Posts Tagged ‘Blazers’

A Look Back: Best Horry Scale Moments From 2011-12

by Micah Hart

This was pretty fun — joined the GameTime pregame show before Wednesday night’s games to break down the season’s best Horry Scale moments, with the scale’s patron saint himself there to critique my grades:



The prevailing thought amongst Robert Horry, Kevin Martin, and Dennis Scott was that I judged too harshly this season, which is amusing because most emails I received from the fans seemed to suggest I was too lenient. Guess you can’t please everyone!

Here is my final ranking of this year’s six Horry Scale recipients – how would you rank them?

6. Derrick Rose beats Milwaukee – This low because I hate seeing a PG of his caliber settle for a long jumper.
5. Luke Ridnour beats Utah – Difficult floater, but no resistance from the Jazz defense.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge beats Dallas – Aldridge sure does make this look easy.
3. Luol Deng beats Toronto – Only tip-in of the season, Bulls trailed by 1.
2. Kevin Love beats L.A. Clippers – Perhaps in hindsight should have graded higher, especially coming in in the city where he played his college ball.
1. Kevin Durant beats Dallas – Set the bar high the first week of the season and was never topped. The ball barely touches the net from almost 30 feet!

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: A reminder folks, the shot has to beat the buzzer to be considered. As great as Jeremy Lin’s shot to beat the Raptors was, there were still tenths of a second left on the clock. Doesn’t qualify. A man’s gotta have a code…

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LaMarcus Aldridge, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale

by Micah Hart



Looks like we missed one of these during the regular season when we were on vacation, but can’t let the playoffs get too far gone without acknowledging LaMarcus Aldridge‘s handiwork before his season-ending hip injury.

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 Blazers had a tough season, losing many, many players to injury, but at least we know one night ended happily. What’d Horry have to say?

Difficulty

Medium-difficulty shot. Aldridge gets the ball pretty far out on the perimeter with his back to the basket. He gets a nice little shoulder into Brendan Haywood as he makes his move towards the paint, creating some space for a step-back jumper. LA is one of the sweetest shooting big men in the game, so I’m not surprised he cans this one. I know you got bumped a little there Brendan, but a little more effort there on the contest might have been nice.

Game Situation

Tied 97-97 in overtime, the Blazers have just 3.7 seconds left to make something happen. Just enough time to get the ball to Aldridge and let him go to work.

Importance

This game was played on April 6, at which point the Blazers were still very much alive for the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff race. So yeah, a pretty important win. Unfortunately Aldridge would be lost for the season just a few days later, and Portland would be lottery bound.

Celebration

Portland is an awesome place to hit a game-winner. And though the Blazers were away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, they still get a nice huddle going on the Mavericks’ homecourt. A tip of the cap to the sportsmanship of Nic Batum, who ended up smack-dab in the middle of the Mavs’ bench when the shot dropped, but refrained from preening as some might have.

Grade

2 Horrys. A tie game, a somewhat easy shot (though LA’s smoothness deserves a lot of credit for making it look so) makes this one a little on the pedestrian side. I’ll give it 2 though for the potential playoff implications at the time and for doing it to the (since departed) defending champs on their home court.

What do you think?

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LaMarcus Aldridge Visits Portlandia

by Micah Hart

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein‘s hilarious IFC show Portlandia takes place in (surprise!) Portland, Oregon, so it was only a matter of time before we saw someone from the Blazers land a role on the show. That honor went to All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who had a cameo in last week’s episode as the boyfriend of a woman played by Penny Marshall. Check it out:

If only Pat Stacks were still on the scene, I’d love to see him get in on the fun as well.

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Three For All: Denver Nuggets, Part II

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 Denver Nuggets, who for the second time this season played three straight, this time from Feb. 2-4.

The Nuggets are the first team this season to take on the three for all challenge twice (12 teams will do it more than once this season). The first time around they put up six points, due in large part to winning the last two games of the challenge, and were a Danilo Gallinari bunny away from sweeping the thing altogether. We’re a month longer into the season, and the Nuggets have played pretty well overall. Could they do even better this time around? Let’s take a look.

Game 1: Nuggets 112, Clippers 91 - A terrific start, getting a win at Staples Center against the up and coming Clippers. Denver’s rep this season is as one of the deepest teams in the league (thanks in part as we all know to the Carmelo Anthony trade, which they seem to have gotten the better of so far and by a longshot), and they used that depth against LAC, putting five players in double figures, led by Gallinari’s 21, and three more chipped in with eight.  3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Lakers 93, Nuggets 89 - In a weird schedule quirk, the Lakers comprised 50% of the Nuggets’ three for all challenges — Denver played them twice the first time around and once in this edition. Once again it came down to the wire, but Al Harrington missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds and the Lakers held on. -1 point

Game 3: Blazers 117, Nuggets 97 - The Blazers have been nearly unbeatable at the Rose Garden this season, and with Denver gasping for air in the last night of the challenge it’s no real surprise how this one turned out. Nicolas Batum hit nine 3s on his way to a career-best 33 points for Portland. 0 points

So we see almost a perfect negative of the Nuggets first threeplay — a win followed by two losses instead of a loss followed by two wins. 2 total points for Denver, and thankfully no more back-to-back-to-backs for the rest of the regular season.

