Posts Tagged ‘Spurs’

Horry Scale: Parker Sinks Thunder




By Jeff Case, NBA.com

The creator of the Horry Scale, Micah Hart, has moved on from NBA.com-land. Still, his brainchild will live on. Now, only two days into the season, we have our first candidate of 2012-13 in Tony Parker.

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 Clippers-Nets 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 clutchiness.

For longtime Spurs fans, it might have been sweeter than usual to see Parker nailing a game-winning jump shot, if only because it wasn’t all that long ago that many questioned if Parker could add a reliable jump shot to his dangerous dribble-drive game.

How does Mr. Parker’s shot Thursday stack up? Let’s take a look.

Difficulty

As mentioned above, this is a now-routine shot for Parker — which was something you couldn’t always say about his outside game. We’d rate this one a medium difficulty, though, seeing as how last season’s shotblocking king, Serge Ibaka, was in the neighborhood and wasn’t that far behind in getting a hand on the ball. The shot could have been a lot tougher, though, had OKC All-Star Russell Westbrook not gotten lost on the pass from Danny Green to Parker, something that Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith took Westbrook to task for on “Inside the NBA.”

Game Situation

Score tied at 84 with 5.9 seconds left. Parker had nailed a 3-pointer with 28.4 seconds left to tie the score and OKC had a chance to claim the lead, but Kevin Durant had the ball stolen by Kawhi Leonard as Durant came off a screen (in another play that Charles and Kenny didn’t like).

Importance

This was the second game of the season for San Antonio and OKC’s season-opener, so the importance would seem muted. There is, of course, the fact that these were the teams in last season’s West finals … and that OKC came back from an 0-2 hole to vanquish the Spurs … and that these squads remain among the West favorites again. This game adds another chapter to the overall lore of the rivalry and may end up mattering come season’s end. The importance factor, then, is semi-high with a chance of super-high later in the season.

Celebration

Very Spurs-like: The always-loyal San Antonio fans go nuts, Parker lets out a celebratory yell, Tim Duncan gets him in a loving headlock, Stephen Jackson comes over to bask in the moment, coach Gregg Popovich has a look of “welp” on his face and the Spurs head giddily to the locker room . Perfectly matched to the importance of the game.

Grade

3½ Horrys. It’s a well-executed shot and Parker proves that his game has plenty of range. The rivalry factor with OKC colors things and the potential future impact of this game to the West hierarchy beefs up the rating from what it would be were it any other game or teams (it’d probably be like 2 stars, IMO, if that were the case).

What do you think?

All Ball Fave Five: Most Disappointing Playoff Teams Of The New Millenium

by Micah Hart

You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week we’ll count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl this year? The World Series? Your guess is as good as mine. In the NFL and MLB, who wins from year to year is totally unpredictable. In football it’s about who is lucky and who is healthy; in baseball it’s who is lucky and who gets great pitching.

The NBA is different. There are very, very few Cinderella stories in professional basketball. For my money, the 2011 Mavericks and the 2004 Pistons are the only surprise champions I’ve seen in the NBA in my lifetime.

The best teams almost always prevail. Which is why when we think of the teams who have come up short since the start of the 2000s, the answers are pretty obvious.

Let’s take a look:

5. 2011 San Antonio Spurs

What happened: The Spurs got off to a ridiculous start to the season (they were 29-4 at one point), and for a while there was talk that they might flirt with 70 wins. They cooled a bit down the stretch, but still finished the regular season as the top seed in the Western Conference with a record of 61-21.

The draw in the West looked pretty good, as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Talk about a mismatch – the Spurs, four-time NBA champions, versus the Grizz, who to that point had not won a single playoff game in franchise history in three previous appearances. So naturally they advanced to face HEY WAIT A MINUTE!

Memphis shocked San Antonio in six games, and the Spurs went home as only the fourth No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 8 seed*.

* The Bulls became the fifth this past season, but methinks that might have turned out differently had Derrick Rose been healthy.

Why they disappointed: I’ll be honest. I don’t really think of this Spurs team as being all that much of a disappointment. Some of that is due to the fact that the Grizzlies turned out to be a pretty good team, and some (maybe a lot) is due to the fact that Manu Ginobili hurt his elbow the final game of the season and was severely limited in the series. Still, 1 seeds don’t lose to 8 seeds, so here they are.

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Uni Watch Ranks Celtics Top NBA Jersey, Kings Finish Dead Last

by Micah Hart

Over at ESPN, the Uni Watch Blog has spent the past week unveiling their rankings of all 122 professional team jersey designs across the four major sports in North America. The top ranking NBA kit? The classic, timeless Boston Celtics, which checked in at 10th overall. Said Uni Watch on the Celts:

The Rolling Stones, “Goodfellas,” a Hershey’s with almonds — the classics are classic for a reason. That definitely applies to the Celtics’ set. No goofy side panels, no extraneous bells or whistles — just a perfect vertically arched wordmark and a simple green-and-white color scheme. They’d jump a few more spots in these rankings if they dropped that black-trimmed alternate.

