ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the reasons USA Basketball has people around with cameras filming everything is just in case a situation like the one below breaks out. At a Team USA practice in Barcelona, an impromptu shooting contest happened between Kenneth Faried, Stephen Curry and James Harden. That in and of itself isn’t all that rare. But in this case, their shooting station was the bench.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new-and-improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from non-traditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: What we want to know is, who got got?
So welcome to Volume Three of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season all of our winners will battle it out to determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.
The winner of Volume One was New Orleans’ Jeff Withey, who was placed on a poster by Lakers’ wingman Xavier Henry, his college teammate. The winner of Volume Two was Atlanta’s Al Horford, who was posterized by Victor Oladipo.
But can anyone top Withey? We have five brand new nominees. We checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”
Now, to the latest nominees …
1. Terrence Ross on Kenneth Faried
LeMont’s Take: “Not only does this one have all the qualities needed to make it a great posterizer (elevating over a jumping, contesting defender, finishing tough), but the still shot of the play makes for an amazing visual. From Faried’s honest attempt at defending to Ross’ acrobatic cock-back wind-up, you have to appreciate both players’ intensity.” -
VIDEO:Ross on Faried - 2. Kevin Martin on Tayshaun Prince
LeMont’s Take: “No shots fired, but has Kevin Martin ever had a play like this in the NBA? Wanna know what sticks out to me the most about this banger? It’s the fact that Martin’s swagged-out slow walk after the dunk suggests that Kevin Martin posterizers, like a LeBron jam, for instance, are household plays. It’s like Martin is saying, ‘This is what I do.’ Love it!” -
VIDEO:Martin on Prince - 3. Taj Gibson on Bismack Biyombo
LeMont’s Take: “Bulls announcer Stacey King knows a poster when he sees it. And if there’s one Bull who has a pretty good resume of big facials, it’s Taj Gibson (ask Nikola Vucevic or a 2011 D-Wade about their Gibson experiences). Game film is key in this game, and if Bismack Biyombo was paying any attention, he’d know that Gibson usually means serious two-handed business at the rim.” -
VIDEO:Gibson on Biyombo - 4. Anthony Davis on Big Baby
LeMont’s Take: “I feel pretty confident calling it right now: Anthony Davis may turn out to be one of the best big man to utilize the pick and roll. A lot of his dunks and alley-oops this season have come in this manner, and he’s only going to keep learning and getting better at it. It just so happens that his play-cousin Glen Davis is part of the education.” -
VIDEO:Davis on Davis - 5. Lance Stephenson on referee Ed Malloy
LeMont’s Take: “No man is safe from getting dunked on. Not kids on Nerf hoops, not unsuspecting rookies, not even referees. How many people can say they dunked on an official and got away with it? Lance Stephenson can, and he’s probably the envy of many a player in the NBA. (I’m sure there are plenty of guys who’d love to dunk one on Joey Crawford.) The Pacers’ spark plug may be ticked off that he didn’t make the All-Star team, but hopefully he was able to unleash some of that anger here, even if it was at the expense of a ref.” -
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?
It hasn’t been the easiest time for the Denver Nuggets. Injuries to Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, JaVale McGee, an eight-game losing streak and a bizarre Andre Miller-Brian Shaw feud has rendered their season’s course rocky.
But one constant has been the Manimal, the dreadlocked warrior born by the name of Kenneth Faried. Is he an offensive juggernaut? Uh-uh. Does he make the occasional boneheaded play? Uh-huh. It doesn’t matter…because he gives you one thing that negates any of his negatives.
He gives you highlights. On Thursday night, the Thunder came into town and the Nuggets thoroughly dismissed them. But as the saying goes, you can’t make an omelet without cracking some eggs and Oklahoma City broke a few on Faried:
Though Durant broke his right ankle and Jackson threw down a basketball on his noggin, his sticktoittiveness shouldn’t be lost. He may get stuffed by John Wall at the rim, but he’ll make the game-saving block and game-winning bucket in the same game. All evidence points to a man who stays focused on his vengeance, one fast-twitch stride at a time.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Denver Nuggets have had a rough start to the season, going 2-4 out of the gate in coach Brian Shaw‘s first season. Part of the problem has been injuries, with JaVale McGee being the latest to hit the chilling list. On the bright side, Wilson Chandler has been cleared to make his season debut tonight after missing the beginning of the season to treat a hamstring injury.
And when Chandler stopped to tell Nuggets.com about his return, his teammate Kenneth Faried couldn’t contain his excitement upon hearing the news… -
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 — It’s easy for a coach — in any sport, not just basketball — to talk tough. In some ways, it’s part of the job: You tell the players how to execute your game plan, and if you don’t at least sound like you know what you’re talking about, how do you get them to buy in? Sometimes you reach deep to find ways to motivate. In Denver this season, Brian Shaw is just months into his first NBA head coaching gig, but he’s already showing that he’s not afraid to get out on the court with his players and mix it up. And considering Shaw played a decade-plus in the NBA and won three Championship rings as a player and two as an assistant coach, he’s probably worth listening to.
The Nuggets have been releasing short videos from their practice sessions, and Shaw’s physical involvement seems to be a recurring theme. In the videos below, he bangs in the post with big men like Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee, and in another video gets involved in a shoot-out with guard Randy Foye. His post defense is actually pretty effective for a guard trying to stop a big…
‘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?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – We can understand when a player, fresh off a loss, feels the need to somehow react. After all, you play to win the game, and when you catch an L, it’s never a good feeling — and it’s even worse when the sentiment is rubbed in by 20,000 rabid fans, as often happens to Golden State opponents in Oracle Arena in Oakland.
So we get why Denver F Kenneth Faried was apparently pretty upset after losing at Golden State last night. So upset, in fact, that Faried put his foot through a locker room wall, as documented here by USA Today‘s always excellent Sam Amick:
And as we noted earlier, the isn’t the first time an opponent in Golden State has been driven to violence: After losing at Oracle in the 2007 Playoffs, Dallas F Dirk Nowitzkitossed a trash can through a wall 12 feet in the air. Five years later, as Amick showed last night, the wound is still there, now commemorated with a t-shirt…
If the Warriors are going to keep knocking off higher-seeded teams in the Playoffs, maybe they should invest in a punching bag for the visitor’s locker room? Could probably save themselves a good bit in drywall costs.