Posts Tagged ‘orlando magic’

The Horry Scale: Vucevic Fires Off 2015-16 Season’s First For Magic

VIDEO: Vucevic wins it for Magic

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — According to the schedule, it was the 16th night of the 2015-16 NBA schedule, plenty of time for rip roaring slam dunks, long and wild 3-pointers and all sorts of other craziness. But those of us with a sense of the dramatic know the season doesn’t really start until the sharpshooter rings in at the buzzer.

We’re talking, of course, about The Horry Scale, that measuring stick for clutchness, that barometer of bombastic balling, that dagger falling out of the sky delight that brings a worldwide community leaping up off the sofas and out of the La-Z-Boys to celebrate in joyous glee.

Well, the truth is that it might only have been friends and families of the participants who were tuned in on LeaguePass Wednesday night to see Nic Vucevic work his magic for the Magic.  And, of course, it happened at the expense of the hapless, luckless Lakers.

Before we go any farther, what is the Horry Scale? For those newbies, 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 night in November?) and celebration.   Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.

One thing to get straight: 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.  In short, it’s about the total package.


If you’re going to get off a last-second shot, it makes sense to get it to a big man who can get the clearest look at the basket.  So Orlando’s Tobias Harris pulled the trigger on a clean inbounds pass to 7-foot Vucevic, who turned and arced an 18-foot turnaround over Roy Hibbert that splashed into nothing but the bottom of the net to give the Magic a 101-99 win.


It looked like the Lakers — playing for the second straight night without Kobe Bryant (sore back) — might have pulled this one out on their final possession.  That’s when Lou Williams fired up a jumper that looked like it might have grazed the rim.  Hibbert grabbed the rebound and deposited into the hoop with 0.8 seconds showing on the clock.  But a replay review instead ruled that Williams missed the rim entirely and the Magic were given the ball and their chance with the score tied at 99-all.


It wasn’t exactly dripping with playoff drama.  We’re talking about a Magic team that is bumping along at 3-5 on the season and the 1-6 Lakers searching for just their second win.


Vucevic, who was back in the lineup after a three-game absence, knew it was good as soon as the ball left his hand, turned and raced down the court, where he got a hug from assist man Harris and then was mobbed by his teammates.  The finish was more notable for the glum look on the faces of the Lakers, who keep wondering what misfortune will strike them next.


We’ve got to admit, we’d have liked a game with a bit more significance — or at least one team with a winning record — for the first Horry Scale appearance.  But more than two weeks, it was good to see somebody, anybody, provide the last-second lightning that makes all of the TV highlight shows.  It wasn’t a shot that involved mind-boggling acrobatics.  Just a nicely-executed inbounds pass and a dagger-in-the-heart jumper from a big man who can shoot the ball.  We can’t get too excited over mid-week win in a game between a couple of bottom-feeders. So we’re giving this one two Horrys and leaving room for plenty of improvement and much more significance in the coming months.


Aaron Gordon posterized Bradley Beal

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At some point this season, perhaps once we reach a critical mass, I will break out the Posterized Poll, where we vote on which player was posterized — a.k.a. dunked on — the most mightily. For now, even though we are only days into the new NBA season, we have a contender for the list.

Last night in Orlando, Magic forward Aaron Gordon caught a buzzer-beating put-back dunk, which was pretty nice on its own. What made it posterizable? Unfortunately for Washington’s Bradley Beal, he got caught standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it’s weird because Beal didn’t really get “dunked on,” at least not in the traditional definition of what it means to get dunked on. But thanks to Beal’s reaction, as he gets sent stumbling into the photographers, I think this qualifies as getting posterized.

VIDEO: Gordon Beal

Nikola Vucevic and the old hidden camera trick

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here’s another funny video from Orlando, where Magic big man Nikola Vucevic recently got fitted with a hidden earpiece and, with the help of a hidden camera watching everything, gets asked to do some weird but hilarious stuff…

VIDEO: Hidden Vucevic

MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Update 2)


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s that time of year when we have to ask, are you strong enough to be our man?

MUSCLEWATCH season is upon is, and we are nearing the time when we declare a champion. Kyle Lowry and Andrew Bogut seem to be frontrunners, with no true winner decided as of yet.

But first, before we get to the muscles, what, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? Basically, it began decades ago when my friend Matt and I noticed our local paper would always report that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the off-season. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but it always seemed to be “15 pounds of muscle.” So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. Eventually, MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the “15 pounds of muscle” and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thaddeus Young and Rudy Gay.

And remember, MUSCLEWATCH cannot be successful without your help. The most effective way to let us here at MUSCLEWATCH HQ know if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news is to tweet and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

Let’s go!

• As we learned this week, MUSCLEWATCH can be divisive. Our friend(?) Tas Melas from NBATV’s “The Starters” announced in the clip above that he was done with MUSCLEWATCH, sadly, before eventually relenting and halfheartedly announcing he was back in. SMH.

I guess our favorite member of “The Starters” needs to be Trey Kerby, who reported his own MUSCLEWATCH update a few weeks ago. MUSCLEWATCH salutes you, Taco Trey!

• For many NBA players, keeping weight on is just as hard as adding weight, considering how much running they do throughout the course of a season. In this article about Hawks big man Mike Muscala, he details his daily eating schedule during the season. Don’t forget to eat your breakfast!

