ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As part of our ongoing attempts to chronicle every time someone in the NBA gets POSTERIZED, in order to have a most perfect Posterized Poll when that time comes, I’m doing my best to keep up with every posterization happening throughout the season.
Last night there were a couple of nice entrants in our contest. But before we get to that, one bit of business to attend to: In my post yesterday, I posited that dunks over someone’s back shouldn’t count as being posterized — to me, being posterized means being chest-to-chest with the dunker and still getting dunked on.
HOWEVA, after discussing this last night at the Bucks/Nets game with my main man Ohm Youngmisuk from ESPN, I believe I have changed my mind. Sure, someone getting dunked on chest-to-chest is generally more spectacular, but you can still make a poster out of someone getting dunked on over their back. So, going forward, anyone getting dunked on is fair game for POSTERIZED.
To the dunks! First, one day after Avery Bradley sort of dunked on LaMarcus Aldridge, Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis definitely dunked over LA…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As part of our ongoing attempts to chronicle every time someone in the NBA gets POSTERIZED, in order to have a most perfect Posterized Poll when that time comes, I’m doing my best to keep up with every posterization happening. And this weekend there were a few developments.
To begin with, Harrison Barnes POSTERIZED Dwight Howard. There’s no arguing this one. Also, notice the celebration by the Warriors bench in the background…
There were two other dunks worth noting, although I don’t believe either should qualify for the POSTERIZED Poll. I believe the rules are open to interpretation, however, so I am willing to hear arguments for or against in the comments section.
First, Boston’s Avery Bradley had an awesome dunk yesterday down the stretch against the Spurs. And while it was a thunderous dunk, the closest Spur to the finish is probably LaMarcus Aldridge, and I don’t think we can definitively say that Aldridge got POSTERIZED.
The other play worth considering came in the Thunder/Nuggets game. Russell Westbrook threw down an incredible put-back dunk, over a couple of Nuggets players, most notably Danilo Gallinari. But I am hesitant to consider this an official POSTERIZED play because Gallinari had his back turned. I guess he still got dunked on, but my definition of being posterized is when you are face-to-face with the dunker.
And so we have our first. The season is barely a week old, but the Horry Scale has been broached. You want a surprise? It came in Miami, which may not be that shocking, but it came from a team that was not expected to contend this season, much less notch a win in Miami.
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 established, let’s check out tonight’s entry, when Jeff Green of Celtics delivered a knockout punch on South Beach to the reigning champions, the Miami Heat. Uncle Green ain’t new to this. But how do we rank it? Let’s break it down…
The old saying goes you play to tie at home and play to win on the road. And in this case, the Celtics played to win. I’m not sure how much more difficult this shot could have been. First of all, shoutout to Gerald Wallace for the inbound pass — he pump-faked to a completely covered Avery Bradley and got Birdman Birdman to briefly jump to his right, then tossed a two-hand, over the head strike to the far corner to Green. This was like Tom Brady throwing a perfect corner fade. Worth noting: Green was being defended on the play by LeBron James, an All-NBA defender. And when James turned his head for just a moment, Green took off for the corner, where he was met by Wallace’s pass and got off a shot without even setting his feet. Did this matter? Nope, not at all, as Green drained a fadeaway corner three over King James to give the Celts the road win. It was actually remarkably similar to Ray Allen’s three from Game 6 of the 2013 Finals. Still, in terms of difficulty, it’s hard to top this one.
Up two, with 0.6 seconds left to play, Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line with a chance to ice the game. His first shot rimmed out. His second shot, still with 0.6 remaining, was missed intentionally. BUT HE MISSED THE RIM. If Wade’s shot had simply drawn iron, the clock would have started, and even if the Celts had grabbed the board, there would have been perhaps 0.3 seconds left to get off a shot, which would have required something going to the rim or an alley-oop. But Wade whiffing on everything meant a violation, and the Celts were able to take the ball out of bounds on their end with no time ticking off the clock. As important as Jeff Green’s shot was, Wade not being able to draw rim was equally consequential in this instance.
Yes, we’re still early in the season, and some may argue that winning in general isn’t that important for the Celtics this season. So really, the Celtics probably didn’t need to win this game. And for the Heat, OK, sure, it’s just another early season game. The loss knocked Miami to 4-3, but three seasons ago they began 5-5 and still made the NBA Finals, so if anything we understand that a game this early in the season doesn’t carry that much weight.
Considering we’re early in the season and there was little at stake in terms of postseason standings or placement, the celebration was pretty fiery. Kelly Olynyk gave a 360 chest bump, and Wallace and Bradley were right there to give hugs. Bonus points to the coaching staff and bench players for their quick arrivals, as well.
GRADE 3 Horrys. It was a ridiculous shot, there’s no denying that. And while the shot rated highly in most Horry Scale categories, we have to dock it a bit due to the game being relatively inconsequential. It was a nice win for the Celts and a tough loss for the Heat, but there’s a lot of NBA left to play. So we’ll give this one three Horrys.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — MUSCLEWATCH 2013 is really heating up, you guys. Players are showing up in their cities and starting to talk to the press about their offseasons, and we’re discovering who has put on weight, who has lost weight, and who has put on…wait for it…muscle! We’ve got a couple of updates for today, and for all your MUSCLEWATCH needs, be sure to check out our previous posts on the topic. And as always, if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news, drop me an email or hit me on Twitter (using #MUSCLEWATCH).
On to the latest and greatest…
• It’s just not MUSCLEWATCH without a superstar involved, and yesterday Chicago’s Derrick Rose jumped into the conversation. In an interview with the homie Adam Figman at SLAM magazine, D-Rose casually threw out there that during his injury rehab, he’s managed to pack on some muscle…
“Right now I’m in training, and I’m getting a lot stronger. I gained 10 pounds of muscle. I don’t know how that’s going to carry over to how I play on the court, but I know it’s going to be very weird. I’m shooting a lot of shots right now, working with Rob, just putting memory back in my leg.”
Rose went on to talk about how he believes the added muscle may help him finish stronger at the basket this season. True, but more relevantly, Derrick, it will get you into MUSCLEWATCH. Congrats!
• Mixed news out of Boston, where Avery Bradley has spent the entire summer working out and has apparently added the magic number: 15 pounds of muscle. Bradley, however, may miss the beginning of training camp after the tragic recent passing of his mother.
• Out in the Bay, it seems like the Warriors are heading in similar directions. Not only has Draymond Greenapparently lost 15 pounds since last season, but this article kind of casually mentions that David Lee and Andrew Bogut are also sporting “leaner looks.” It is unclear if that means they’ve actually lost weight or gotten stronger or are just wearing better-fitting clothes so that they appear thinner. Guess we’ll have to wait for media day to get some official numbers.
For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. With 70% of the vote, the Washington Huskies defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 5-4 play-in game, and for their trouble they get the Kevin Durant-led Texas Longhorns. Let’s take a look:
Missed the cut: Damion James, Nets; Daniel Gibson, Cavaliers; Royal Ivey, Thunder; Dexter Pittman, Heat; Avery Bradley, Celtics
Team synopsis: A real title contender, with both Durant and Aldridge providing matchup problems for just about any potential opponent. Augustin is also having a breakout season in Charlotte. Ford is somewhat redundant with Augustin on the floor, but his track record is a little better than rookie Damion James. I could see an argument for James over Ford, but he hasn’t really played enough yet to cement a place over Ford or even Daniel Gibson. (more…)