to the basket and shot a lay-up to win it. Amar’e Stoudemire tried to help out and contend against the shot, but his defense seemed more unintentional than anything.

Did Prigioni think he had help behind him? The Knicks had a foul to give, did they think someone was going to take that foul? Did Knicks coach Derek Fisher try to call a twenty-second timeout from halfcourt before the play?

There are more questions than answers. All we know is that Kemba Walker got a layup to win the game.

GAME SITUATION
Both teams needed — desperately — a win tonight. And the Knicks mounted an epic comeback, losing at one point by 21, and entering the fourth quarter down 16, 85-69. But despite the comeback, on that last play the Hornets just seemed to want it more.

IMPORTANCE
Like we said, it was huge for both teams, but Charlotte arguably needed this more than the Knicks. (Ten game losing streak > six game losing streak.) After adding Lance Stephenson in the offseason, the Hornets were supposed to be better than they were a year ago. Instead, they’ve struggled mightily. Someone had to lose, and tonight it was the Knicks. Again.

CELEBRATION
Walker ended up on his back under the basket, after extending himself to get the shot up and over Stoudemire. When the ball dropped through, Gerald Henderson and Marvin Williams jumped atop Walker and helped him to his feet, and Lance Stephenson arrived moments later. In the clip above, we even get one of those cool long-range crowd shots where you see the entire arena rise to their feet as one when the game-winner drops.

GRADE
It was a nice play, a nice shot, and nice win for a Charlotte team that needed a win. But it was also incredibly simple, and came during a regular season game. Prigioni seemed to think he had help coming from behind, as Walker basically walked directly to the rim for the winning bucket. I don’t want to discount the skill required to get a shot off over a big man, but to be honest, the Knicks couldn’t have defended the play much more poorly.

So I’m giving Kemba Walker’s game winner 2 Horrys.

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What say you? How many Horrys would you give Kemba Walker’s GWBB?

The Al Jefferson bobblehead may need some work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tonight the New York Knicks travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets, and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive an Al Jefferson bobblehead. Whether or not this is a good thing is still up for debate.

Obviously it’s something that fans of the Hornets will appreciate and enjoy, it’s just that the accuracy of the actual bobblehead appears to still be up for debate. Check the video below where Jannero Pargo eventually takes over and, along with Lance Stephenson, gives a thorough breakdown of the bobblehead’s breakdowns.


VIDEO: Big Al Bobble

Horry Scale: CDR pays dividends

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: CDR’s game-winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been three weeks since we last fired up the Horry Scale, and in the time since, we’ve been mostly focused on the playoff race. As teams fought for position, somehow we had no game-winning buzzer-beaters that would require the Horry Scale to be utilized. Tonight that all ended, in the inked-out arms of Charlotte’s Chris Douglas-Roberts, as the Bobcats knocked off the Atlanta Hawks, 95-93.

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.

One thing I’d like to clear up: 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. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

We all clear? OK, let’s break tonight’s shot down, our 17th Horry Scale entry of the season…

DIFFICULTY
A runner over two defenders? Tougher than it sounds. We should say here that the Hawks weren’t playing with a full deck, as they gave rotation members DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap the night off. (The Bobcats also limited the minutes of their key players.) With playoff berths secure for both teams, they seemed content to let some of their bench players battle this one out. That said, CDR was well defended, and his shot flew high into the air before splashing through the net.

GAME SITUATION
Gary Neal and Sekou Smith’s favorite player, Luke Ridnour, carried the Bobcats throughout the fourth quarter. But the Hawks rallied late after a 5-0 run from Shelvin Mack brought them within two, and then a jumper from Lou Williams with 2.6 to play knotted the game at 93. With the game tied, the Bobcats inbounded the ball on the side in front of their basket. With Martin Sargent-lookalike Josh McRoberts inbounding, the Bobcats sent Ridnour and Chris Douglas-Roberts running in a wide arc, as Al Jefferson set a pick and Gary Neal flashed to the corner. The Hawks covered all of this very well, and none of the initial options were open. With maybe a second left to inbound the ball, Douglas-Roberts flashed from the basline to the top of the key, and momentarily lost defender Lou Williams on a brush screen from Jefferson. CDR drove left, pulled up from just inside the free-throw line, and knocked down the game-winner over a recovering Williams and help defender Mike Muscala, with no time to play.

CELEBRATION
The celebration was mostly subdued. Gary Neal wrapped Douglas-Roberts in a bear hug in front of the Hawks bench, and even Bobcats sideline reporter Stephanie Ready got in a high five. it felt like both teams were more concerned with the playoffs starting later this week.

