Posts Tagged ‘Robert Horry’

Horry Scale: Johnson’s Dagger Wins It For Nets

VIDEO: Joe Johnson banks it in from beyond the arc as the buzzer sounds

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Admittedly, this was not the sort of scenario with which Robert Horry typically was associated. A fellow who became synonymous with clutch postseason shots would seem to have nothing in common with a pair of NBA cellar dwellers. The Denver Nuggets, in 11th place in the Western Conference, were in Brooklyn to take on the Nets, the East’s 14th place club. Combined, the team were 36 games under .500 when the night’s action began.

They remained 36 games underwater when the night was over (funny how the math works), but there was at least the drama of Joe Johnson, Brooklyn’s veteran sharpshooter, drilling a 3-pointer as time ran out to boost his club past Denver, 105-104.

That outcome might not have quickened Horry’s pulse the way it does when he polishes his seven NBA championship rings, but it did link him in another chapter of All-Ball’s Horry Scale. For those unfamiliar with the tradition, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation, importance and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, whom our own Fran Blinebury refers to as “the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.”

We’ve already made clear this was a pretty humdrum matchup between teams stuck in standings mud, though the Nuggets remain a cut above the dismal Nets. So we’ll focus on the remaining categories:

DIFFICULTY: The clock was not Joe Johnson’s friend, and neither was his location on the floor. Only 1.3 seconds remained when teammate Merkel Brown inbounded the ball. Johnson had broke to the top from down in the paint, his defender, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari, trailing a step or so behind. Johnson took the pass, had time for a quick rhythm dribble and one step to his left, then launched from 27 feet. The ball banged in off the glass, a nice touch but hardly flukey. Johnson is a professional gunner, after all, and has hit similar shots hundreds of times, if not always as buzzer-beaters.

GAME SITUATION:  There had been some drama here late in an otherwise lackluster game. Brook Lopez‘s work under the rim had tied it 102-102 with more than a minute left, and then Denver missed two long jumpers while Brooklyn had only a turnover (nice steal by Nuggets guard Gary Harris) to show for most of the final minute. A 50-50 ball had forced a jump between Kenneth Faried and Lopez that the Nuggets won. Then, with 4.7 seconds left, Denver inbounded to Faried, who bolted toward the basket and launched a running jumper from about six feet. That had the Nuggets up 104-102 with first 0.9 seconds left, adjusted via replay to 1.3.

CELEBRATION: Johnson looked happy, a nice in-the-moment reaction to what generally has been a bummer season for the seven-time All-Star. He is shooting just 40 percent, is scoring at his lowest rate (12.4 points per 36 minutes) since his 2001-02 rookie season and has bandied about the “buyout” word as a way to exit the Nets gracefully while preserving what’s left on his $24.9 million salary for this season. There was an announced crowd of 13,043 on hand at Barclays Center to witness Johnson’s bank shot. And yes, that was Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov caught by the cameras, in a luxury suite high above the court, high-fiving his guests.

GRADE:  The shot was sweet in a season short on highlights for Brooklyn, but the blah backdrop – two teams headed nowhere, unrepresented in the All-Star Game next Sunday in Toronto – was too much to lift this one beyond two Horrys.


Stephen Curry trains for the Three-Point Shootout

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night the participants were announced for the upcoming NBA All-Star Saturday, which includes the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout. As expected, Golden State’s Stephen Curry is one of the participants. Curry is one of the best outside shooters in the NBA, but he’s somehow never won a Three-Point Shootout at All-Star Weekend. So rather than sit back and wait for another chance to fail, Curry decided to get in some practice with the help of Foot Locker, Robert Horry, Tim Legler, Steph’s Dad and a 10-year-old girl. He only loses once…

VIDEO: Curry Threes

Horry Scale: J.R. Silences Bobcats

by Zettler Clay IV

Ladies and gentlemen, the Horry Scale has gotten more crowded.

