Posts Tagged ‘Elfrid Payton’

Horry Scale: Vucevic’s fallaway lifts Magic over Hawks

VIDEO: Nikola Vucevic hits 18-footer at the buzzer

All Ball Nerve Center — Well, it’s been a weird season for the Orlando Magic. It actually began, coincidently, when they extended on offer sheet to free agent Paul Millsap, who decided to stay with the Hawks instead. OK, fine: Orlando decided to continue with the youth movement, with mixed results. And so the Magic had lost 15 of 17 games leading into their Super Bowl matinee with Millsap and the Hawks, who of course are headed in the opposite direction. In the last few days, with trade rumors fluttering about, Magic center  Nikola Vucevic implored the Magic to stay the course of their current rebuild, saying: “There’s no reason to think we need to change anything. We have to find a way within each other to get back to what we were doing early in the year.” With that, Vucevic chose the right time to make a statement, with a buzzer-beater against the Hawks which, of course, automatically made him a candidate for the Horry Scale, which measures the quality of buzzer beaters.

DIFFICULTY: This was pretty dicey. Vooch was set up nicely with 2.2 seconds left on an inbounds pass by Elfrid Payton, who was dazzling for the Magic in the fourth quarter, generating much of their offense almost by himself with passes or shots. Al Horford was tight on Vooch, who dribbled once and let it fly with a turnaround (jumping off the wrong leg) from about 20 feet. Can’t blame Horford’s D.

GAME SITUATION: The Magic blew a 14-point lead and went scoreless for almost four minutes, one reason why they’re on the outside looking in with regard to the playoff picture. Defense has been a big issue with this team; they surrendered 107 or more points in eight straight games. They’re a young team and did what young teams do, let leads escape them. But in the final seconds with the score tied, Evan Fournier, one of the symbols of the Magic’s decent start to the season, grabbed a loose ball which triggered a timeout, which in turn triggered Vooch’s big shot.

CELEBRATION: Well, Vucevic had the good sense to hit the game-winner from in front of the Magic bench. One of the first guys to hug him was Magic assistant coach Mario Elie. You might remember his Kiss Of Death shot for the Rockets against the Suns in 1995. Oh yeah, a classic.

GRADE: The shot did plenty to lift the Magic out of their doldrums, if only temporary. But as epic shots go, meh. The Horry Scale is unforgiving, just like the player it’s named after. Let’s give it 2 Horrys.


Elfrid Payton plays name that hair

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton is known for his stellar play on the floor, sure, but he’s also pretty recognizable for his hair. So the Magic got Payton to sit down and take a look at the hair out there, to find out just how strong his hair game actually is. (FWIW, I thought the Bieber one was Kyle Korver.)

VIDEO: Payton hair

Chris Paul vs. Elfrid Payton…in football?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players spend their offseason working out in all different ways, including, sometimes, not playing basketball, and instead turning to other sports to get their cross-fit on.

Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Clippers point guard Chris Paul recently met up to work out, and ended up on a football field. Turns out, both of them are better on the offensive end of things. Here’s Payton giving Paul and out-and-up route, then leaning out to make a one-handed catch…

VIDEO: Payton v Paul

And in response, here’s Paul putting a stop-and-go on Payton, before going long…

Breaking! Elfrid Payton cuts his hair

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Orlando Magic rookie Elfrid Payton is one of the best rookies in the NBA this season, and he’s made a name for himself with his play on the floor as well as well as off the floor with his voluminous hair.


So it was quite a surprise today when Payton showed up at Orlando Magic shootaround with his hair gone.


Imagine that, today of all days, on April 1, Payton would choose to cut off his hair. For more, keep checking the Orlando Magic website. I’m sure they’ll provide an update at some point. Just keep on checking…

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Elfrid Payton

VIDEO: Elfrid Payton gets the steal and slam against the Sixers

By Elfrid Payton, for

Hey, everyone! This is my first blog for since getting drafted in June. I think I’ve been adjusting to the new NBA lifestyle pretty well. All of the older guys on my team have been giving me little bits and pieces of advice on how to stay fresh and survive the long season. Taking care of your body becomes even more important when you’re in the NBA. Stretching, icing, eating right and getting enough sleep all make a difference.

The main difference between college life and the NBA life is figuring out the best way to manage my time. I don’t go to class or write papers anymore, so I have way more free time than I’ve ever had before. Staying in a routine becomes very important to accomplish everything during the day. Otherwise, I’ll let the day slip away from me.