Up next: The Utah Jazz and Miami Heat both play three straight Feb. 12-14.

Three for all Top Ten:
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)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers

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 Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Jan. 23-25.

Every time I see a fan base start to complain about bad luck, or how nothing ever works out for them, I think of Portland. That is not to say that I think Blazers fans whine all the time; on the contrary, I think of the incredible adversity and horrible luck with injuries that franchise has faced in the past few years and how despite that, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs and contend where I believe others would have folded up the tent and gone home.

When this season started with the announcement of another Greg Oden injury setback and then the retirement of Brandon Roy, I assumed Portland was done for. And though it hasn’t been easy, here they are again, keeping their heads above water and competing for the playoffs. If they have the fortitude for that, I’m sure the three-play will be a piece of cake. Let’s go to the scoreboard and find out:

Game 1: Blazers 101, Kings 89 - When you have three games in three nights, it’s great to have a guy like Jamal Crawford available, who on the right night can get hot and carry the team by himself. This was one of those nights, as Crawford sprung for a game-high 26 off the bench to lead the Blazers to an easy win. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 - So far so good, as Portland picks up another seemingly easy win, this time against the Grizzlies. Marcus Camby did his best Ben Wallace impression in this one, pulling down 22 caroms while scoring only three points. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Warriors 101, Blazers 93 - Finally away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, the Blazers fell short to the Warriors in the final game to fall short of becoming the third team to sweep their three for all. Normally you’d like your chances against the Warriors when Monta Ellis scores only four points, but on this night he dished out 12 assists and Steph Curry picked up the slack with 32 to deny Portland perfection. 0 points

The Blazers finish with 6 total points, which in some ways doesn’t do them justice for their performance (with two +10 wins), but that’s why the third game is so important — it’s the hardest to win, home or away.

Up next: The Detroit Pistons play three straight Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 as they take on the three-play challenge entirely on the road: at Milwaukee, at New York, and at New Jersey.

Three for all Scoreboard:
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 (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
New Jersey Nets (2 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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Brian Grant Has a New Job

by Micah Hart

Check out former Blazer (and Kings, Heat, Lakers, and Suns) Brian Grant working the drive thru at a Portland area fast-food restaurant recently:

Grant is trying to raise money for his charitable foundation, which gives money to support Parkinson’s disease education and research. Grant, who was diagnosed with early on-set Parkinson’s in 2008, has long been one of the most community-involved NBA players, and since his diagnosis he has worked tirelessly to help fight the disease which still has no known cure. His big event, “Shake It Till We Make It“, will take place later this summer at the Rose Garden in Portland.

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Jeremy Tyler’s NBA dream is probably not alive in Portland

by Micah Hart

It’s tough to be an NBA Draft prospect, especially the lower down the chart you go. For all but the top handful, the weeks leading up to Draft night are a whirlwind of cities, workouts, interviews, and more. It’s a real grind, and it’s easy to get a little frazzled by it at times.

Having said that … yeah, this just might hurt Jeremy Tyler‘s chances of donning a Trail Blazer uniform any time soon:

Ah, the ole’ Fightin’ Nates of McMillan University. I really like their chances in the big game this year.

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Rich Cho has other interests outside of basketball

by Micah Hart

Talking to my main man Sekou Smith yesterday about these crazy playoffs, and Sekou (who is covering the Mavs-Blazers series for NBA.com) mentioned that one thing he’s learned in being out in Portland is that the Blazers GM Rich Cho has other interests outside of basketball — namely, food. This was confirmed when I saw this video interview of Cho by Forbes Magazine (via Dime):

First off, I want to eat at whatever restaurant they are sitting at, because the food looks amazing.

Second, living in Atlanta, I’m going to have to give Verasano‘s another try. I went there the first week it opened and was unimpressed, but I imagine they were just working out the kinks.

By the way, Sekou ended up at some Italian restaurant where he had some sort of gnocchi with shredded goat meat that required the use of profanity to describe it was so good.

I may need to book a trip to Portland.

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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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Nicolas Batum, how do you rate on the Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

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:

Difficulty

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.

Game Situation

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.

Importance

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.

Celebration

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.

Grade

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?

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