ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We all know that NBA players can be well-compensated for the work they put it, and one of the more visible ways they tend to reward themselves for their hard work is by buying really nice cars. But with great vehicles come great responsibilities, as we saw through a few social media posts this week.
First, Bulls forward Carlos Boozer went to a dealership to check out a Lamborghini and posed for a photo inside the car. But as he discovered, it wasn’t the being inside the car that was a problem — it was getting out of the car…
Meanwhile, somewhere along a highway yesterday, Evan Turner‘s Ferrari ran out of gas. Luckily, one of his former Ohio State teammates was there in another car to not only get him some more gas (in one of those little red plastic containers), but also to document the incident on Instagram…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And we’re back again. While large swaths of the country still trying to thaw out from this bitter winter, Evan Turner turned up for his second GWBB this season — here’s the first — and cajoled us into firing up the Horry Scale tonight.
Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: 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.
Got it? By the way, this is the twelfth GWBB this season, so we’re on a record pace. OK, let’s do this…
Strictly speaking, this was not the most complex of plays. With Jerryd Bayless guarding him one-on-one, Turner went to his right with three dribbles, before crossing over to his left hand with one dribble, and then taking one more dribble with his left hand and taking the shot with his right. With those five dribbles, Turner was able to penetrate from the perimeter into the lane. Jared Sullinger (Turner’s college teammate at fellow former Ohio State Buckeye, by the way) stepped up for the Celts to play some help defense on the shot, and his minor collision with ET managed to make Turner’s release more awkward than it would have been otherwise. Still, Turner essentially had a 7-footer for the win.
Coming into this game, both teams were riding three-game losing streaks, so you can argue that while the game may not have been a must-win for either team, both teams could have used the W. As for this particular play, the Celtics were sitting on a one-point lead with the game and shot clocks both running down. Kris Humphries missed a 15-footer from the wing, and Michael Carter-Williams grabbed the board with about 11 seconds remaining. After dribbling up court (and perhaps committing a palming violation, as you can might hear Tommy Heinsohn argue in the clip above), with about 6 seconds left, Carter-Williams handed off to Turner at half court, and everyone cleared out to let him work against Bayless. The story here, to me, is that even though the Sixers had two timeouts remaining, they elected not to use them, which gave them the chance to attack a Boston defense that hadn’t had a chance to set up.
In the clip above you see the Sixers involved all sprint to the their bench on the other end of the court, a perfectly acceptable reaction and celebration to a GWBB on the road. What you don’t see in that clip is an extended celebration at half court before they headed to the locker room. I also enjoyed the reaction of the folks sitting courtside next to the Sixers bench. It doesn’t get much more anguished than this, as you can hopefully see in my this screenshot below…
It wasn’t a wide open shot — Turner had to create that for himself and make something happen. And Turner did get bumped on the release, making him twist to get the shot off. I also did have to consider the reactions, from both the players and the fans. All told, I’m giving this a solid three Horrys…
What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s GWBB?
This just goes to show that a little time is all you need to get over anger, frustration and disappointment. After visibly showing his displeasure with Evan Turner‘s last-second, rubbing-it-in jam, the Lakers’ in-house Laugh Factory resident Nick “Swagy P” Young was back to his old, quirky self. This time Young steps into the shoes of injured Lakers star Kobe Bryant and does an interview as if he is the Mamba himself.
You have to appreciate the “humility” of Young, because we all know Kobe would never say anybody is better than he is. Even with a broken leg.
(h/t Bleacher Report)
Evan Turner didn’t make many friends in Los Angeles with this 180-degree dunk at the end of Sunday night’s game.
The Sixers led the Lakers 109-104 with less than ten seconds left when James Anderson grabbed a long-rebound to seal the win for Philadelphia. Instead of holding the ball for the final four seconds, Anderson passed it ahead to Turner, who didn’t think twice before throwing down the monster dunk to act as an exclamation point on their win. As you can see towards the end of the video, the Lakers’ Nick Young – and probably the rest of the Lakers team — did not take too kindly to Turner breaking an unwritten NBA rule.
Turner attempted to apologize for the dunk to Young and other Lakers after the game. But they didn’t seem too keen to accept it.
A similar situation occurred last season between the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls when a rookie Damian Lillard couldn’t help but add some emphasis to his team’s win. His action quickly drew displeasure from Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And the hits just keep on coming. It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late. (That’s because it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late.) The news never stops, you guys.
