ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Houston’s Dwight Howard missed last night’s game against the New York Knicks, his third straight game out after straining his knee. One of the players to get minutes in Howard’s place was forward Joey Dorsey, who came off the bench to play 13 minutes. And while he was on the floor, Dorsey had at least one play that brought the bench to its feet…although probably not in the way he intended.
As you can see in the clip below, Dorsey’s dunk attempt — and yes, he was fouled during the play — came up just a bit short. And the guys on the Houston bench, including Dwight, seemed to think it was rather hilarious…
Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!
Today’s TBT topic: Red Holzman
Red Holzman was a player in the NBA during its early days as the Basketball Association of America and after his six-year NBA playing career was done in 1954, he didn’t stray far from the league. He became a player-coach, a coach, an scout and found his greatest success as coach of the New York Knicks from 1967-77. Under his leadership, New York reached three Finals, won two championships and had perhaps its greatest era of success.
On this date in 1979, Holzman defeated the Houston Rockets 130-125 in OT to become the second coach in NBA history to win 500 games. In honor of his accomplishment years ago, we look back on Holzman’s career:
(NOTE:Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday’s Nuggets at Knicks game was 109-93 win for the Knicks, a result they desperately needed. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, neither team really put their best foot (or shot) forward.
Let’s start with Shaq’s favorite forward, Denver’s JaVale McGee, who is back from injury and yet to make an appearance on “Shaqtin’ A Fool” this season. That is likely to be changing soon, however, after this free throw attempt from McGee yesterday. Nice form, bad distance.
But that wasn’t even the worst airball of the day. Later in the game, Knicks forward Travis Wear grabbed a rebound and whiffed from literally right next to the rim. Somebody get Shaq on the phone…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Knicks finally scored 100 points in a game this season. Unfortunately for them, Trey Burke and the Jazz weren’t quite finished.
Tonight’s Jazz/Knicks game presented two teams with similar journeys ahead of them. The Jazz have a young roster with a young coach and expectations bubbling. The Knicks have a superstar forward (Carmelo Anthony) and president (Phil Jackson) but have a way to go as they implement the triangle offense.
The Knicks entered the night having lost six straight, for a 2-7 record, and had yet to score 100 points in a game this season. The Jazz had a similarly sub-par record, coming in at 3-6, and in the midst of a five-game road trip. All of which culminated in tonight’s big finish by Burke.
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 last season, 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 inbound play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.
Let’s get to the game-winner…
With 2.3 seconds left on the clock, the Jazz didn’t have to rely on a catch-and-shoot. Two-plus seconds is enough time for at least a dribble, maybe even a pass.
But it looked as if the play wasn’t even drawn up for Burke to get the shot. Burke began in the far corner and set a screen for Gordon Hayward, who already had 33 points on the night. Hayward popped to the top of the key and looked to receive a pass. But Knicks forward Quincy Acy denied the look to Hayward, just as Burke flashed to the ball around the free throw line. Burke caught the ball, dribbled left into the corner, and fired up a fadeaway jumper over J.R. Smith, who was all over Burke and contested the shot well. But Burke cleared just enough space with a step-back move to release the jumper, and he drilled the shot as the buzzer was ringing.
Smith actually defended fine on the play — he went under three separate screens and stuck to Burke on the shot. Burke had to make a perfect play just to clear room for the shot. And Burke played it perfectly.
After squandering a last-second attempt earlier in the week, when J.R. Smith eschewed a pass to Carmelo Anthony to fire up a three, tonight the Knicks cleared out for Anthony, who banked in a three to tie the game at 100 with 2.3 left. Anthony finished with 46 points for the Knicks, who were without Amar’e Stoudemire, and Anthony was brilliant all night.
But Utah called a timeout after Anthony leveled the game and calmly came up with the play. A shoutout to Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who came up with a play that had multiple options; and a shoutout to inbound passer Joe Ingles, who calmly went to Burke after not being able to get the ball to Hayward.
