For 37 years, Ralph Lawler has been the voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. For many years, he plied his craft in a form of NBA anonymity as the Clippers were routinely one of the worst teams in the league. But since Blake Griffin’s debut season in 2010-11, the Clippers have risen in profile and many of Lawler’s trademark calls (such as “the lob … the jam!” and “Bingo!” after made 3-pointers) have become more popular.
The Clippers paid tribute to Lawler on what was called “Ralph Lawler Day” and, as such, Griffin and teammats such as Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich did a few Lawler-isms …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, DeAndre Jordan announced he’d be leaving the Clippers for the Mavericks. Today, all heck broke loose, as it was reported that Jordan was being still being pursued by the Clippers.
The Clippers and the Mavericks are all apparently trying to get in another meeting with Jordan, which means they all need to travel to his hometown of Houston. How do you get to Houston?
If you’re Chandler Parsons and you’re in Dallas, maybe you hop in a plane…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Before making a name for himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA, Clippers guard J.J. Redick had a long career at Duke, where he played in several NCAA Tournaments. So really, who better than Redick to tell us how to approach filling out our brackets? In this video from Funny Or Die, Redick really breaks it down and shows his expertise…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s late here on the East Coast, but I started watching the Nuggets/Clippers game in the second half and had this vague idea that maybe, just maybe, this thing could come down to a game-winning buzzer-beater. And that’s why we’re here, right? But no, that probably wasn’t going to happen. Still, I kept watching, and kept watching…and then Randy Foye happened.
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.
OK, so you understand? For your edification, this is the thirteenth GWBB this season, an incredible pace. Can we keep it up? We’re gonna try. In the meantime, let’s break this shot down…
It was a difficult shot, but that was almost completely of the Nuggets’ making. Down 2 points, with just over six seconds to play, the Nuggets ran an inbounds play that didn’t really seem to put them in a situation to succeed. They threw the ball in to Kenneth Faried just inside the three point line. Faried then turned and tossed it to J.J. Hickson, who was even further away from the basket. What are they doing?! With just over 2 seconds left, Hickson found Foye, cutting toward the top of the key on the right side of the court. Foye caught it, well covered by Jamal Crawford. Foye used Hickson as a quasi-pick, and Blake Griffin switched onto Foye. With the clock ticking down, Foye forced up a long, contested three, from four or five feet behind the line, and he drained the shot. It wasn’t much of a play — the shot was born out of necessity more than anything. But Foye drilled it, which is why we’re here.
It had been a back-and-forth game down the stretch, with both teams fighting to grab the lead. Just moments earlier, the Nuggets were sitting on a two point lead, when the Clips got the ball to J.J. Redick. When the defense ran out on Redick, he half-heartedly drove the lane and eventually kicked it out to an open Matt Barnes on the wing, who drained the three to give the Clips a (temporary) 115-113 lead. Denver got the ball back with 6 seconds to play, with a chance to go for two to tie or three to win. They went for three, although again it seemed to be almost an accidental play. Whenever your play-by-play announcer has time to nervously say “Too much time!” twice, that probably wasn’t the play you were going for. But then, it worked, didn’t it?
It’s tough to see well in the clip above, but Foye hit the deck when the shot went in, and moments later, several other Nuggets (Hickson and Faried) hit the court and slid into Foye as if he were a base on a baseball diamond. Then the Nuggets performed several group hugs as they all left the floor. Overall, it was a fairly excited celebration, which was fun to see.
It was a tough shot — fading left and shooting right. Although, again, this was mostly Denver’s own doing. It wasn’t much of a play, wasn’t much strategy involved. I’d give this two Horrys, except that it was a really, really long three, and I enjoyed the celebration. So I’m giving this three Horrys….
What say you? How many Horrys would you give Randy Foye’s GWBB?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players are just like us, you guys, in that they like to collect things the same way we do. But while we might collect things like sports cards or, I dunno, socks or something, NBA players can garner things at a higher luxury level.
The website Hodinkee.com focuses on watch news and reviews, and in this piece for GQ.com, the site’s editor talks about how he met Clippers guard J.J. Redick over Instagram when Redick commented on a classic watch photo. So they sat down and in the video below, they discuss Redick’s passion for “classic-looking watches.” –
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 Orlando Magic, who played three straight from Jan. 16-18.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t paid that much attention to Orlando’s on-court product so far this season, as I assumed like most of you the only thing anyone cared about with the Magic is if and/or when Dwight Howard gets traded. However, wouldn’t you know they decided to play their games anyway and remind everyone they can still play this game a little?
Game 1: Magic 102, Knicks 93 – Also drowned out by the speculation over Howard’s potential whereabouts? Ryan Anderson‘s impressive start. Anderson knocked down seven 3’s on his way to a career-high 30 as the Magic knocked off the Knicks at MSG. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for road)
Game 2: Magic 96, Bobcats 89 – 25 and 17 for Superman, but Orlando leaves points on the board (for our purposes) in what should have been a much easier home win over the hapless Bobcats. 3 points
Game 3: Spurs 85, Magic 83 – Oooooh, this one had to sting a little. The Magic came justthisclose to becoming the third team (after the Bulls and Thunder) to sweep their three-play, but J.J. Redick‘s three-pointer came a split second after the final buzzer sounded. Can’t fault Orlando for running out of gas in an overtime game at the tail end of the trip. Also of note: It was the first road win of the season for the Spurs. 0 points
The Magic are having a nice season so far despite all the distractions, but they fall to the bottom half of the table with 5 total points.
Up next: The L.A. Clippers also played three straight Jan. 16-18.
Last night, the Washington Wizards – owners of NBA’s worse road record – visited Disney World. The outcome of the game didn’t come as any surprise (Magic won handily) but this sight might.
Either a foul was called, causing play to stop while J.J. Redick got his freebie in or Redick delivered a Tim Hardaway-like crossover and finished with a left hand flush over the interested Wizards’ D.
The body language of the three Wizards – John Wall (l), Kirk Hinrich (c), Andray Blatche (r) – says more than I can. Well actually, Hinrich could give us a little more on the apathy end.
However, he did manage to exact some get-back on the former Blue Devil later in the game.
(For sake of time, forward to the 1:50 mark.)
J.J., hardwood. Hardwood, meet J.J. And that smothered laughter you hear… is not from Stephen Curry.