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 in place, tonight we look to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, where Evan Turner doesn’t care how many Horry Scale entries it takes to get a win for the Sixers…
In terms of the shot itself, it goes down in the game log as “Turner Driving Layup Shot.” But in actuality it was so much more. Evan Turner is actually the player who inbounded the ball on this play. Sixers C Spencer Hawes released away from the basket and caught the lob pass, at which point Turner took off on a sprint. He ran to Hawes for a dribble hand-off and basically used Hawes as a pivot point, U-turning back in toward the rim. At this point the Nets had two guys on Turner — Brook Lopez and Shaun Livingston. Turner adroitly gives a little hesitation and then fires down to the left block for a layup. Just as Turner leaves his feet, Paul Pierce slides in and takes the contact from Turner. Is this a charge? Is it a block? We’ll leave that for Joe Borgia, because in this case it’s officially neither: No call is made. Turner releases the ball with about 1.4 seconds remaining. The ball then bounces around the rim, kissing the iron three different times as the clock expires, before finally dropping through for the 121-120 Sixers win. It wasn’t a long shot, but there were many things that broke Philly’s way on the play.
Not only was the game in overtime, but Pierce had hit a three-pointer a few seconds earlier to put Brooklyn ahead 120-119. With six seconds left to play in overtime, the Sixers had to inbound the ball under their own basket. Inbounding the ball under the basket is always tough — the backboard itself limits several passing angles that would be available from any other spot on the court. The play the Sixers came up with, which we broke down above, was pretty great — the Nets obviously didn’t expect Hawes to be the target on the play, and once Hawes had the ball, the Sixers used a sneaky backscreen to free Turner. Also worth noting is that the Sixers had lost seven straight games coming into this one and are about to leave on a six-game road trip to the West Coast. So not only did they need the win, but losing their eighth straight in an overtime game would have made things even more difficult to stomach.
I counted nine members of the Sixers who get involved in the initial celebration, mobbing Turner. That’s seventy-five percent of the night’s active roster, an important threshold to hit for our grading purposes. I feel like the celebration was also a bit subdued because whenever there’s a GWBB where the shot is released so close to the buzzer, there’s always that moment of indecision where you’re not sure whether or not the shot will actually count until the referees review the replay. In this case it was rather obvious, but it’s not official until it’s official.
I’m trying to go more with my gut on these, after I had to admit I underscored Jeff Green‘s season-opening shot. So for this shot, with the creative inbounds play, the contact on the shot, the dramatic bounces on the rim, the game being in overtime and the Sixers ending the seven-game L streak, I’m going with Four Horrys.
What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s game-winning buzzer-beater?
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 Philadelphia 76ers, who played three straight from Jan 9-11.
The Sixers have been playing some of the best ball in the NBA, and found themselves during their three-play challenge at the top of the Atlantic Division. Could they maintain during this brutal stretch? Let’s find out!
Game 1: Sixers 96, Pacers 86 - The Sixers catch a small break as Pacers All-Star Danny Granger was out with food poisoning (Coincidence? Or was he pushed?), though with the way Philly is playing, it might not have mattered. Andre Iguodala led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)
Game 2: Sixers 112, Kings 85 - So far the Sixers depth is really developing into one of the stories of the NBA season, a big reason for their surprise success so far. Case in point against the Kings, as Evan Turner came off the bench for a near triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Elton Brand turned on the wayback machine and put up 21-10, but he’s a starter, so that’s outside of the narrative. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)
Game 3: Knicks 85, Sixers 79 - This is more what we assumed the third games of these things would be like, as the Knicks got out to a big lead early and the Sixers’ tired legs just didn’t have enough to chase them down, So goes Philly’s six-game win streak, and so goes their chance at perfection. 0 points
All in all a successful stint for the Sixers, who took care of business at home with two double-digit wins before losing a tough game (regardless of rest) at the Garden. 6 total points for Philly.
Up next: The Toronto Raptors also played three straight Jan. 9-11.
I haven’t been tuning into much of the pre-game shows for the NBA Finals so far (I can only devote so much time to the television before my wife starts packing stuff), but I may have to rethink that after catching a snippet of the hilarious “Team Mating Game” on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live pre-Finals show, featuring the Sixers’ Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala facing off against Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. Check it out:
Watch the final two segments, and see who wins, after the jump.
Missed the cut: Greg Oden, Trail Blazers (injured); Michael Redd, Bucks (injured)
Team synopsis: A very young Ohio State team is proof of the work coach Thad Matta has done in Columbus. This team would certainly be better if Oden or Redd were available, but neither has appeared in a game this season so they remain ineligible (though Redd says he’ll return soon). Conley is blossoming into a competent starting point guard, but Turner, a rookie, is still raw. Neither Koufos nor Mullens has made an impact on the league yet, although both have nice statistical rates for the limited minutes they have played.(more…)