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.
Nicolas Batum‘s tip-in GWBB is the second this season off an inbounds lob, following Andrew Bogut‘s heroics for the Bucks against the Pacers back in December. I continue to marvel at this play’s success — when there is less than a second left, the lob towards the basket seems like something the defense has to account for. The Spurs put Antonio McDyess on the inbounds pass, which does make the lob a little more difficult, but didn’t put anyone near the basket, and they paid for it with the loss.
Of course, the Spurs’ mistake should come as no surprise, as San Antonio did pretty much everything in its power to hand this game to the Blazers down the stretch with a collection of turnovers and mistakes. I’m curious how many players have scored four points in the final second of an NBA game — maybe I can get StatsCube master John Schuhmann to look into 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.
How did Tricky Nic do? Let’s investigate:
This was a very difficult play and a very simple one all at the same time. On the one hand, you only have 0.9 seconds to work with, so the lob has to be right on the money to allow Batum to get the shot off (technically there is enough time allowed to catch and shoot, but practically speaking the tip-in is Batum’s only choice). On the other hand, Batum has at least a six-inch advantage on Tony Parker, so he meets with very little resistance once the lob arrives. I think that’s nitpicking though — Andre Miller is generally recognized as the best lob-tosser in the NBA*, and he puts this one right on the money, making a very difficult play look very easy.
*After the game, Miller would say it was the best pass he’d ever thrown.
Tie ballgame, but with extraordinarily unique circumstances. Think of all that had to go wrong for the Spurs to lose this game. Leading by four with half-a-minute remaining, both of the Spurs’ best ballhandlers (Parker and Manu Ginobili) get their pockets picked, allowing the Blazers to tie the game after a Miller layup and then a pair of Batum free throws with 0.9 left. Then, Steve Novak throws an errant inbounds pass, the third San Antonio turnover in 30 seconds, with no time running off the clock to boot, setting Portland up for a final crack at it. Maybe the game was tied, but it sure didn’t feel like it.
Not to say that Dallas is a team to be trifled with, but the win keeps the Blazers a half-game ahead of the Hornets for the 6-seed in the West, which keeps them (for the moment) from facing the Lakers in the first round. Portland also remains only 1.5 games behind Denver for the 5-spot, so all in all a very big win.
Man – is there a better arena in the NBA for GWBBs? The fans at the Rose Garden always seem right on top of the court, and the crowd goes ballistic as soon as the ball drops through.
4.5 Horrys. Between the amazing comeback, the perfectly-executed lob, and the outstanding celebration, I have to give this one pretty high marks. I’ll only take off half-a-Horry for the fact that it was a tie game, but otherwise, this one had it all.
What do you think?
Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know viaemail or Twitter.
Let’s get right to it, that was a sweet tip-in for the game-winning deuce by Antonio McDyess over the Lakers Thursday night. Nice, yes, but how does it rate on theHorry Scale?
Difficulty: The tip itself was simple, but the real beauty in this play occurred while Tim Duncan‘s missed shot was in the air. Watch it again and note how the wily veteran McDyess hooks his left arm around Lamar Odom to gain rebounding position. When Duncan’s shot hit the rim, Odom has no chance and McDyess leaps up and taps it in.
Game Situation: The Lakers were ahead 88-87 with 4.6 seconds left when the Spurs in-bounded the ball. Down one, it’s time to get a basket or go home. Clutch play.
Importance: I’ll say medium-high to high. The Spurs have the best record in the league, but still have their doubtersas to if they are actually the “best” team. Beating the Lakers in L.A., and further extending the current NBA storyline du jour that Kobe and the Lakers are in trouble, is huge. And let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance these teams meat up again come May.
Celebration: Gregg Popovich cracked a smile! I repeat, Popovich cracked a smile!
3.5 Horrys. The shot itself was easy, but the game situation, conference implications and the fact that this is the Horry Scale, after all, and Big Shot Rob did in fact once play for the Spurs, earns this play 3.5 Horrys.