Posts Tagged ‘Sekou Smith’

Horry Scale: CDR pays dividends

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: CDR’s game-winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been three weeks since we last fired up the Horry Scale, and in the time since, we’ve been mostly focused on the playoff race. As teams fought for position, somehow we had no game-winning buzzer-beaters that would require the Horry Scale to be utilized. Tonight that all ended, in the inked-out arms of Charlotte’s Chris Douglas-Roberts, as the Bobcats knocked off the Atlanta Hawks, 95-93.

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 only 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 tonight’s shot down, our 17th Horry Scale entry of the season…

DIFFICULTY
A runner over two defenders? Tougher than it sounds. We should say here that the Hawks weren’t playing with a full deck, as they gave rotation members DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap the night off. (The Bobcats also limited the minutes of their key players.) With playoff berths secure for both teams, they seemed content to let some of their bench players battle this one out. That said, CDR was well defended, and his shot flew high into the air before splashing through the net.

GAME SITUATION
Gary Neal and Sekou Smith’s favorite player, Luke Ridnour, carried the Bobcats throughout the fourth quarter. But the Hawks rallied late after a 5-0 run from Shelvin Mack brought them within two, and then a jumper from Lou Williams with 2.6 to play knotted the game at 93. With the game tied, the Bobcats inbounded the ball on the side in front of their basket. With Martin Sargent-lookalike Josh McRoberts inbounding, the Bobcats sent Ridnour and Chris Douglas-Roberts running in a wide arc, as Al Jefferson set a pick and Gary Neal flashed to the corner. The Hawks covered all of this very well, and none of the initial options were open. With maybe a second left to inbound the ball, Douglas-Roberts flashed from the basline to the top of the key, and momentarily lost defender Lou Williams on a brush screen from Jefferson. CDR drove left, pulled up from just inside the free-throw line, and knocked down the game-winner over a recovering Williams and help defender Mike Muscala, with no time to play.

CELEBRATION
The celebration was mostly subdued. Gary Neal wrapped Douglas-Roberts in a bear hug in front of the Hawks bench, and even Bobcats sideline reporter Stephanie Ready got in a high five. it felt like both teams were more concerned with the playoffs starting later this week.

GRADE
I’m going to give this one two Horrys. It was a nice shot, sure, but when one team doesn’t care enough to have their best players in the game, it detracts from the fun a bit. Not that this should matter to Charlotte — they wanted to win and ran the best play possible for them to win it. Heckuva shot from CDR, no doubt. But all in all, I’m going two stars …

horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horry’s would you give Chris Douglas-Roberts’ GWBB?

Rich Cho has other interests outside of basketball

by Micah Hart

Talking to my main man Sekou Smith yesterday about these crazy playoffs, and Sekou (who is covering the Mavs-Blazers series for NBA.com) mentioned that one thing he’s learned in being out in Portland is that the Blazers GM Rich Cho has other interests outside of basketball — namely, food. This was confirmed when I saw this video interview of Cho by Forbes Magazine (via Dime):

First off, I want to eat at whatever restaurant they are sitting at, because the food looks amazing.

Second, living in Atlanta, I’m going to have to give Verasano‘s another try. I went there the first week it opened and was unimpressed, but I imagine they were just working out the kinks.

By the way, Sekou ended up at some Italian restaurant where he had some sort of gnocchi with shredded goat meat that required the use of profanity to describe it was so good.

I may need to book a trip to Portland.

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This week in Heat schadenfreude

by Micah Hart

What a perfect day for Heat hate, coming off Miami’s home loss to the Jazz in overtime Tuesday night. One fascinating subplot to the Heat’s season so far has been the over-analysis of every loss, dissecting the team’s performance  for clues about how it will affect the Big Picture.

One thread that seems to be congealing into a narrative is the play of Chris Bosh — specifically, whether he is deserving of being a part of a Big Three, and whether or not he has the intestinal fortitude to withstand the onslaught of negativity heaped on him from the outside world.

Jason Whitlock of FoxSports, never one to shy away from making a grand statement, makes this suggestion to Miami: If you want to win, trade Bosh.

The relevant text below:

Bosh has to step up. This week.

By Christmas, if he hasn’t drastically changed his approach and production, Pat Riley will surely explore every option to move Bosh and acquire a goon.

–//–

If I’m Pat Riley, I watch the next two games very closely. If things go poorly for Bosh, I bring Dwyane Wade into my office and question him about how upset he and LeBron will be if the “Big Three” undergoes an official name change.

The “Big Two” makes the most sense.

Now that is some Grade-A hatin’. Bosh has played all of eight games in Miami, and Whitlock is already ready to cut bait.

Bosh is an easy target (and before we start feeling too bad for him, he most certainly asked for this), but as my main man Sekou Smith illustrates, he’s not Miami’s biggest problem by a long shot:

This notion that either James or Wade can handle those duties and all you need is a warm body to put in the starting lineup at point guard is faulty logic, especially after watching Deron Williams shred the Heat the way he did last night (following the lead of fellow elite point guards Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul in their dismantling of the Heat in the only other losses Erik Spoelstra‘s team has incurred this season).

The math doesn’t match up either:

– In that season-opening loss to the Celtics, Rondo scored just four points and had two steals but controlled the game with his defense and 17 assists while Heat starter Carlos Arroyo managed just three points and didn’t have a single assist (compounded by 14 turnovers from James and Wade).

– When the Hornets ambushed the Heat over the weekend, Paul destroyed them with 13 points, 19 assists and five steals while Arroyo went scoreless and managed just one assist, with Wade and James putting together another double-digit (10) turnover performance.

– Williams abused them for 21 points and 14 assists last night before fouling out late in regulation, with Arroyo fighting back with 10 points and two assists while James (triple-double) and Wade (season-high 39 points) kept their turnovers to a minimum (just four), but the result was the same.

For those math-challenged members of our little club, that’s a healthy 38-10 scoring advantage for the opposing starter at point guard in those losses and a staggering 50-3 assist advantage for the opposing starter.

Miami’s issues in the paint and at the point are what threaten to derail their championship aspirations, but as long as Bosh is aligned as part of a superstar triumvirate with Wade and James, he’s going to hear it any time things go south on South Beach.

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