On Wednesday night, the Knicks traveled to Charlotte to face the hard-playing Bobcats. With 3.4 seconds left, J.R. Smith took the inbounds pass at the top of the key and made his move left. He steps back and — with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all over the shot — nails another chance of a Bobcats upset this season.

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 Kings-Pistons game?), and celebration, and gives it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, who is kind of the patron saint of last-second daggers.

How does Mr. Smith’s shot Wednesday night stack up? Let’s take a look.


By J.R. Smith’s standards, this wasn’t that difficult of a shot. This isn’t to say it was an easy shot, but anybody who has seen Smith play has seen him hit more improbable shots. Rookie Kidd-Gilchrist did everything he could to send the game into overtime, coming this close to getting a finger on the shot. Perhaps the most taxing part of the play for Smith was his statline prior. Anytime a player is shooting 5-15 and you ask him to nail a game-winner on the road and he does it, a tremendous amount of focus was used. No matter who was guarding him.

Game Situation

Game knotted at 98. 3.4 seconds remaining. A miss simply sends the game into overtime.


What a difference a season makes, for the Knicks and J.R. Smith. The Knicks boast the best record in the East, with a showdown against the Heat tomorrow. Smith has similarly undergone a metamorphosis of sorts, crediting a more hermit-like off-court existence for his improved play. Case in point: Smith passed up a chance to put Knicks up by dribbling the ball back out on a 2-on-1 fastbreak after a steal. If this was a season ago, it’s a good chance Smith goes for the win here. But this is a new season. New York promptly called a timeout to set up the final shot.

Why was J.R. taking this shot instead of Carmelo Anthony? ‘Melo sat out the final two minutes because of an injured right hand (after diving for a loose ball). Smith stepped into the primary playmaker role and executed, despite a terrible shooting game (1-9 from 3-point land).


A stone-faced Smith stood erect on the sideline as teammates came mobbing. He didn’t break stare. It was a mild enough celebration that evoked memories of Barry Sanders immediately giving the ref the football after a 27-yard TD run. In many ways, the celebration encapsulates the Knicks season so far: gritty and focused. Even Rasheed Wallace got in on the act.


3 Horrys. This was an early season matchup between the Bobcats and Knicks (a game that just screams marquee matchup). However, it was an entertaining affair, with a charging ‘Cats team itching to build a rep and a high-profile New York team looking to prove they are more than hype.

J.R. Smith knocked down a shot (the stepback) that he’s made a living on for nine NBA seasons, but this is the first time the shot went in with game-winning implications. The biggest takeaway was his calm and total disregard of early-game shooting woes. As Horry would appreciate, the mental fortitude needed to step up like this on the road can’t be ignored. It’s another indication of improving times for the mercurial guard.

What sayeth you?

10 Years Ago, Robert Horry Hit The Shot That Inspired A Certain Scale

by Micah Hart

10 years ago today on May 26, 2002, “Big Shot Bob” himself, Robert Horry, hit the shot that would one day inspire what some* would call the defining way to measure a game-winning buzzer-beater:

*Well, one person

Happy anniversary Robert — I promise to grade shots in the lane harder in the future.

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A Look Back: Best Horry Scale Moments From 2011-12

by Micah Hart

This was pretty fun — joined the GameTime pregame show before Wednesday night’s games to break down the season’s best Horry Scale moments, with the scale’s patron saint himself there to critique my grades:

The prevailing thought amongst Robert Horry, Kevin Martin, and Dennis Scott was that I judged too harshly this season, which is amusing because most emails I received from the fans seemed to suggest I was too lenient. Guess you can’t please everyone!

Here is my final ranking of this year’s six Horry Scale recipients – how would you rank them?

6. Derrick Rose beats Milwaukee — This low because I hate seeing a PG of his caliber settle for a long jumper.
5. Luke Ridnour beats Utah — Difficult floater, but no resistance from the Jazz defense.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge beats Dallas — Aldridge sure does make this look easy.
3. Luol Deng beats Toronto — Only tip-in of the season, Bulls trailed by 1.
2. Kevin Love beats L.A. Clippers — Perhaps in hindsight should have graded higher, especially coming in in the city where he played his college ball.
1. Kevin Durant beats Dallas — Set the bar high the first week of the season and was never topped. The ball barely touches the net from almost 30 feet!

