ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The best way to get fans to vote for your players for the NBA All-Star Game? Use kids to get out the vote, obviously. Because everyone loves kids. The Golden State Warriors are clearly a step ahead of some other franchises when it comes to mobilizing their base.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And now the Horry Scale nominees will come fast and furious. After Jeff Green’s game winner just a few days ago, last night’s late TNT game gave us our second nominee of the season, on a last-second shot that didn’t exactly go as planned.
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, let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Golden State’s Andre Iguodala at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (By the way, we will not call him Iggy, because he hates the nickname Iggy.)
In terms of basketball fundamentals, Iguodala was able to take a relatively normal jumper — he was moving toward the baseline with the ball in his right (shooting) hand. But we should note here that the play we saw executed was not the play Mark Jackson drew up, according to Iguodala.
Dre said he was supposed to get the ball, fake a dribble handoff to Klay Thompson, who was inbounding, and then look for his shot. And when they lined up for the play, Kevin Durant was assigned to Iguodala. But the Thunder were switching on the play, and when Thabo Sefolosha switched onto Iguodala and basically overplayed as Iguodala cut toward Thompson, Iguodala make the executive decision to cut backdoor — “I took a page out of Kobe’s book,” said Iguodala — and he found room to receive the pass. If nothing else I just love this play as an example of how much happens in an NBA game that is unplanned — these guys are constantly making plays that are based on reads and reactions, and when multiple players are in sync on something like that, it can be a beautiful thing. Sefolosha defended the shot pretty well and recovered enough to get up in Iguodala’s release, but Dre put enough arc on the ball to not only clear the defender, but also take pretty much the entire clock before it splashed home.
It’s worth noting that just seconds before Iguodala’s shot, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook drained a long three-pointer on a broken play to give OKC the temporary 115-114 lead. And frankly, I was a bit surprised Iguodala’s shot was a game-winning shot, because when the ball was inbounded there were 2.3 seconds left. And in the NBA, 2.3 seconds can be an eternity — enough time to catch the ball and run a quick play, or make a few moves even. As the Warriors were inbounding the ball, TNT’s Reggie Miller noted, “A lot of time left for a dribble or two for the Warriors, to get this shot off.” Watching the replays, I’m still not convinced there shouldn’t have been a few tenths of a second added back on after this shot. That is barely any time, I know, but hey, Derek Fisher is on the Thunder, isn’t he?
Let me say this here: I am not perfect. In my breakdown of Jeff Green’s game-winner, I discounted my rating of the shot because I felt like it was such an early-season game that it wouldn’t really have ramifications down the line. And in the comments, you guys upbraided me for not accepting that for the Celtics, beating the defending champs at home was a big deal. Looking back, I probably should have given the Green play a 4. There, I said it. But we don’t choose these things, they choose us, and we just have to move on. So before I go and discount this shot for taking place so early in the season, let’s realize that beating Oklahoma City meant a lot to the Warriors, regardless of the point in the season.
Hitting a dagger at home means built-in celebratory upgrades, such as confetti and a raucous crowd. After the shot connected, Iguodala instinctively sprinted to halfcourt, and the Warriors bench rushed the floor. We also got a shot of a calm, grinning Jermaine O’Neal, surveying the action from the sideline like the old man who’d seen it all and felt proud for these kids. And you think the Warriors weren’t excited? Check out the celebration from owner Joe Lacob…
Fist pumps in a blazer, you guys.
As stated earlier, I caught flack for giving Jeff Green three Horrys, and I have publicly reconsidered my position on that one. For a while I wondered if my legacy here at All Ball would be as the Simon Cowell of the Horry Scale, the tough judge nobody could impress. But nobody likes a meanie, and it’s no fun to have a heart two sizes too small. So for this shot, for reasons outlined above that go above and beyond what was basically a fadeaway jumper, I’m going with four Horrys.
That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give Andre Iguodala’s game winner?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Over the last few years the NBA has taken more and more ownership of Christmas Day, scheduling games in what used to be a void of TV viewing. This year there will be five games on air back to back, and to make it even more of an event, the players participating will be rocking new uniforms — not only sleeved jerseys, but what the NBA and adidas are calling “big logo” jerseys. These feature team logos in reflective chrome as the focal point on the short-sleeve jerseys, paired with an ultra-lightweight short with chrome piping. The jerseys are available now online at the NBA Store.
