Posts Tagged ‘Rick Carlisle’

Horry Scale: Dirk Does It


VIDEO: Dirk’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Juuuust when you thought we were out, they go and pull us back in. The season may be just past the halfway mark, but our record-setting pace is continuing, as tonight Dirk Nowitzki did his dagger-shooting thing to beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

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 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, 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 inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

We all clear? OK, let’s break this shot down…

DIFFICULTY
I feel like this is the part of this play that will be most overlooked. Yes, it was just a jump shot, and as far as play designs go, it wasn’t exactly the most complex play Rick Carlisle has ever inked out. But man was that a hard shot. I mean, if Carmelo Anthony was any closer to Dirk he could have untied his shoes. Dallas got the ball in to Dirk at top of key with the score tied at 108 and just 7.3 seconds left to play. Dirk caught the ball with his back to the basket, singled up against ‘Melo. Using his left foot as a pivot, Dirk rotated a full 360 degrees while ‘Melo sniped at the ball. He finally dribbled one time with his left hand, and jabbed his right foot forward just a bit to create a few inches of space. And with Carmelo basically chest-to-chest, Dirk raised up and released that textbook jump shot over ‘Melo with just under 2 seconds remaining. The ball hit the glass, the front of the rim, popped up into the air, and then gently settled back into the bucket. Again, not the most aesthetically pleasing play, but good grief what a tough shot.

GAME SITUATION
This was perhaps an even tougher pill for Knicks fans to swallow because of the game situation. After being a mostly back-and-forth affair all evening, the Mavs seized the lead down the stretch. But give the Knicks credit for clawing back, mostly behind 44 points from ‘Melo. Down 6 with 1:12 to play, the Knicks got a three-point play from Chandler, a steal, and a three from Melo to tie the game at 108. Dallas had won 9 of 12 coming in, including two straight on the road. With the Knicks still clinging to hopes of getting into the playoffs, tonight was the kind of game they really had to win. To lose on a shot that bounced all over the rim before dropping in must be tough. But then, the Knicks have been on the other side of a similar situation before, right Allan Houston?


VIDEO: Knicks beat Heat in 1999 playoffs

CELEBRATION
Dirk seemed to mostly keep his cool, because this ain’t Dirk’s first time at the big shot rodeo. I loved the way Jose Calderon took off on a sprint up the court as the shot went through, and he grabbed Dirk in a bear hug to celebrate. Also, of late I’ve tried to incorporate fan reaction into the ratings, and Knicks fans did not disappoint, as you can see several of them with their hands to their heads in the background as the shot drops through.

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And here’s a better look at some fan reactions to Dirk’s shot (h/t netw3rk & Kyle Weidie)

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GRADE
So it may not have been the best play design, but it was still a tough shot. It may not have been the most momentous game, or the most spirited reaction, but all together it was a pretty good play. So I’m going to go with three Horrys for this one…

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Dirk Nowitzki’s GWBB?

Horry Scale: Monta Is Money


VIDEO: Monta Ellis GWBB

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I can not tell a lie: It has been a season of highs and lows here at Horry Scale Central. We began the season with three Game-Winning Buzzer-Beaters within seven days, a flurry of activity to make even the most jaded NBA watcher’s head twirl. This required me to write three Horry Scale posts in succession, which turned out to be a controversial endeavor. Folks weren’t happy with my rating of the Jeff Green GWBB, which kept me up very late at night, triggering some difficult and genuine soul searching, at least as far as you know. Since then I have perhaps tried to overcorrect with some of my other ratings, a maneuver that has in no small part generated its own share of controversy, and which has caused something of an existential Horry Scale crisis.

But I digress. 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 the lovely Pacific Northwest. Let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Monta Ellis

DIFFICULTY
Monta Ellis has made tougher shots in his career, probably even in this game. This was basically a catch-and-shoot on a curl coming around a screen, a shot Ellis has taken thousands of times in his life. And Ellis made a clean catch, swung around the screen, and had a wide open look at the basket. And yes, he drained the shot, so kudos to him. To me the most interesting thing on this play was that the Blazers did not switch defenders on the screen. In the NBA, for the most part defenders always switch on picks in the last few seconds of a game, and particularly on an inbounds play. This is not only easy for the players on the floor to remember, in a more general sense it means defenders are always running at the ball when there are only seconds to play. But as Ellis came around the series of screens, Portland’s Wesley Matthews tried to stay with him, with no real help waiting for him. (As my main man Ben Golliver reports on Blazers Edge, Portland had decided before the play to only switch guard-on-guard screens. Dallas’ other guard on the floor was Jose Calderon, who was inbounding the ball, so the Blazers all knew there would effectively be no switching.) By the time Ellis caught the pass, curled around the pick from DaJuan Blair and popped free at the top of the key, Portland’s best defensive option may have been LaMarcus Aldridge, who was flat-footed about six feet away from Ellis. Matthews made a last-second swipe at the ball from behind while trying to recover, but he couldn’t make a difference.

GAME SITUATION
What you don’t see in the clip above is the clutch three-pointer Lillard made to tie the game with 1.9 seconds remaining. That play was set up by a Dallas turnover from, you guessed it, Monta Ellis. So in many ways this GWBB was about redemption for Monta. Still, once Dallas got the ball with the game tied, it seemed like it would probably be Dirk Nowitzki time, right? Even in the video above, as the Mavs line up for the play, you can hear Portland analyst Mike Rice note, “Watch [DaJuan] Blair set a pick for either Vince Carter or Dirk.” So Dallas coach Rick Carlisle using the situation to run a play for Ellis was not only in retrospect a wise choice, it was crafty, as well.

