ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The San Antonio Spurs organization is known for taking a no-nonsense approach to basketball: They win and they go home. Or! Maybe they win and then head to their local karaoke bar, where, say, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw grab a couple of mics and croon a version of The Fugees’ cover of “Killing Me Softly.” There’s nothing soft about the Spurs’ version. Take it to the bridge, Patty… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We saw last week that “Bazemoring” was officially a thing, but it’s not the only thing. Reactions from the bench during NBA games are a crucial part of the game. From Kent Bazemore‘s poses to Patty Mills‘ towel-waving, even if they’re not between the lines getting buckets, bench guys can play an important role in keeping the spirits of their teammates elevated.
The NBA’s official YouTube channel just dropped this supercut of the best bench reactions of the season, highlighting the work of some players who may have otherwise been overlooked… -
Most mornings I wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, angry that my sleep has been interrupted and cursing myself for getting to bed so late, but not this morning. Today I awoke to the sound of a text message, an alert from my partner in crime Sekou Smith that while I was sawing logs, the one and only Patty Cakes, aka Australia’s Patrick Mills, had hit a game-winning buzzer-beater (scroll to about 1:36:30 to watch it all unfold) against Russia in Olympic play earlier today and it was time to wind up the Horry Scale machine. Ask Sekou, and you shall receive.
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 Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.
How does Pat Stacks stack up? Let’s take a look.
This shot reminds me a lot of Kevin Love‘s “Are you not entertained?” game-winner over the Clippers from last season. The shot itself is fairly easy (a mostly straight-on 3-pointer), but the credit for that goes to the excellent screen set by Matthew Dellavadova that frees Mills for the open look. Russia gets two defenders over to try to harass, but it’s too late — the ball is out and the ballgame is over.
Russia leads Australia 80-79 thanks to Vitaliy Fridzon‘s free throws with 4.1 seconds left. There is some time to work with, but the Aussies trail so there is no margin for error if they want to pull out the win.
The game actually had little chance of affecting the positioning for either team in the knockout stage, as Australia clinched a quarterfinal bid with a win over Great Britain on Saturday and Russia was previously undefeated and through as well. In fact, either way the Aussies will most likely take on the U.S. in the quarters pending Team USA’s game against Argentina later on Monday, so this could be the last celebration the ‘Roos.
This has been an excellent tournament for Mills, who re-signed with the Spurs earlier this summer, and set the tournament high with 39 points against GB. I love his reaction here. As the crowd erupts and his teammates race to mob him, Mills triumphantly walks down the court with one fist raised in the air.
4 Horrys. I got chastised by Horry himself during our NBA TV segment for judging these things too harshly, so I’ll take his advice on this one. The shot was well executed, the celebration was great, and Australia trailed at the time. Even though the stakes were low given that both teams had already qualified to move on, come on — it’s the Olympics. The importance of everything is elevated.