Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix Suns’

Horry Scale: Bucks finally get a beater


VIDEO: Khris Middleton gets the friendly roll to drop Suns

The Bucks are off to a better-than-expected start to this season, and just imagine if they weren’t on the wrong side of a pair of buzzer beaters. In the season opener, the Hornets’ Kemba Walker made not one, but two beaters — at the end of regulation for the tie and in OT for the win — and then Monta Ellis dropped a stunner a few weeks ago.

Well, the last shot finally belonged to Khris Middleton and Milwaukee in a thrilling win Tuesday in Phoenix, when the teams combined to score eight points in the final dizzying 23 seconds. Markieff Morris (25 points in a terrific game) made a layup, followed by a Brandon Knight jumper, followed by a Morris jumper from the free throw line with four seconds left, setting up the dramatics.

This was another solid showing by the Bucks who, after losing five out of six, beat the Clippers and now are above .500 after the first of a four-game Western swing.

DIFFICULTY

The Bucks did the old give-and-go, with Middletown inbounding the ball to Jared Dudley, then getting it back. Middleton had a rather decent look at the rim from 28 feet and, with precious seconds ticking, took the open 3. The ball skidded off the rim, then kissed off the backboard before falling in at the buzzer. It wasn’t the prettiest, but when did style points ever gout when the game’s on the line?

GAME SITUATION

The Bucks and Suns played a fairly tight second half and the basket-swapping in the game’s final half-minute was fun to watch. Interestingly, the Suns looked for Morris, whose offensive game is growing steadily, and he responded. Even more interesting: Phoenix was ready to inbounds the ball with 4 seconds left but quickly called timeout when the Suns’ defense proved to be alert. Jason Kidd drew up a completely different play and instead of using Knight as the inbounds passer, switched to Middleton.

IMPORTANCE

The Bucks are testing the always dangerous West Coast waters and so far, so good for a team that’s trying to see where it stands and how much further it needs to go. The only blight on the victory over the Suns was a knee injury to rookie Jabari Parker, who had to be carried off the floor. Fortunately, it was initially diagnosed as a sprain. Meanwhile, Phoenix is one of those West teams that sure wishes it played in the East.

CELEBRATION

As you might have expected, there was joy from a Bucks’ team that had lost a pair of games to buzzer beaters this season. Middleton was mobbed at mid court by the bench and then the players sprinted off the floor while the shot was being replayed by officials. The Bucks didn’t care. They already knew the result.

GRADE

The execution by the Bucks was solid and Middleton’s shot was sure, although it did require some friendly bounces off the rim and glass. We’ll give it three Horrys.

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Russell Westbrook out-jumps a seven-footer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We know Russell Westbrook is one of the most athletic, explosive guards in the NBA today. But sometimes it’s hard to get a handle on just how incredible that athleticism is. There was a pretty good example, however, in the Thunder’s win yesterday over the Phoenix Suns. Westbrook, who is listed at 6-3, faced off for a jump ball against the 7-1 Alex Len. And yeah, I know we can parse this play and say Westbrook may not have technically “won” the tip — i.e. the ball didn’t go exactly the way Westbrook was trying to tip it — but at the very least it’s clear that Westbrook was right there with Len meeting the ball at its apex. Impressive either way…


VIDEO: Westbrook tip

Horry Scale: Blake’s lucky bounce


VIDEO: Blake’s bouncing winner

In the history of lucky basketball bounces, none can touch Don Nelson‘s late shot in Game 7 of the 1969 Finals, helping the Celtics secure their 11th title. The ball hit back rim, went straight up and then dropped through the basket and into the hearts of the Lakers.

That happened at the Forum, which is now closed. But roughly 25 minutes from that site (or 30, depending on L.A. freeway traffic), Blake Griffin had a similar brush with lucky fate when he put the final touch on a 121-120 overtime Clippers win over the Suns in what could be the No. 1 thriller of the NBA season thus far.

The contest was what you’d expect from a pair of high-scoring teams that love to play freestyle, free-wheeling basketball. The guard-heavy Suns thrive in the open floor and the Clippers, blessed with point guard Chris Paul, favor the fast break as well. The contest was back-and-forth all night, and five extra minutes were tacked on after regulation. As a fan at Staples Center, could you ask for anything more?

Well, yes. A Clippers victory. Which was in doubt until Griffin took an inbounds pass from Paul with the Clippers down a pair and the clock ticking.

But we’ll get to the winning sequence in a minute. First, about Griffin. He had a monster night with 45 points, two shy of his career high. If these teams meet in the playoffs, the Suns might want to watch video of this game (minus the last few seconds) and figure how to keep Griffin from getting to the line (he made 15 of 17 free throws) and how to keep a body on him.

OK, on to the details.

