ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night the Toronto Raptors won a game in Denver, Colorado, over the Nuggets, 116-102. And just because the Raptors were on the road, that didn’t keep Raptors fans from coming out and cheering their team on. Because if there’s anything we’ve seen about Raptors fans, they are all-in when it comes to their squad, even if that means showing up in an opposing arena.
Check the video below to see a clip of Raptors guard Lou Williams leaving the floor after the win. As he walks down the tunnel and back into the locker room, he gives a fan a finger point, but then stops and says “You’re on our side, my bad,” and turns around and goes back over the fan to give him a high five. They the north…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been three weeks since we last fired up the Horry Scale, and in the time since, we’ve been mostly focused on the playoff race. As teams fought for position, somehow we had no game-winning buzzer-beaters that would require the Horry Scale to be utilized. Tonight that all ended, in the inked-out arms of Charlotte’s Chris Douglas-Roberts, as the Bobcats knocked off the Atlanta Hawks, 95-93.
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 17th Horry Scale entry of the season…
A runner over two defenders? Tougher than it sounds. We should say here that the Hawks weren’t playing with a full deck, as they gave rotation members DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap the night off. (The Bobcats also limited the minutes of their key players.) With playoff berths secure for both teams, they seemed content to let some of their bench players battle this one out. That said, CDR was well defended, and his shot flew high into the air before splashing through the net.
GAME SITUATION Gary Neal and Sekou Smith’s favorite player, Luke Ridnour, carried the Bobcats throughout the fourth quarter. But the Hawks rallied late after a 5-0 run from Shelvin Mack brought them within two, and then a jumper from Lou Williams with 2.6 to play knotted the game at 93. With the game tied, the Bobcats inbounded the ball on the side in front of their basket. With Martin Sargent-lookalike Josh McRoberts inbounding, the Bobcats sent Ridnour and Chris Douglas-Roberts running in a wide arc, as Al Jefferson set a pick and Gary Neal flashed to the corner. The Hawks covered all of this very well, and none of the initial options were open. With maybe a second left to inbound the ball, Douglas-Roberts flashed from the basline to the top of the key, and momentarily lost defender Lou Williams on a brush screen from Jefferson. CDR drove left, pulled up from just inside the free-throw line, and knocked down the game-winner over a recovering Williams and help defender Mike Muscala, with no time to play.
The celebration was mostly subdued. Gary Neal wrapped Douglas-Roberts in a bear hug in front of the Hawks bench, and even Bobcats sideline reporter Stephanie Ready got in a high five. it felt like both teams were more concerned with the playoffs starting later this week.
I’m going to give this one two Horrys. It was a nice shot, sure, but when one team doesn’t care enough to have their best players in the game, it detracts from the fun a bit. Not that this should matter to Charlotte — they wanted to win and ran the best play possible for them to win it. Heckuva shot from CDR, no doubt. But all in all, I’m going two stars …
What say you? How many Horry’s would you give Chris Douglas-Roberts’ GWBB?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If it seems like everyone is on Twitter these days, that’s because, well, pretty much everyone is. According to Twitter, they have around 232 million users. When it comes to the NBA, I’m guessing about 75-80 percent of the League must be on Twitter. And as older players transition out of the league and give way to younger players, that number will only continue to climb. Especially if the older players who do give Twitter a spin have an experience similar to that of Hawks big man Elton Brand.
Thanks to the Atlanta Hawks Basket Blog, we can check out the ballad of Elton Brand’s total Twitter experience. Brand was the lone Hawks player not on Twitter, until something snapped and on Sunday, he finally signed up as @EltonBrand42. The Hawks welcomes him to TWitter with open arms…
Every player on our team now has a Twitter account! Everyone go follow the newest tweeter, Mr. @eltonbrand42!
But 24 hours and about a dozen tweets later — and after picking up about a thousand followers — Brand not only signed off, he deleted his entire account, tweeting, “Special Thanks to the Tens and Tens of followers I’ve met since yesterday. This Twitter Stuff is just not for me though. #PeaceAndBlessings.”
According to the Hawks Blog, Brand deleted the account before anyone could chronicle his tweets for posterity. Brand may, however, have a future on the photo sharing service InterGram, as one retweet by Brand’s teammate Lou Williams pointed out…
“@EltonBrand42: @TeamLou23 I guess. Next you have to show me how to work InterGram” Instagram OG. Instagram lol