Have to say I couldn’t agree more about the black trim on the alternates. After the Celtics, the Spurs, Lakers, Warriors, and Jazz rounded out the top five. I’m a little surprised to see the Jazz so high, but to be fair I haven’t looked at their jerseys since they burned my retinas back in the late ’90s.

As for the worst NBA uniforms? Take a bow, Sacramento. Not only do you have the ugliest threads in professional basketball, but Uni Watch lists the Kings dead last amongst all teams:

Every class has a slow kid pulling up the rear, and in this case it’s the Kings. Where shall we start — the brutal color scheme? The illegible chest lettering on the home jersey? The oddly off-center front uni numbers? The clownish number font? The completely incongruous old-school script on the black alternate? A disaster from start to finish. On the bright side, there’s nowhere to go but up!

Ouch babe. Take a look at the full NBA rankings and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

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Top 10 Most Amusing Moments From The 2012 Playoffs

by Micah Hart

What a shortened, yet still very long, strange trip it’s been. In a season that felt like we inhaled on Christmas Day, only to exhale roughly two hours ago, I’m already counting down the days until we start this whole thing over again in November.

But before we start dreaming of a fresh start, let’s pause for a few moments to remember some of the fun and funny we had over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which started somewhat slowly but picked up speed to the thrilling conclusion that was the Finals series between the victorious Heat and vanquished Thunder.

Here’s a look back at the 10 most amusing moments from the last seven weeks:

10. Amar’e channels Andy Bernard

The Knicks had a lot of hype at one point in the NBA season, but it all began to fall apart starting with a rash of injuries to the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert. At least their injuries occurred on the court though. Amar’e Stoudemire made headlines when he punched a fire-extinguisher case after Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Heat, causing a huge laceration and forcing the Knicks’ big man to miss the next game of an eventual 4-1 series defeat.

No one saw it happen, but I have to imagine it went something like this.

9. Spurs fan gets Matt Bonner haircut, gets suspended

In case you forgot, a Spurs fan got this shaved into the back of his head:

For doing so, he got suspended from school, which seems bad, until the Internet found out about it and the Spurs ended up invited him to a playoff game. Miss school AND see playoff basketball? BEST WEEK EVA! By the way, a month later, the kid did it again.

8. Metta World Peace being Metta World Peace

His playoff run may not have lasted long (one game against Denver and five against OKC), but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace didn’t have time to make lasting contributions, including doing the local weather in Vancouver, being in Vancouver in the first place because he’s filming a movie there based on a novel by Nancy Freaking Grace, and unveiling his new superhero alter ego Metta Man:

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Russell Westbrook Plays 48 Minutes Of Defense (And Just A Little More)

by Micah Hart

You know that thing that Kevin Garnett made popular, where you swat away any shot headed towards the basket during a dead ball? Well Russell Westbrook just took it to a whole new level, trolling Danny Green and then some:



That’s a pretty jerk move, generally speaking, but this is the playoffs. Anything you can do to get in your opponents’ heads, I’m all for it.

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Spurs Fans Adopt Popovich’s ‘I Want Some Nasty’

by Micah Hart

Trailing in Game 1, Gregg Popovich told his Spurs he ‘wanted some nasty’ during a huddle in the second half. When San Antonio came back to win, the saying took on a bit of a life of it’s own, as evidenced by the gear San Antonio fans wore to Tuesday night’s Game 2. People like this woman:

Hope you’re getting a taste of that, Pops.

via SB Nation

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Matt Bonner Hair Cut Leads To Ridiculous Suspension, Playoff Tickets

by Micah Hart

You don’t see this every day:

That would be a young man’s hair, cut to resemble Spurs forward Matt Bonner, currently the NBA’s most talented red-head (sorry Scalabrine!).

The recipient of this haircut, a Texas middle-schooler named Patrick Gonzalez, caused quite a stir this week when he had Bonner’s mug carved into his scalp. Woodlake Hills, the fuddy-duddy school he goes to, decided this was a big no-no and suspended Gonzalez for a day due to the “distraction” the haircut caused. Not a lot going on at Woodlake Hills, eh?

The story has a happy ending, however. Though Gonzalez did indeed shave his ‘do, the Spurs gave him and his family tickets to Thursday night’s Game 2, a game in which Bonner scored only two points (perhaps he was distracted by Gonzalez’s shiny head?).

Jilted tween? Or brilliant ticket-getting maneuver? You be the judge.

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Gregg Popovich Seems Pretty Unhappy About Winning Coach of the Year

by Micah Hart

What can you say about Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. I am sure amongst his friends he is a heckuva guy, but when it comes to basketball, he is one ornery son of a gun. Before tonight’s Game 2 of the Spurs-Jazz first-round playoff series, Popovich received his trophy for being named the NBA’s Coach of the Year, a ceremony he appeared to enjoy about as much as you would a documentary about feline AIDS:



Now, I know for a fact that Popovich has a sense of humor; maybe he is playing a little pre-game round of hot potato with his assistant coaches?

Lighten up Pops!

