Posts Tagged ‘Shaun Powell’

Horry Scale: Vucevic’s fallaway lifts Magic over Hawks

VIDEO: Nikola Vucevic hits 18-footer at the buzzer

All Ball Nerve Center — Well, it’s been a weird season for the Orlando Magic. It actually began, coincidently, when they extended on offer sheet to free agent Paul Millsap, who decided to stay with the Hawks instead. OK, fine: Orlando decided to continue with the youth movement, with mixed results. And so the Magic had lost 15 of 17 games leading into their Super Bowl matinee with Millsap and the Hawks, who of course are headed in the opposite direction. In the last few days, with trade rumors fluttering about, Magic center  Nikola Vucevic implored the Magic to stay the course of their current rebuild, saying: “There’s no reason to think we need to change anything. We have to find a way within each other to get back to what we were doing early in the year.” With that, Vucevic chose the right time to make a statement, with a buzzer-beater against the Hawks which, of course, automatically made him a candidate for the Horry Scale, which measures the quality of buzzer beaters.

DIFFICULTY: This was pretty dicey. Vooch was set up nicely with 2.2 seconds left on an inbounds pass by Elfrid Payton, who was dazzling for the Magic in the fourth quarter, generating much of their offense almost by himself with passes or shots. Al Horford was tight on Vooch, who dribbled once and let it fly with a turnaround (jumping off the wrong leg) from about 20 feet. Can’t blame Horford’s D.

GAME SITUATION: The Magic blew a 14-point lead and went scoreless for almost four minutes, one reason why they’re on the outside looking in with regard to the playoff picture. Defense has been a big issue with this team; they surrendered 107 or more points in eight straight games. They’re a young team and did what young teams do, let leads escape them. But in the final seconds with the score tied, Evan Fournier, one of the symbols of the Magic’s decent start to the season, grabbed a loose ball which triggered a timeout, which in turn triggered Vooch’s big shot.

CELEBRATION: Well, Vucevic had the good sense to hit the game-winner from in front of the Magic bench. One of the first guys to hug him was Magic assistant coach Mario Elie. You might remember his Kiss Of Death shot for the Rockets against the Suns in 1995. Oh yeah, a classic.

GRADE: The shot did plenty to lift the Magic out of their doldrums, if only temporary. But as epic shots go, meh. The Horry Scale is unforgiving, just like the player it’s named after. Let’s give it 2 Horrys.


Conventional wisdom: May 19th

by Micah Hart

Each day until the end of the NBA Finals, we’ll be taking a look at the conventional wisdom of the moment — which team is currently the favorite to win it all, and which team should be ashamed to still be putting on its jerseys.

Here’s how it looks on the morning of Thursday, May 19.

Start planning the parade:

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki‘s not bad, is he? Here are some fun stats from his 48-point explosion in Game 1 the other night:

– Dirk’s 15 shots were the least amount of FGs to get to 48+ points in NBA playoff history, and by a wide margin. The previous record was held by Bob Cousy, who needed just 22 shots to score 50 points on March 21, 1953, in a game that went four overtimes.

– Not only did Nowitzki set a new playoff record with 24 FTs without a miss, but it also bested the regular season record as well. Dominique Wilkins holds that mark, as he went 23-23 from the line in a game against the Bulls in 1992.

All the focus is on No-miss-ski, and rightfully so, but he’s not the only reason the Mavs are rolling right now. The Dallas’ bench is killing it in these playoffs, and seems to be getting better with each series. After putting up 48 ppg against the Lakers in the Western Conference semis, Mavs reserves chipped in 53 points in Game 1, mostly thanks to Jason Terry (24 points) and playoff-revelation J.J. Barea (21 points – in 16 minutes no less).

Add in the fact that Dallas is doing all this while down a man thanks to Caron Butler‘s injury and it looks even more impressive.

Give it up already:

Chicago Bulls

It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if you can’t put the ball through the cylinder.

Shaun Powell pointed something out today on, and it’s worth mentioning here. Check out these numbers:

11 for 25.

4 for 18.

6 for 22.

10 for 27.

12 for 32.

11 for 24.

Those are some individual shooting stats for Derrick Rose in several of this year’s playoff games, of which the Bulls have only played 13. So basically, the guy the Bulls’ entire offense revolves around turns into Antoine Walker roughly every other night.

Both the Heat and the Bulls play outstanding defense, but when it comes down to brass tacks, Chicago only has one player it can rely on offensively, while the Heat have two. Ultimately, that will make the difference in who moves on to the NBA Finals.

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