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: A reminder folks, the shot has to beat the buzzer to be considered. As great as Jeremy Lin’s shot to beat the Raptors was, there were still tenths of a second left on the clock. Doesn’t qualify. A man’s gotta have a code…

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Heating up the Frye-ing pan

by Zettler Clay

Who in the basketball world is hotter than Channing Frye? In the span of a month, he went from receiving a pleasant tap to becoming the latest reincarnation of Robert Horry.

Yesterday was Exhibit A.

Tonight was Exhibit B.

Wanna know the coolest part about all this? He doesn’t seem the least bit surprised in either scenario.

Arron Afflalo, how do you rate on the Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

Give it up to TNT’s schedulers.  Two straight weeks with GWBBs on a Thursday night game — one more and people are going to start thinking we’re the WWE or something.

When I woke up this morning and heard the Nuggets had won on a last-second shot, I assumed Carmelo Anthony had the honors. Or Chauncey Billups. Or J.R. Smith. But no, the Nuggets snapped the Mavericks’ 10-game winning streak courtesy of Arron Afflalo, which may seem surprising. But given that he scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter last night, it makes sense that Denver would consider feeding the hot hand. Afflalo’s quietly become quite an impact player in Denver this season, hasn’t he?

Before we get to the breakdown, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a new addition the Horry Scale breakdown — a comment from Big Shot Bob himself, as he was nice enough to give his take on Afflalo’s game-winner.

Horry’s take: “First and foremost I have to give it up to Afflalo for having the guts to take the shot. Chauncey was covered pretty well on the play so he had to give it up, and Arron made himself available. The shot itself wasn’t that difficult, I give it like a 3 — he makes a nice move on the defender and goes left, which is the way most shooters like to go if you’re right-handed.

It’s the first game-winner of Afflalo’s career, so I give him credit for that.”

* * *

How awesome is that? We hope to get Horry’s thoughts on each GWBB from here on out. Now let’s get onto the breakdown.

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  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.

The full investigation after the jump:


Kevin Durant, how do you rate on the Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

Before we get into the nitty gritty details, I must make one correction to the Internet this morning. I’ve seen it written in several places that this was the first GWBB of Kevin Durant‘s career, but that is a falsity. I know, because I was there.

Early in KD’s rookie season, before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, (sorry to bring up painful memories, Seattle fans), the Sonics came to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. In a double-OT game, Durant hit a long turnaround three to give Seattle a 126-123 win. In fact (consults Internet), here it is:

So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the specifics of last night’s heroics.

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  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.

Let’s investigate:

Difficulty: I don’t know if it’s fair to judge Durant differently than other humans, but while I’d consider this a difficult shot for most players, I’ve seen him play long enough to know he can hit this shot in his sleep. I may even mean that literally. Taking Durant’s range out of the equation though, fallaway 3-pointers, especially from the deepest spot around the 3-point line, are pretty tough.

Game Situation: The Knicks and Thunder were tied at 98-98, and OKC inbounded the ball on their final possession with 6.5 seconds left. All in all, plenty of time to get a good shot off (almost certainly a better one than they ended up with), and no immediate consequences for a misfire.

Importance: I’ll say medium. The Knicks and Thunder have no rivalry to speak of, and play in separate conferences. However, the Thunder are in a dogfight with the Jazz for the Northwest Division title, and currently sit in a three-way tie for the third-best record in the West (both OKC and Dallas are 28-15, while New Orleans is 29-16, percentage points behind but still 8.5 games behind the Spurs). With a crowded, talented field in the Western Conference, home-court advantage could be a big chip come playoff time.