IMPORTANCE
This was big on both sides. The Blazers had been riding a four-game winning streak, and had amassed eight straight wins at home. The crowd in Portland, which is always among the best in sports, was rowdy and sold out, twenty-thousand strong. The Mavs, meanwhile, after an offseason that was quieter than most expected, have been something of a mild surprise this season, bobbing along a couple of games above .500. Any road win in the NBA is a good thing, but a road win over the best team in the Conference is always a great thing.

CELEBRATION
The Mavs seemed really fired up by Ellis’ shot, surrounding him and grabbing him. Also, I’m pretty sure someone ran off the Dallas bench and hit Ellis with a large cushion at about the 19-second mark of the video. I particularly enjoyed this facet of the celebration: The cushion bash needs to become a regular part of post-shot celebrations.

If nothing else, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was jacked up about it…

GRADE
I think we can all agree that the degree of difficulty wasn’t through the roof, at least just as a jump shot, in a bubble. But all the other parts of this play — Ellis’ earlier turnover, Lillard’s game-tying three moments earlier, Portland’s home win streak, Dallas’ execution on the final play — give added weight to the play. This is one of those situations where I wish we had half-Horrys to award, because I really feel like this is a 3.5 Horry Play. Should I round up or down? That’s another discussion for another day. In this case, I’m going with four Horrys, because for me the post-shot cushion bash lifts it from three to four…

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That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give the Monta Ellis game-winner?

Rick Carlisle Debuts Gregg Popovich Impression

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Heading into the fourth quarter of last night’s Mavs/Rockets game, ESPN’s Chris Broussard had a couple of questions for Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. Unfortunately for Broussard, this was also the exact moment that Carlisle decided to break out his Gregg Popovich impression…
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VIDEO: Carlisle Does Popovich Impression

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Jared Cunningham




By Jared Cunningham, Dallas Mavericks
January 8, 2013
New Year, New Opportunities

This year has gotten off to a great start! I was playing in the D-League with the Texas Legends for a couple weeks last month, and I found out at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 31 that the Dallas Mavericks had just recalled me. The Legends GM called me to say it was time to go back to the Mavs, and that I needed to be at the gym for practice that morning. That was a great phone call!

When I got to the gym, a lot of people had smiles on their faces. Dahntay Jones even said, “I missed you, rook!” It was a happy moment. I went with the team that afternoon to play Washington. A few of us went out to dinner for New Year’s Eve, and then we got a great win against the Wizards the next day. For us to get that win, it was a great start for our team’s new year.

Things are great. I came back to the team feeling more comfortable handling the ball and making my teammates better. I think the coaches have seen that in me. Getting recalled right before the first of the month, when the New Year hit, really gave me a fresh start to get focused and ready to play with the Mavs. I’m working on my all-around game, learning every day, developing into a better player and taking advice from our team’s veterans.

Vince Carter talks to me a lot and points out things to help me get better. He’s been in this league a long time, and he tells me to fight through adversity. My assistant coach Darrell Armstrong has helped me out a lot, too. It’s been great having two other rookies, Jae Crowder and Bernard James, as teammates, too. We are all in different situations — some playing, some not — but at the end of the day, we are all working hard together.

I don’t really have a New Year’s resolution, but I told myself that I’d come back to the Mavs with a lot of energy and help my team win. I’m really glad to be back with the team.

D-League Experience

I’ll tell you a little bit about my D-League experience, which was really great for me. On Dec. 11, I was ready to leave for a Mavs road trip – bags packed and everything – and when I got to practice, my agent called. He told me I’d be going to the Texas Legends, which is in Frisco, about 30 minutes from Dallas. At first, I was really in disbelief. My agent told me it would be an opportunity for me to get back in shape and play basketball. I knew it would be a new challenge to play with guys I didn’t know in a different environment.

I ended up playing over 30 minutes a game (for seven games), and got to run the point guard position that I should be playing in the future. I had some good teammates looking out for me and trying to help me succeed. It was a lot of pressure, but I had to stay confident and in the right frame of mind. I kept telling myself that I needed to take advantage of the opportunity, go hard and go back to what I know I can do. I talked to my family a lot during that time, and also to my agent. He kept telling me that my time would come and to take advantage of the opportunity to get in shape and get up and down the floor.

During one of the Legends home games, Coach Carlisle came out to Frisco on a Mavs day off to watch me play. That meant a lot to me because I knew they cared about wanting me to grow and develop as a player. Seeing Coach there made me play even harder and focus even more.

The D-League was a good experience for me, but it was definitely different than the NBA. The first couple days I drove about 30 minutes back and forth from Dallas to Frisco. Then I decided to stay in a hotel with some other players from the Legends team so I didn’t have to drive that much. In the NBA, you fly on a charter plane. In the D-League, you fly commercial and take a lot of buses.

It was a very humbling experience and made me realize how fortunate I am to be in the NBA.

Christmas Break

It was a great thing when the Legends coach said we had time off for a few days during Christmas. I caught the first plane to home to Oakland to spend Christmas with my family. We opened a couple presents on Christmas Eve; they were very happy to have me there. And it was very beneficial for me to have fun with my family for a couple days.

I hope you are having a great start to the year! Find out how things are going for me on Twitter @J1Flight and on Instagram at J1Flight.

Jared Cunningham, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oregon State, was the 24th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs later traded him to the Dallas Mavericks.