ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here at the All Ball blog, we like to wish the occasional happy birthday to NBA players of varying importance. And today just so happens to be a day where a trio of Hall of Famers (well, two are in and one is likely to be in) all share a birthday.
Let’s start with Chauncey Billups, a.k.a. Mr. Big Shot, a five-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals with the Detroit Pistons. Billups retired in 2014, and considering his extensive accolades, the Hall of Fame seems like it should be on the horizon sometime soon.
Also, happy birthday to Bob McAdoo! McAdoo won two NBA titles as a player with the Lakers, and then two more recently as an assistant with the Miami Heat. The NBA’s MVP in 1975, McAdoo was the NBA’s scoring leader three times and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Finally, happy birthday to Scottie Pippen! One of the most versatile players of all-time, Pippen won six titles as a member of the Chicago Bulls. A member of the 1992 Dream Team and an eight time member of the NBA All-Defense First Team, Pippen was enshrined to the Hall of Fame in 2010.
‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich wore this jersey during a 1971 game as a member of the New Orleans Jazz.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — News broke last night that the NBA was considering allowing some players to wear nicknames on their jerseys. Now, before the Fun Police show up and try to ruin this for everyone, let’s make clear that according to the story, this is just a one-time thing — one game, two teams (Miami and Brooklyn), for only one night. But it’s clearly indicative of an idea that the NBA is at the very least open to considering, even if only on a limited basis.
Nicknames on jerseys has happened in other sports — soccer players around the world do it now, and closer to home, former Braves owner Ted Turner once tried to give pitcher Andy Messersmith the nickname “Channel” so that his jersey would read “Channel 17,” a free ad for Turner’s nascent broadcasting business.
This has also taken place in the NBA and ABA, back in the day, as seen in the photo of “Pistol” Pete Maravich up top on this post. But as the NBA has grown in popularity and become more corporate, the wiggle room for fun stuff like nicknames on jerseys has been squeezed out.
As a person who is an avowed opponent of the Fun Police, I am one-thousand-million percent in favor of this idea, if only because I’m sure fans of different players would love to rock jerseys with nicknames on the back. Above and beyond the jerseys we night see in a Miami/Brooklyn game — KING JAMES, for instance — off the top of my head, here are some nicknames that would be neat to see on the back of official NBA jerseys…
BIRDMAN BIRDMAN — Chris Andersen
BIG SHOT — Chauncey Billups
BONES — Brent Barry throwback edition
MAMBA — Kobe Bryant, or…
VINO — Kobe Bryant
BIG BABY — Glen Davis
FUNDAMENTAL — Tim Duncan
MANIMAL — Kenneth Faried
BOOBIE — Daniel Gibson
AK-47 — Andrei Kirilenko
LINSANITY — Jeremy Lin
KRYPTO-NATE — Nate Robinson
Now you tell us, which nickname jerseys would you like to see?
The Horry Scale has been quiet since Kevin Durant beat the Mavs in the season’s first week. But with Kevin Love and Blake Griffin staging a battle between the game’s top two young power forwards (and U.S. Olympic hopefuls), it was only fitting that the game would come down to a single play by one of them. In this case, that one was Love.
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.
This is our first Horry entry of the new calendar year, so let’s see how Love rates:
All in all not a particularly difficult shot, although he was a couple feet behind the 3-point line. Give Minnesota credit, they did a terrific job screening for Love so he could get a free look at the rim. Love, who shoots pretty well from deep (36.1 percent this season), calmly drained the trey before any Clipper got near him and the ballgame was over.
Ricky Rubio was 0-10 from the field up until the last 20 seconds, at which point he hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 98. After Chauncey Billups missed a layup and chance to be the hero for a second straight game for the Clippers, Love got the rebound and called timeout with 1.5 seconds to play. Plenty of time as it turned out for him to square his body for the easy 3-pointer and the win.
This was actually a pretty big win for the Timberwolves (how often do you see that written about a game against the Clippers?). Minnesota began the season 3-7, but have rallied with four wins in its last five to get to 7-8, a game below .500. We thought they might have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot, and a win in a close game like this will help their cause immensely, both in the standings and in the confidence department.
I love Love’s reaction to hitting this shot — very Maximus-esque. Any time a young team hits a shot like this, you know they are going to go bananas. Good stuff all around.
3 Horrys. This one happened in a tie game, and the shot itself was pretty easy, but given the battle between Love and Griffin, plus the late-game redemption for Rubio that led to the game-winner, I have to bump it up a notch. May all of their future battles end in similar fashion.
What do you think?
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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 L.A. Clippers, who played three straight from Jan. 16-18.
The Clippers have been the biggest story of this young season what with their acquisition of Chris Paul. So isn’t it ironic that as they enter their toughest stretch of the season to date that they’d have to do so without CP3, who strained his hamstring against the Lakers this past Saturday?
Game 1: Clippers 101, Nets 91 – No Paul no problem when your opponent is the Nets. Chauncey Billups slid nicely into the starting PG role and scored 20 points. Also, Blake Griffindid this to Kris Humphries, easily the most embarrassing thing to happen to Humphries in the last few months. Cough. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)
Game 2: Jazz 108, Clippers 79 – No real surprise here, as the Clippers have lost 16 straight in Salt Lake City. No Clip scored more than Caron Butler‘s 14 points. -1 point
Game 3: Clippers 91, Mavericks 89 – This is why the Clippers picked up Mr. Big Shot when the Knicks put him on waivers, to take and make shots like the game-winner against the Mavericks. Tough week for Dallas in the City of Angels; they lost both games at Staples on a last-second three-pointer. 5 points
A final total of 6 total points for LAC, which isn’t too shabby considering they were playing without Mr. Paul. Oh, and they were also without my fellow Murrah HS alum Mo Williams, which I expected to hurt them way worse. But I’m a homer like that.
Up next: The New Jersey Nets play three straight Jan. 21-23 when they host Oklahoma City and Charlotte, then hit the road to face the Bulls in Chicago.
When I woke up this morning and heard the Nuggets had won on a last-second shot, I assumed Carmelo Anthony had the honors. Or Chauncey Billups. Or J.R. Smith. But no, the Nuggets snapped the Mavericks’ 10-game winning streak courtesy of Arron Afflalo, which may seem surprising. But given that he scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter last night, it makes sense that Denver would consider feeding the hot hand. Afflalo’s quietly become quite an impact player in Denver this season, hasn’t he?
Before we get to the breakdown, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a new addition the Horry Scale breakdown — a comment from Big Shot Bob himself, as he was nice enough to give his take on Afflalo’s game-winner.
Horry’s take: “First and foremost I have to give it up to Afflalo for having the guts to take the shot. Chauncey was covered pretty well on the play so he had to give it up, and Arron made himself available. The shot itself wasn’t that difficult, I give it like a 3 — he makes a nice move on the defender and goes left, which is the way most shooters like to go if you’re right-handed.
It’s the first game-winner of Afflalo’s career, so I give him credit for that.”
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How awesome is that? We hope to get Horry’s thoughts on each GWBB from here on out. Now let’s get onto the breakdown.
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.