The speed of the game in the NBA is way faster than in college. You get away with certain things in college because you’re usually more skilled or athletic than the guy guarding you, but your tendencies get exposed in the NBA. I already started to work on fixing some of my bad habits over the past few months that I can’t get away with at this level. I’ve learned so much over the past few weeks, so hopefully I can continue to learn throughout the course of the year.

Having another rookie with me helps make things easier along the way. Aaron Gordon is a great teammate and friend, so we go through the process together and have become very close. Going through struggles with somebody makes you closer, so it’s been nice to learn with Aaron so far this year. We push each other every day to stay focused and learn as much as we can. As rookies, you can’t let anyone outwork you, so we try to make sure we aren’t getting outworked. We want to be a part of something special in Orlando, and I think our team has a lot of really good pieces and can win a lot of games.

[Editor’s note: Gordon suffered a broken foot last Saturday and is now out indefinitely.]

First Game

My first NBA game came against the Pelicans back in my home town of New Orleans. I decided not to go back to my house and spend a whole lot of time running around my hometown. I wanted to stay focused on why I was there — to win! Everyone asked me how nervous I was to be playing my first game back home. I really was not more nervous during my first game than any other I’ve played. I just wanted to win and start the season off the right way.

Once the ball went up to start the game, all nerves were gone. I definitely enjoyed playing in front of my family and friends, but I wish we came away with the win. I’ll remember the experience of playing my first game in my hometown for the rest of my life. The NBA has the best talent in the world, so being able to compete against these guys every night is a real blessing.

Thanks for reading my first diary. In the meantime, follow me on twitter to get updates throughout the season @elfrid.

Horry Scale: Harris gets Magic’s 1st win

VIDEO: Harris’s game-winning buzzer-beater

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — According to the schedule, the official NBA season was already more than a week old coming into Wednesday night.  But those of us with the proverbial ice water in our veins and cooler hands than Luke know that the opera doesn’t really start until the sharpshooter slings.

We’re talking, of course, about the Horry Scale, that measuring stick for clutchness, that barometer of bombastic balling, that dagger-falling-out-of-the-sky delight that brings a worldwide community leaping up off the sofas and out of the La-Z-Boys to celebrate in joyous glee.

OK, so in this case it was the close friends and families of the Magic and Sixers.  But those who stayed to the end of what was a pretty darned entertaining game between a couple of teams still in search of their first win were rewarded by Tobias Harris.

Before we go any further, what is the Horry Scale? For those newbies, 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 night in November?) and celebration.  Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.

One thing to get straight: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a GWBB. 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.  In short, it’s about the total package.


On Day Nine of the 2014-15 season, we finally got our first Horry Scale entrant when Harris came off a double-screen to the right side of the floor, caught a nice feed from Evan Fournier and coolly rose up to nail a step-back 18-footer over the outstretched right hand of a just-too-late Luc Mbah a Moute.  Harris got a good look because after Fournier took the inbounds pass from Elfrid Payton, he let the play unfold and delivered right on time.  Harris caught the ball in rhythm and made a clutch-but-not-ridiculously-impossible shot.


This was hardly Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers making his 0.9 second special to close out a playoff series last May.  In fact, it was a battle of two dead-last, 0-for-the-season teams that were looking for any kind of reason to celebrate.  It came following a jumper from the top of the key by the Sixers’ Henry Sims tied the score at 89 with 4.6 seconds left to play.  Following a timeout, the Magic executed just the way coach Jacque Vaughn drew it up on the whiteboard, with Harris capping off an 18-point night by delivering the first victory of the season to Orlando (1-4).  The Sixers continue on slumping at 0-5.


Let’s just say the Magic bench looked a bit more relieved than delirious to finally get that first notch on its belt. But the guys eventually gave their main man Harris a nice little jumping-jack reception.


Let’s face it, this game had little on the line except personal pride for both teams.  A middle of the week game between two sides with a combined 0-8 record at tipoff.  As we said earlier, it wasn’t a circus shot or even the kind where Harris barely had time to think.  It was cool and perfectly-executed.   A nice, overdue beginning, but we’re waiting for something a bit higher up the food chain to start dishing out the big scores.

I’m giving this one two Horrys and leaving room for plenty of improvement and much more significance in the coming months.

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