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Three For All: A Retrospective

by Micah Hart

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will come to an end tonight, and one thing we can say for sure is the compressed 66-game slate certainly gave teams their share of challenges. Chief among those (in our eyes at least) were the back-to-back-to-back series that every team faced at least once throughout the year, a chore that never occurs during a normal 82-game calendar but was made necessary once again due to a lockout (the last time teams played three games in three nights was 1998, the last time the NBA played a shortened season due to a labor stoppage).

With 42 three-for-all sets built into the calendar, we made it our business here at All Ball to document each one, curious to see what information we might glean from them. Would it be an accurate predictor of postseason achievement? Would we see NCAA-tournament style cinderella runs from some of the lesser squads? Could anyone win what we assumed would be an incredibly grueling third game?

Let’s run through some of the numbers and see what’s what.

7 – Number of times teams went undefeated in their three for all challenge, led by the Spurs, who managed to do it twice within the span of less than a month. The Spurs’ second run saw them match the Heat with 15 points, the maximum possible score allowable for three road wins by double-digit margins. We’ll break down who’s was more impressive on Thursday night. In addition to those two, the other perfectionists were the Bulls, who maxed out their trip with 13 points (all wins were by double-digits, but they played only one road game), the Thunder, the Hawks, who amazingly found the strength to win the third game in four overtimes over the Jazz, and the Suns (more on them in a second). Of the six teams to taste perfection, only Phoenix will be sitting out the postseason.

6 — Number of times teams went winless. Would it shock you to learn that the Wizards were the only team to go defeated twice? Would it shock you further to learn the Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, aren’t on this list? In addition to the Ashington Izards (No Ws – I R HILARIOUS), the Pistons, Clippers, Mavericks, and Suns found the going toughest. The Suns, incidentally, were the only squad to put up undefeated and winless marks, which really encapsulates their season in a nutshell, from being 12-19 to just missing out on a playoff spot after their loss in Utah on Tuesday.

4.5 — The average score for the 42 attempts was 4.5 points. The most common score was 2 points, accomplished 10 times, while no one scored 14 or 9.

22-20 – Record for teams in the third game of the three for all. I gotta tip my cap to these guys, I would have pegged this mark to be much worse before the season started.

And now for some superlatives, after the jump.

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Three For All Round Up: Grizzlies, Wizards, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Spurs

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart.

I was on vacation during a bad stretch of three for alls, so I thought we’d do another round up post getting up to date on what we missed while I was out.

Memphis Grizzlies (April 2-4): Memphis started out strong, getting a road win in Oklahoma City. Maybe not quite vengeance for last year’s playoffs, but a nice victory nonetheless. They followed it up with a win at home over Golden State, and just when you thought they might get a sweep they fell to the Mavericks in Dallas. 5 points (2+3-0) for their three for all, and their story has a happy ending of sorts — they beat Dallas at home three days later.

Washington Wizards (April 4-6): Let’s not waste too many words here. Three games, three L’s for the Wiz. -3 points (-2-1-0)

Boston Celtics (April 13-15): Raise your hand if you can tell me what the Celtics are going to do in the postseason. They could get swept in the first round on cut down the nets, and neither outcome would truly surprise me at this point. As if to prove my point, they started their three play by losing to the counting-down-the-minutes-till-the-season-ends-and-playing-as-many-DLeaguers-as-they-can-get-in-uniform Raptors before rallying (if you want to call beating the Nets and Bobcats rallying) to pick up double-digit road wins to finish it off. If they’d handled their business in Toronto, they might have tied the Heat for the best mark on the season. Instead, 10 points (-2+5+7).

Cleveland Cavaliers (April 13-15): The Cavs are a bad team to begin with, so facing three games in three nights without Kyrie Irving (out with a shoulder injury) makes for a pretty daunting task. Or at least it does when the opponents are anyone besides the Wizards. Ring Cleveland up for a loss at Indiana, a win at Washington, and a home loss to Orlando for a total of 2 points (-2+4-0).

Philadelphia 76ers (April 16-18): What happened to this team? At one point this season they seemed primed to challenge the Heat and Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy, now they are hanging on for dear life to the 8th spot. Their first two games were against playoff-bound opponents, netting them losses in Orlando and at home against Indiana. Lucky for them they finished Wednesday with the Cavs, who they beat by 16 a night after Cleveland lost by 39. To Detroit. Don’t expect Philly to last long in the playoffs, I guess is what I’m saying. 4 points (-2-1+7) for the City of Brotherly Love.

San Antonio Spurs (April 16-18): Saving the best for last. They (I) said the Heat’s 15-point performance in their three-fer could never be matched, but they didn’t count on the boys from San Antone. Not content to rest on the laurels of their previous 12-point undefeated three for all, the Spurs did indeed match Miami, knocking off Golden State (120-99), the Lakers (112-91), and Sacramento (127-102) to tie for the perfect score with 15 points (3+5+7). Which team had a better run, Miami or San Antonio? We’ll devote a separate post to that in the coming days.

Up next: Detroit takes its second crack at three in three April 17-19.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

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