Posts Tagged ‘Pero Antic’

Eric Bledsoe draws foul, gets ejected

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — So here’s something you don’t see every day. During last night’s Suns/Hawks game, Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe was leading a fast break when he got slowed down by a foul from Hawks big man Pero Antic. But then, before he could even go to the free throw line, Bledsoe was ejected. As he said later in the Arizona Republic, “I said something else that was inappropriate,” said Bledsoe, who had nine points, five assists and five turnovers in 26 minutes. We were struggling. I don’t know what it was. We just got a little frustrated. We just weren’t in it. We’ve been struggling since the break. Trades just happen.”


VIDEO: Bledsoe tossed

Horry Scale: All Al


VIDEO: Horford’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s a good thing we put the Horry Scale on wheels a few months ago, because we’ve now had to break it out two weekends in a row. Tonight, Al Horford answered his former Hawks teammate Joe Johnson’s overtime game-winner from a few weeks back with an overtime GWBB of his own.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain: 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.

With the rules in place, Today we turn our tired eyes to my dear departed hometown, the ATL shawty, and let’s check out tonight’s game-winner from Al Horford…

DIFFICULTY
I think this was supposed to be a play for Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who ran off three screens on the wing but couldn’t find room to get the ball. (A Hawks source told me they hadn’t seen the Hawks use that set all season.) With Korver covered, Horford cut toward the basket, and Hawks big man Pero Antic lobbed it high and far. Horford made a terrific play creating space by keeping Washington’s Trevor Booker an arm’s length away as he drifted back, like a wide receiver making space to catch a pass. Once he made the catch, the shot itself wasn’t all that difficult — the kind of jumper Horford hits with regularity. As a rookie, Horford was consistently left open for shots like this because he wasn’t nearly as good a shooter as he’s developed into. These days Horford is essentially money out to 17 feet — as long as he has room to get the shot off — banging in those flat-footed jumpers.

GAME SITUATION
The Hawks led throughout the second half and were up by 15 in the fourth before finding themselves down two with seconds to play in regulation. Horford made two free throws with 5.5. seconds remaining in order to tie the game and prep it for overtime. When Horford hit the game-winner, the score was tied at 99 and the clock racing to zero. But the 1.8 second left when Horford made the catch gave him plenty of time to get the shot off, and just a short enough time frame to not allow the Wizards a touch once the ball went through the net. (Which also required me to write this post at 1:13 AM. Thanks Al!)

CELEBRATION
The more Horry Scale posts I’ve penned, the more GWBB I’ve examined, the more I’ve realized that when it comes to celebration, it’s not always only about the players celebrating. Yes, the Hawks players are pumped up and they respond to Horford’s shot with the requisite jumping around, but what elevates the celebration — any celebration, really — is the participation of those uninvolved with the actual game. In this case, I loved seeing Harry the Hawk sprinting down the court to get involved, and in a few camera angles you see several fans along the sideline leaping up and down.

GRADE
The more I think about these GWBB, I’m not sure how I would ever give a game-winning shot a one or two rating. These are big moments, big shots, and I don’t feel like we can rate anyone’s big shot as less than average. That said, I’m going with three on this shot. It wasn’t much of a shot from a technical standpoint, but the celebration helps, as does the game being in overtime. So I say three.

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What say you? How many Horrys would you give Al Horford’s game-winning buzzer beater?

Welcome To The NBA: Pero Antic

No matter how well a rookie plays in his first season, there invariably comes a moment where he gets somewhat humbled on the court by an NBA veteran. Here at All Ball, we’ll do our best all season to keep track of these moments, which we’re calling “Welcome to the NBA” …

By Jeff Case

At 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Macedonian-born rookie Pero Antic of the Atlanta Hawks is literally one of the biggest rookies in the league this year. In a preseason interview with Hawks.com, Antic told the website how he hoped to model his game after that of his All-Star frontcourt teammate, Al Horford. He may need to huddle up with Horford, though, after he got his official NBA welcome the other night in Denver.

Antic was out at the 3-point line hoisting up a deep 3-point jumper with about 5 minutes left in the first quarter. Keep in mind that Horford has attempted just seven 3-pointers in his career. Antic is never going to be an exact replica of Horford … he’s his own man and player and will carve out whatever role he can in the NBA. But the 31-year-old rookie will probably think twice about a slow-release 3-pointer the next time Denver is in town.

Back to Antic’s moment … that 3-pointer gets swatted by the Nuggets’ J.J. Hickson, who then takes it the length of the court for a breakaway two-handed jam.


VIDEO: Pero Antic gets his 3-pointer swatted by J.J. Hickson

We’ve got three rookies on our list now: Antic, the Bulls’ Tony Snell and the Magic’s Victor Oladipo. Who will be next?