GRADE
I’m going to give this one two Horrys. It was a nice shot, sure, but when one team doesn’t care enough to have their best players in the game, it detracts from the fun a bit. Not that this should matter to Charlotte — they wanted to win and ran the best play possible for them to win it. Heckuva shot from CDR, no doubt. But all in all, I’m going two stars …

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What say you? How many Horry’s would you give Chris Douglas-Roberts’ GWBB?

Enes Kanter Trash Talks To Al Jefferson

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just because NBA players may become friendly with one another, that doesn’t mean they can’t find the motivation necessary to get fired up when taking on an opponent…particularly if it’s an old friend. When the Jazz took on the Bobcats over the weekend, it meant a return match-up for former Jazz big Al Jefferson, who signed as a free agent with the Bobcats this summer.

To make sure everyone was in the proper frame of mind, Jazz center Enes Kanter left a trash-talking note in Jefferson’s locker (complete with a reference to Jefferson’s super-sized bed) to ensure he was properly motivated.

Note Enes Kanter left for Al Jefferson. An all time classic

A photo posted by David Locke (@dlocke09) on

(via FTW)

Horry Scale: Kemba Can


VIDEO: Walker’s Big Shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — These things happen in bunches, it would seem. Seriously, we go days, weeks even, without any movement on the Horry Scale, and then it all goes crazy. Now it’s as though we can’t go a day or two without a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater happening. And that’s not counting Damian Lillard twice flirting with entries on the Scale and missing by tenths of seconds.

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, today we look north of the border to lovely Toronto, Canada, where Charlotte’s Kemba Walker pulled off some last-second magic…

DIFFICULTY
The Bobcats had the ball out of bounds with exactly one second remaining and the score tied at 102. The play the Bobcats drew up essentially had two players staggered a few feet away from each other, running a loop away from the ball. Al Jefferson then set a screen right around the free-throw line for Walker, who flashed across the lane and cleared space for himself by literally rubbing off Jefferson as he went past. As Walker cleared Jefferson and neared inbounds man Josh McRoberts, he drifted toward the baseline, further separating himself from defender Kyle Lowry. Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas, who switched on the play and left Jefferson for Walker, was able to get a hand up in Walker’s face, but it was too little, too late, and Walker was left with a catch-and-shoot jump shot from about 16 feet for the win. Nice shot considering the circumstances, but basically an open catch-and-shoot by NBA standards. (Also, shout-out to McRoberts for the nifty pump-fake on the inbound pass — he fakes right then passes left — which created the room to make the pass.)

GAME SITUATION
Tie score, in overtime, one second left. It doesn’t get much more money than that. But it’s also worth noting that the Bobcats had been down 16 earlier in the night and managed to come back and make a game of it. Also, Bobcats coach Steve Clifford noted that Walker sinking a GWBB like that was “in his nature.” Nobody associated with the Bobcats has won much of anything in the NBA, at least since being associated with the Bobcats, but it’s worth remembering that while in college at Connecticut, Walker hit his share of big shots and was a first-team All-American as the Huskies won a national championship. So while Walker has worked to establish his place in the NBA, he has a background that would suggest that you want him taking this shot.

CELEBRATION
This is the part of these Horry Scale plays I’ve tried to focus on because there are so many varying reactions. In this case, for some reason, when Walker’s shot swishes through, all the members of the Bobcats on the court calmly turn and walk away. (McRoberts is purposefully walking in the other direction well before the shot drops, like he’s late for an appointment.) Walker does seem to get mobbed by teammates eventually,  but it’s only once he’s closer to his own bench. Also, if you crank up the audio on the clip above, someone begins laughing maniacally around the 11-second mark. Not sure what that’s about but it’s a fun wrinkle.

GRADE
This probably isn’t a game with any immediate or long-term championship implications. If anything, perhaps a win like this — on the road, in overtime — will give the Bobcats a bit of a spark as they try to get to .500. Still, a defended catch-and-shoot, in overtime … when you factor it all together, I’m giving this shot three Horrys.

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What say you? How many Horrys would you give Kemba Walker’s game-winning buzzer-beater?

Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson Are Sandwich Artists

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the NBA season literally hours away, teams around the League are out and about in their local communities doing things to connect with fans, like the video we saw last week where the Utah Jazz hit up an area mall. In the videos below we see several members of the Charlotte Bobcats out in their community meeting fans, making them sandwiches and carrying their drugstore purchases to their car.

I like that Kemba Walker admits he has always wanted to make a sandwich at Subway, because honestly, who hasn’t looked behind the counter and, even just once, wanted to go all in on a sandwich? Also, the quick Al Jefferson chest-pound after hanging up the phone is a fantastic moment.