To publicize the new looks, they’ve created a new ad, which you can watch above, featuring players involved in those games, including Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Steve Nash, James Harden and Stephen Curry. They have also dropped photos, which you can see in the gallery below. -
BONUS!Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Jingle Hoops commercial …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween may be in our collective rear view mirror, but looming ahead is Thanksgiving. And to celebrate it in their own special way, several NBA players will be popping up on Disney XD beginning today and again over the new few weeks as part of something called Pranksgiving. According to a release from Disney…
A specially drafted NBA pranking crew — Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) — get in the pranking game with the comedic and unpredictable puppet Crash (of the sitcom “Crash & Bernstein”) and together, they pull fun and over-the-top tricks on Disney XD’s biggest stars. Each Monday, a new fan-voted prank will be revealed on Disney XD along with new prank-themed episodes including Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets) guest starring in the new comedy series “Mighty Med.”
Curry said of his involvement, “Getting to be a part of Disney XD’s ‘Pranksgiving’ allowed me, and the other players, to connect with kids and families in a different way and show them a side of us they don’t usually see. I love to do fun things like this with fans and giving back to the community is something I’m committed to. I also loved that my family got to be there with me when we shot it, and when my daughter gets older and is watching Disney XD, I can tell her all about it.”
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the NBA’s involvement… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Warriors forward Draymond Green made an early appearance this season in MUSCLEWATCH, as he showed up to training camp twenty pounds lighter than he played last season. How did he lose so much weight? Apparently by carefully watching what he eats. In the video below, Green explains to a Bay Area chef that while he loves this particular taco dish, he realizes it’s not the healthiest recipe and so he only allows himself to eat them once a month. (Conversely, he also has them when he’s having a bad day.)
How does one make Draymond’s Double Team Tacos? Watch and learn. Bam! -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Golden State Warriors surprised a lot of people last season when, even after a run of late-season injuries, they made a deep run into the postseason, marking themselves as a team to watch going forward. And this season, as the Warriors demonstrate in their newly released commercial, we see that the Warriors are not only going to dominate you, particularly when there’s a mismatch in the post, but that they’re also willing to lend a hand when needed. -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today adidas unveiled their all new collection of NBA on-court gear. According to adidas, “The NBA On-Court Collection will outfit all 30 NBA teams with the most innovative performance and on-trend style.” A photo gallery follows, but first some details…
On-Court Warm-Up Jacket And Pant — To illustrate the speed of the game, the jacket features intensity graphics on the sleeves and front panel of the body; Sleeves and trim of the jacket feature contrasting color to the body of the jacket; An homage to team pride, the back of the jacket features the geographical team name and logo in white-stencil font; Warm-up pant features ventilation panels built into high-performance areas for comfort and functionality along with adidas’ classic three stripes.
Varsity Warm-Up Jacket — Designed to capture the classic varsity jacket look and feel and built for optimal performance and on-court usage; Worn by all players and teams for weekend home games after Christmas Day; Classic heather grey-based jacket with contrasting team-colored sleeves; Soft-textured team patch logos on the back and left chest complete the varsity look.
Long-Sleeve Shooting Shirt — Team name across the chest in official team font; Front and back panels feature contrasting team colors along with accenting impact camo sleeves to illustrate speed and style.
Short-Sleeve Shooting Shirt — Varsity-style shooting shirt features team letter logo on the left chest; Features player’s name and number on the back and an impact camo pattern across the entire shirt to illustrate speed and style.
The collection is available now at NBAstore.com. To see Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Ricky Rubio, Iman Shumpert and John Wall model the new gear, check below…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — OK, I know the headline is a bit misleading — this is a commercial for Capri Sun, and of course Stephen Curry is not going to dance for thirty seconds after each made basket.
But imagine if he did…
Curry for three…yes! And now he’s…he’s…dancing? Oh, and he’s dropping it like it’s hot! Meanwhile, the other team has inbounded the ball and run down to the other end of the court. But Curry is still there at halfcourt, brushing dirt off his shoulders as the Warriors are forced to play four-on-five! As his coach used to say, Hand down, man down! -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Some people practice on the court, some people practice wherever they can get work in. We saw Andre Drummond putting moves on people in the airport, as didNate Robinson, while we found Steph Curry working on ball fakes around the house, and JaVale McGee zig-zagging around a bunch of stools.
Now we find Brooklyn C Andre Blatche putting in work in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. (Also, kinda love that he seems to be wearing his Nets sweatsuit while out walking around Fifth Ave.) -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the more prominent changes the new ownership in Sacramento made was bringing in Chris Mullin as “Advisor to the Chairman.” Mullin, who previously worked in the front office for the Golden State Warriors, has spent the last few years working on ESPN. Previous to that, Mulling spent decades putting in work on the court, as one of the best forwards of his era and a member of Run TMC, the Dream Team and the Hall of Fame.
All that to say we knew Mullin could play back in the day, but as we see from this video Cowbell Kingdom put together from a Kings event earlier this week, Mully can still do work around the perimeter, as he drains 14 of 15 threes. Perhaps DeMarcus Cousins has the right idea about signing Mullin to a 10-day contract… -