DIFFICULTY

After taking the inbounds pass from Paul, Griffin faked a pass back to Paul, then faced the basket, took a step-back and let it fly from the right elbow beyond the arc. The ball bounced off the rim, then the top of the glass, then fell in. He had to do all of that in 2.6 seconds, which he managed to pull off without a hitch. But not without a few bounces. Hey, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

GAME SITUATION

Blake was only in position to take that shot partly because Jamal Crawford was ejected for the first time in his career in the fourth quarter after arguing a foul call. Normally, Griffin would not get the ball to launch a 3-pointer; he’d attempted only nine all season prior to the shot. Also, the game went into overtime because Paul had his game-winning attempt blocked by Eric Bledsoe (27 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) at the fourth-quarter buzzer. Also, the Clippers had the ball because the Suns committed a shot-clock violation. Finally, with a foul to give, the Suns grabbed Griffin just before his game-winner. But instead of shooting while getting fouled, Griffin passed off. He could’ve put himself at the free-throw line with a chance to tie instead of the Clippers being forced to inbound the ball. But it turned out okay for him.

IMPORTANCE

The Clippers stumbled out of the gate to start the season, drawing the ire of coach Doc Rivers and perhaps having owner Steve Ballmer wonder what in the heck he was getting for his $2 billion. But all is well now. The Clippers have won eight straight and are clearly on the rise. Teams in the West have no choice but to see the vortex from L.A. heading their way (hint: It’s not the Lakers). It was the second straight loss for the Suns, whose only real issue is they don’t play in the East.

CELEBRATION

After the swish, er bounce, Griffin took off sprinting down the floor, followed quickly by Paul. As you might also might have expected, Staples was in bedlam. Speaking of Staples, Rivers said he wants the building to be a home-court advantage like it has been (or rather, was) for the Lakers. If the Clippers intend on playing like this, Rivers won’t have any reason to worry about the crowd or the noise level.

GRADE

Look, we realize Griffin got a little lucky. OK, a lot lucky. Still, the shot was the cherry on top of a tremendous performance for him, so we give it three Horrys.

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Why was Big Baby Davis so surprised?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Clippers/Suns game had a little bit of everything — comebacks, blocked shots, ejections, charges, dunks, even a Horry Scale entry (coming shortly!). How good a game was it? It was so wild that at one point in overtime, Clippers big man Big Baby Davis literally could not believe how great it was.

Davis was reacting to a call that he (obviously) didn’t agree with, but this reaction shot could apply to any number of things. Let us know in the comments, what do you think he was reacting to?

AdventurousNimbleGermanspitz

(via r/NBA)

Phoenix Suns hold awesome post-practice dunk contest

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Phoenix Suns have played an uptempo style of basketball the last few years, and one of the players who has perfectly fit their system has been Gerald Green. And while Green has developed into a nice all-around basketball player, his dunking ability has always drawn raves. Green has been in three NBA Slam Dunk contests, winning in 2007, and today after a Suns practice, he got into a dunk-off against Suns guard Archie Goodwin. Goodwin gave Green a run for his money, but Green seemed to show Goodwin who’s the boss…


VIDEO: Suns dunking

Backboard déjà vu


VIDEO: Gerald Green does it for self

We’ve seen Tracy McGrady put his creativity to use. Many times.

Vince Carter took it to another level.

Dwight Howard even added his own Superman touch to it.

And now, once again, Dunk HQ legend Gerald Green is writing a new chapter in the “Do It Yourself”, pass-off-the-backboard-for-a-slam manual.

This spur-of-the-moment play is nothing new for Green, who stunned the Blazers last season with something similar. This time, it’s the Magic who are the victim of Green’s “make a way out of no way” thought process.

Let the scouting report show: it’s probably best if opponents don’t let Green step through and around them at the right elbow.

Phoenix Suns just keep getting pranked

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Being a member of the Phoenix Suns is probably rewarding in many ways — you know, you’re on an NBA team! — but good grief, does this team seem to love pulling tricks on each other. If I was a member of the Suns I’d probably be walking around with my head on a swivel, waiting for the next prank. Maybe it’s a gorilla in a trash can, perhaps it’s a dinosaur running down a hall, or in their latest trick, what if it’s a snake in a cooler?


VIDEO: Snake cooler

(via B/R)

Jazz beat Suns in Donkey Kong

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Utah Jazz got their lone win of the early season on Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns. But they also scored a big win over the Suns in an animated mascot version of Donkey Kong…


VIDEO: Donkey Jazz

Goran Dragic and T-Rex scare Phoenix Suns

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Suns are pretty good about pulling pranks, as we’ve seen in the past — actually, a year ago today.

So to commemorate the new season, Suns point guard Goran Dragic got a baby T-Rex — well, a person in a baby T-Rex costume, presumably — and had them attack the Suns players and coaches as they entered the arena for practice. Suns owner Robert Sarver seems particularly shaken by the incident.


VIDEO: Dragic T-Rex

Ben McLemore is Sacto’s new pizza guy

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the joys of watching games via League Pass is seeing local commercials you might not otherwise come across. As such, it was fun last season watching Kings guard Isaiah Thomas star as the Pizza Guy.

But alas, Thomas left this summer and found a new home in Phoenix, meaning the coveted Pizza Guy slot in Sacramento was vacated. To fill it, the Pizza people looked no further than Ben McLemore, who apparently used to actually order the pizza.

And now he’s not just a customer, McLemore is the new pizza guy…


VIDEO: McLemore Pizza

(via HP)