VIDEO: The Charlotte Bobcats visit a local Subway Restaurant


VIDEO: The Charlotte Bobcats visit a local Walgreens drugstore

Al Jefferson drops serious tender on bed

by Zettler Clay IV

I mean, Al Jefferson is a really big man.

The guy in the photo is none other than Mo Williams, who is swallowed by the platform’s expansiveness. Big cots require big cheese:

Over $23,000. Eat your heart out Wilt. Can’t fault a man for ensuring the quality of his rest for the upcoming season. After all, it is his contract year.

H/T Business Insider

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Luke Ridnour, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

Only three game-winning buzzer beaters so far this season. A product of the condensed schedule? Complete coincidence? Whatever it is, here’s hoping the second half of the season brings a few more of them.

For those that 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 Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

The Timberwolves, like any young team with talent but lacking in crunch-time experience, seem to find themselves in a lot of games that come down to the wire. They are getting that experience quickly — the last Horry Scale entry also featured a Timberwolf. Tonight’s heroics were provided by Hang Time Blog favorite Luke Ridnour. Let’s see how he stacks up to his teammate:

Difficulty

This shot was pretty easy, thanks in large part by the Jazz deciding that defense wasn’t really necessary on their part. After making quick work of Gordon Hayward, Ridnour gets into the paint where Al Jefferson lurks. Jefferson stays at home though, and Luke gets a pretty uncontested look at a floater for the win. To be fair, that shot is pretty delicate regardless of whether it’s contested or not, but any point guard worth his salt should have that in their arsenal.

Game Situation

The Timberwolves trailed by 16 with 9:36 left to play, but went on a tear to take a two-point lead with 22.3 seconds left to play. Jefferson then tied the game against his former team on a jumper with 7.0 seconds left to play, and the Timberwolves called timeout and took the ball out at half court. A pretty decent set up for Minnesota, with plenty of time to get a shot off and no penalty for a miss.

Importance

Utah and Minnesota are both on the fringe of the playoff chase, and in the loaded West every win counts. This is particularly nice for the Timberwolves, especially given how they lost the other night.

Celebration

Ridnour gives the traditional two fingers pointed skyward, and the team rallies around to congratulate him by the bench. It’s always great when a shorter player does something — always more exciting when one of his teammates picks him up to celebrate.

Grade

2 Horrys. All in all a fairly pedestrian buzzer-beater, largely due to the Jazz’ defensive indifference, but I’ll give it an extra Horry due to both teams’ proximity to each other in the race for the 8 spot in the West, plus the terrific fourth-quarter comeback to get them in position to win in the first place.

What do you think?

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Three For All: Utah Jazz

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Utah Jazz, who played three straight from Feb. 12-14.

Given the Heat’s performance over the same period of time, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Jazz completed their three-play, also all on the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare quite as well.

Game 1: Jazz 98, Grizzlies 88 - Pretty nice way to start things off — a win over the Grizzlies on the road, with Al Jefferson leading the way with 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 23 points and one rebound, and I can’t decide if I think the coaches congratulated him for that effort or made him stay after practice. 3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Hornets 86, Jazz 80 - They should get extra negative points for this loss, as the Hornets had only four wins on the season coming in and were losers of eight straight beforehand. Chris Kaman boosted his potential trade value for New Orleans, dropping 27 and 13 on the Jazz. -1 point

Game 3: Thunder 111, Jazz 85 - Third games in three nights will produce results like this from time to time, as the Jazz got behind early and often, shot 35 percent from the field, and got blasted on the Western Conference-leading Thunder’s home court.  0 points

If you told me before the start of their trip the Jazz would lose two of three, I’d have probably agreed. I wouldn’t have presumed that one of those losses would have come at New Orleans though, that’s for sure. 2 total points for Utah.

Up next: The Phoenix Suns play three straight Feb. 13-15.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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A look back: Top Horry Scale moments from 2010-11

by Micah Hart

With the regular season behind us and the playoffs set to tip off this weekend, it’s the perfect time to do a little looking back at some of the fun we had during the past six months.

One of our favorite things to write about on All Ball has been the Horry Scale breakdowns of every GWBB (game-winning buzzer-beater) from the season, of which, in the end, there were 16 during 2010-11. Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable:

Best Executed Horry

One of the most unlikely endings to a game all season, as Nic Batum scores four points in the last 0.9 seconds to beat the Spurs, the last two of which came on this picture-perfect lob off the inbounds pass from Andre Miller to ring up the Horry Scale breakdown. Portland’s Rose Garden would be my choice for where all GWBBs would take place, if I had my druthers. Where does one get druthers, I wonder?
Runner-up: Andrew Bogut – really this should be a tie, I just love Portland celebrations.

More Horry highlights after the jump.

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