ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — #TBT is the hashtag for “Throwback Thursday,” which is really just kinda of an excuse for people to post old photos on social media. But Rockets point guard Ty Lawson has historically been great at #TBT, and the photo he posted yesterday is no exception. Some of the guys who went on the have NBA careers, besides Lawson: Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Brandan Wright, Spencer Hawes. Not a bad collection of talent…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Things have been quiet of late around Horry Scale country. Too quiet, to be honest. In fact, things were quiet enough that I knew something had to be afoot. After a record-setting pace though the All-Star break, we hadn’t had a game winning buzzer beater since Dirk Nowitzki dispatched the Knicks back 31 days ago. And yet here are, back and at it once again, thanks to Dion Waiters and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who knocked off Detroit 97-96.
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.
One thing I’d like to clear up: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. 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. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.
We all clear? OK, let’s break tonight’s shot down, our sixteenth Horry Scale entry of the season…
I know someone will get into the comments section and argue that this wasn’t all that tough of a shot. But to me it was a pretty difficult shot on two different levels. First, it was essentially a tightly contested jumper, with Rodney Stuckey directly in Waiters’ face. That’s a tough shot no matter how good a shooter you might be. Second, Waiters didn’t drive, so to free up room he did the dribble left/shoot right move, which as anyone who has played basketball can tell you, is much tougher than it looks.
This category is where this shot picks up steam. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavs were losing 82-66. They mounted a bit of a comeback but were still down 9 with 3:38 to play, when a Kyle Singler jumper gave Detroit a 96-87 lead. But Detroit would not score again. By the time Detroit got the ball with just under a minute to play, their lead was down to 1. They ran the clock down, missed a shot, got the ball back, and then missed another shot with 3.2 remaining. And that’s when we pick up action in the clip above. The play design wasn’t all that spectacular — Waiters pushed off a bit to get open and catch the pass, but he was able to make the play when it counted. Of course, Waiters knew it all along …
#Cavs' Dion Waiters: "My time was tonight. … I knew it was going in. That's my patented move."
CELEBRATION Considering this was a game between two teams with no chance of making the playoffs, you wouldn’t think there was much riding on it. But when you factor in the epic comeback by the Cavs, I guess you can understand the Cavs reacting like they just won a playoff game. To me the most telling reaction was the fan just behind the basket in the beige shirt, who has his arms raised to the heavens as the ball flies through the air, and then as it swishes through, puts his head into his hands and collapses into his seat.
I know it wasn’t a game of any consequence, and that certainly works against the importance of the play. But the reaction is so intense and genuine that I think we have to consider this. So, all factored together, I’m playing this down the middle and giving this Three Horrys out of five …
What say you? How many Horry’s would you give Dion Waiters’ GWBB?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just as important as any great dunk is the celebration that follows. And we aren’t only talking about the way the dunker himself lets the world know he threw down, but the way his teammates get into the act and celebrate. To that end, let’s take a look at a couple of recent bench celebrations and see which bench celebrated best.
1. Detroit Pistons A few days ago the Pistons hosted the Atlanta Hawks, and Pistons big man Andre Drummond got a steal and a dunk on Elton Brand. It wasn’t a dunk on as much as it was a dunk around as Brand tried to deliver a foul. Still, Brand went reeling, making it look worse than it probably was. Either way, as it was down the stretch in a close game, the Pistons bench turned in a celebration for the ages.
And how about that Pistons bench? Coaches and players alike went wild, although it’s always hard to top Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace…
2. Golden State Warriors
Last night against the same Pistons team, Golden State’s Klay Thompson dunked on Kyle Singler. Singler’s legs got tangled or went numb or something, and following the dunk Singler did a stiff-legged stumble into the photographers along the baseline.
It’s a bit tougher to see the bench celebration on this one, but even without Kent Bazemore there to lead the way, the Warriors bench knows how to be explosive after a big play. Watch this GIF of the play and see how the bench shows out. (There’s also the great juxtoposition of the bench getting up as Singler goes down.)
So what say you? Which bench had the better reaction?
Something extraordinary happened at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland recently…and it may or may not have required throwing a basketball in a hoop from a “world-record” 239 feet (rounded estimate) in the air.
No surprise, then, that the Pistons score another “win” in our standings with this great video featuring rookie Andre Drummond and team mascot, Hooper, to promote their upcoming Star Wars night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
At the end of a thrilling double OT affair against the Detroit Pistons, Joe Johnson took matters in his own hands and sent the Brooklyn faithful home with elation. The game-winner was nailed with right foot on the 3-point line and was set up by Kyle Singler’s lay-up to tie the game at 105 with 5.8 seconds left. Johnson (28 points) also sent the game into a second overtime with a tough floater in the lane. Suffice it to say, it was just his day.
For those that 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, and gives it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
How does Johnson’s shot Friday night stack up? Let’s take a look.
This shot looked destined for the bottom of the net as soon as it left Johnson’s hands. He inbounded the ball to Deron Williams, who immediately gave Johnson back the ball. Johnson was well-defended on this one…initially. Tayshaun Prince offered some long-armed resistance, but was lost seemingly easy on a nifty stepback. But this is where Johnson earns his keep — he isn’t called ‘Iso Joe’ for nothing. If there is one thing he excels at, it’s getting enough space to knock down a jumper. It’s the type of shot he makes when in a groove. Give him credit for making the long jumper look easy, considering he played almost 52 minutes.
Game knotted at 105 in double overtime. A miss extends game past the 60-minute marker and into another extra period.
The Nets had lost five of six games heading into Friday night’s game. A loss to the Pistons before hitting road to face Chicago Saturday night would have invited minor panic in Brooklyn. With the Knicks in Madison Square Garden looming next Wednesday, the Nets needed this win badly. Williams wasn’t at his sharpest (17 points, 7-of-17 shooting, five turnovers). So it was Joe who was needed to step up.
It was Johnson’s first such shot in a Brooklyn uniform. What better way to ingratiate yourself with the home crowd than to nail a smooth buzzer-beater on a Friday night?
This is Joe Johnson, so don’t expect him to channel Ronny Turiaf. After launching the shot, Johnson already started his victory trot toward his bench. A hop, a run and bump with a teammate and an understated mob later…and we have our celebration. He isn’t owed $89 million over the next four years for his excitability.
3 1/2 Horrys. As far as game-winners go, this had all the style you wanted. Pretty move. Pretty shot. Great game. Great game where the guy nailing the game-winner carried the offense late. If Brooklyn was down prior to this bucket, we’re looking at 4 Horrys easy.
It’s been a while since we updated our “Hey man nice shot” category here in All Ball-land, but we think this one makes it worth it. Rookie Kyle Singler of the Pistons has become a solid contributor for Detroit, starting in his last six games and is averaging 11.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg and shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range in that role. That 3-point percentage is nothing to sneeze at as it puts him ahead of other well-known outside shooters such as Jason Terry, Mike Miller, Kobe Bryant and Jamal Crawford this season.
But just think how high his 3-point shooting could be if he were allowed to … oh, I don’t know … drop-kick the ball and bank it off the glass for a 3-pointer? OK, maybe that wouldn’t help his shooting percentage, but it would sure be cool to watch. Check out this great video from the fine folks over at Pistons.com as Mr. Singler takes to Detroit to punt, kick and bounce in some of the most creative shots we’ve ever seen.