Celebration: Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said I thought Durant could hit shots like this in his sleep? Well, that’s pretty much his reaction to it as well. If I hit a shot like that, I’d at least do the “beat my chest three times” routine or pop my jersey, but Durant just walks confidently down the court, then grins sheepishly when his teammates get to him. No one seems all that surprised, or even particularly excited. I guess it’s like Joe Paterno said: “Act like you’ve been there before.”


3 Horrys. A shot like this is slightly difficult to grade, as it’s hard for me to separate the shooter from the shot. But given that it was a tie game, and given the team’s somewhat muted reaction, I don’t think I can give it more than three, even though really, it was technically a more difficult make than many of the season’s previous Horry considerations.

What do you think?

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Mike Dunleavy, how do you rate on the Robert Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

Almost two weeks between GWBBs in the NBA — Robert Horry was getting hungry. Fortunately Mike Dunleavy heeded Big Shot Bob’s call, tipping in Danny Granger‘s miss at the buzzer to give the Pacers a 94-93 win over the Hornets on Monday night.

We’ll see what Horry says about it in a sec, but I have to say right off the bat, I love this one. The ball hangs on the rim as if pausing to decide whose heart to break – it almost feels like the ball itself is self-aware, and is milking the attention for all it’s worth. Then it drops. Hornets deflated, Pacers elated.

What did the Horry scale think?

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  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.

Let’s investigate:

Difficulty: Well, they don’t get much easier than this. Dunleavy inbounds the ball to Granger with 3.9 seconds left, then immediately dives to the hole for the offensive rebound, and the Hornets are gracious enough to grant him a clear path. Chris Paul may be the best PG in the league, but Dunleavy is his responsibility on this play and his failure to box him out cost New Orleans the game. Dunleavy is right at the rim as the ball bounces out, and he gives it just enough of a nudge to clear the rim and fall through.

Game Situation: The Pacers trailed by a point to the visiting Hornets, who took the lead on the previous play on a David West jumper.

Importance: It’s only a quarter of the way through the season, but the Pacers look like they are going to be in a dogfight for one of the final few spots in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Right now the Pacers sit in 7th, but you gotta think they want to try to get at least to 6th so as to avoid a first-round series with either Boston or Miami. Wins like this will end up making a difference.

Celebration: Outstanding. The whole team takes a victory lap around Conseco Fieldhouse before Granger tackles him to the ground in front of the Pacers’ bench.


4 Horrys. I realize, looking back over how it fared in the individual catergories, that Dunleavy’s shot should grade out much lower, but this one has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Its sum on the Horry scale is greater than its parts. The basketball itself is really the star of the show, dismissing Dunleavy and Granger to minor roles while it takes center stage. First the ball takes a complete 360-spin on Granger’s initial shot, then hangs like Tiger at Augusta after Dunleavy tips it. What can I say? Sometimes art can’t be quantified and rated. This one was unique and memorable, and at the end of the day, that’s worth a little something extra.

What do you think?

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Mo Williams, how do you rate on the Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

Well that didn’t take long. After Rudy Gay hit the NBA’s first game-winning buzzer-beater last Saturday, it only took four more days before our next entry into the 2010-11 ledger. Mo Williams, step right up to claim your prize:

A refresher — any time there is a GWBB, we will examine its bonafides  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.

Let’s see how this one rates:

Difficulty: It’s a nice shot, no doubt, and Brandon Jennings does all he can to bother Williams. However, this isn’t that hard a shot for an NBA player to make, a face-up jumper from just left-of-center.

Game situation: Tie game, so no harm no foul if it’s a miss.

Importance: In the early season, neither the Bucks or Cavs are doing much to make themselves look like contenders, but I’ll say this — given their summer, I have to think every win feels just a little bit sweeter for Cleveland this year.

Celebration: Mo Williams jumps on the scorer’s table as the crowd in Cleveland goes wild. That’s quite a little Thanksgiving present for the Cleveland fans.

Grade: Three Horrys. Thought about giving it a 2.5, but I bumped them up an extra half-an-Horry for being an antidote to the Cavs’ fans misery.

How do you rate it?

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