It was big, for both teams. Yes, we’re still early in the season, but after losing six straight, the Knicks needed a win, especially at home. And Melo had put them on his back and carried them throughout the game.
The Jazz entered this season in rebuilding mode, and though they’re below .500, they’ve looked promising as they’ve tried to implement Snyder’s pace and space offense. Also, it’s worth noting that this is already Utah’s second appearance on the Horry Scale this season. So not only are they competing, but they’re giving themselves opportunities to win games (and taking advantage of those opportunities).
It was fortuitous that Burke popped the shot directly in front of the Utah bench. Because as soon as the shot went in, he was swarmed by his teammates. The Jazz couldn’t give an all-out celebration because they were on the road, so they didn’t get that awesome crowd reaction like they did at home against Cleveland. Still, the team huddled around Burke and let him have it (including a towel over the head) while Smith looked up in disbelief to check the replay.
Also, we can’t ignore Carmelo’s reaction. After such a big game, all he could do was grimace with the realization that better days are ahead. Hopefully sooner than later.
It was a great play, a great shot, and an important result for a team that needed a win. But being pragmatic, this was a regular season game between two teams under .500. And considering we gave Hayward’s previous Horry Scale entry rated four Horrys, I don’t feel like this one quite matches that one, particularly on the celebration matrix. So I’m giving Trey Burke’s game winner 3 Horrys.
What say you? How many Horrys would you give Trey Burke’s GWBB?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New York Knicks lost their first game this season, 104-80, at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. Since then, however, they’ve been rolling, knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then last night squaring off against the upstart Charlotte Hornets. They played a close game against Charlotte and ultimately hung on for the win. And as the clock was winding down, as Knicks coach Derek Fisher was strolling the sideline, Charlotte’s Lance Stephenson decided to pop up for a visit.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween has come and gone, which means it’s time once again to see what some NBA players went dressed as this year. We already checked in on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but let’s check out the costumes of some other NBA players…
LeBron James went as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads…
Carmelo Anthony was…I don’t know what this costume is…
2. Swift’s latest hit is a song called “Shake It Off,” but as we all know, a song isn’t a real hit until it gets parodied by an NBA mascot and some players. Take it away, Denver Nuggets. And you go, Timofey Mozgov…
That’s right, on a pre-recorded clip aired during New York’s preseason win over the Wizards on Wednesday, MSG broadcaster Al Trautwig presented the vaunted golden trophy to the talent they call “Shump” for his role behind the scenes and as the star of the network’s show “Beginnings.”
Just think, if New York re-signs The Panda’s Friend (The Artist Formerly Known As Metta World Peace And Ron Artest), they could grab a little hardware for some type of nature show, too. Stay tuned.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — #NBAStyle is still a thing, and New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert took it to new heights after last night’s Knicks preseason game. He’s wearing a baseball cap with what appears to be a clock installed on the front of the hat. Or maybe several clocks? Or a two clocks and a compass? It’s hard to tell exactly what the device is, other than it looks expensive and ornate and kinda cool.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In almost every NBA locker room after every game, the media enters the room to find the players sitting with their feet buried in buckets of ice water. They do this as an anti-inflammatory, to help reduce stress and swelling immediately after the rigors of an NBA game.
Ice water, I’ve seen a number of times. But yesterday on Instagram, Amar’e Stoudemire posted a photo of himself utilizing a recovery method that I’ve never seen. Below is a picture of Amar’e soaking in a tub filled with…red wine? As Amar’e said in the comment, “Recovery Day! Red Wine Bath!!”
Just because I’ve never heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not real. After doing some extensive research on the topic — a.k.a. one Google search — I learned that this is called “vinotherapy,” and it “can boost circulation, shift cellulite and make you feel invigorated thanks to grapeseed oil — its key ingredient. This is because, they say, polyphenols extracted from grape seeds are a powerful antioxidant – our body’s defenses against highly-reactive molecules that can lead to premature aging.”
You learn something new every day. And here all this time I thought water worked pretty well.