• We may need to consider some sort of lifetime MUSCLEWATCH achievement award for Mike Conley, who didn’t actually gain any muscle, but did get a weight room named after him at his alma mater, Ohio State. That’s got to be worth something, right?

• We’re still looking on an exact number of weight lost from Kyle Lowry, who clearly dropped a lot but has thus far refused to give an exact amount. Lowry has looked amazing in the preseason, averaging 30 points a game, so obviously it’s working.

Can we do some detective work? Last season Lowry was listed at 205 pounds, and this year he’s being listed at 196. He certainly looks as though he lost more than 9 pounds, but maybe that’s just because he’s not seven feet tall. I was considering Lowry a front-runner for a MUSCLEWATCH title, but perhaps that was just all the MUSCLEWATCH in my eyes.

• As we mentioned before, Andrew Bogut lost 22 pounds by cutting out processed sugar. Now he’s leading fast breaks and pulling dribbling tricks…

• Orlando’s Aaron Gordon is back from a broken jaw, but he lost 10 pounds while on a liquid diet.

• Nets big man Cory Jefferson has added the magic “15 pounds of muscle”!! Congrats, CJ…

• Does Kawhi Leonard belong in MUSCLEWATCH? Perhaps we will never know.

• Also a few vague updates on a couple of Knicks players. We need details!!

Zach LaVine has added 10 pounds. Couldn’t find five more, huh?

Jason Williams is still awesome to watch

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERJason Williams played about a dozen years in the NBA, and the man called “White Chocolate” was always known for his incredible ballhandling ability. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2011, but we seen in occasional viral videos of J-Will playing pick-up ball that he’ can still make defenders look silly.

This latest video is about five minutes of fun, featuring Williams in the Orlando pro-am league (with a few cameos from other NBA players) showing off all the stuff that made him a crowd favorite throughout his career. Williams may be 39 years old, but some of the stuff on this video is just awesome…

VIDEO: Williams Orlando

Chris Paul vs. Elfrid Payton…in football?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players spend their offseason working out in all different ways, including, sometimes, not playing basketball, and instead turning to other sports to get their cross-fit on.

Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Clippers point guard Chris Paul recently met up to work out, and ended up on a football field. Turns out, both of them are better on the offensive end of things. Here’s Payton giving Paul and out-and-up route, then leaning out to make a one-handed catch…

VIDEO: Payton v Paul

And in response, here’s Paul putting a stop-and-go on Payton, before going long…

Hot route on @e__payton after workouts this morning! #D1Sports

A video posted by Chris Paul (@cp3) on

Victor Oladipo dunks on Marcellus Wiley

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMarcellus Wiley played defensive tackle in the NFL for 10 seasons, so the man obviously knows a few things about how to stop someone coming at him with the ball. But for whatever reason, Wiley seems to struggle when it comes to stopping basketball players. Zach LaVine threw down on him a few weeks ago, and then yesterday, Victor Oladipo put Wiley on a poster with a windmill jam…

Victor Oladipo debuts the Magic Fit Shuffle

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo has always been upfront about his love for singing, but apparently dancing is his jam, as well. In this video from the Orlando Magic, Oladipo teams up with a collection of people, including former Magic forward Bo Outlaw, who apparently can get down as well, to debut the Magic Fit Shuffle…

VIDEO: Magic Fit Shuffle

2015 NBA Summer League Marathon

7:02 a.m. ET — Here we go again. It’s that time of year when the stars are aligned, when the moon is in its proper season, and when, for one glorious day, we get a full day of live NBA action. That’s right, it’s the day when the Orlando Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League overlap, when we get almost 17 consecutive hours of live NBA action. Like we’ve done a few times in the past, I’ll be here live-blogging along all day. Well, almost all day.

First up! We get the final games of the Orlando Summer League, and the day’s action will build to something of a crescendo tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET with what should be a great primetime match-up of 2015 lottery picks, as D’Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers will take on Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just for the heck of it, after that game we get an NBA Finals rematch, as the Cavs’ and Warriors’ summer league teams will square off at 10:30 PM ET.

So settle in, get your popcorn ready (or your oatmeal or cereal or whatever appropriate breakfast foods you prefer) and let’s watch some basketball! I’ll be checking in throughout the day, up until tonight, when my shift ends at 5 p.m. and I’m replaced by some fresh fingers here on the live blog to carry you through the evening hours.

Leading off the morning, we have the Clippers against the Thunder at 8 a.m. ET on NBA TV, in is the battle for fifth place in Orlando. You have questions? Comments? Thoughts? Drop them in the comments below and let’s talk. Either way, we’ve got a marathon ahead of us. Let’s watch some NBA Summer League action. See ya again here in about an hour or so …

7:28 a.m. ET — So what should you be watching for when Summer League play gets rolling in Las Vegas tonight? We’re glad you asked …

Jason Williams (still) making defenders look just plain silly

By Jeff Case

Last time we wrote about former NBA lottery pick, NBA champion and ball-handling phenom Jason Williams in this space, it was two years ago when he was making guys look silly in a league in China. He’s back this time thanks to a highlight reel of his moves at a pro-am in Orlando, where he’s once again diming, dribbling and scoring like he did during his NBA glory days (and doing so at 39 years old, mind you) …