Posts Tagged ‘Trey Burke’

Horry Scale: Trey Day


VIDEO: Burke GWBB

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Knicks finally scored 100 points in a game this season. Unfortunately for them, Trey Burke and the Jazz weren’t quite finished.

Tonight’s Jazz/Knicks game presented two teams with similar journeys ahead of them. The Jazz have a young roster with a young coach and expectations bubbling. The Knicks have a superstar forward (Carmelo Anthony) and president (Phil Jackson) but have a way to go as they implement the triangle offense.

The Knicks entered the night having lost six straight, for a 2-7 record, and had yet to score 100 points in a game this season. The Jazz had a similarly sub-par record, coming in at 3-6, and in the midst of a five-game road trip. All of which culminated in tonight’s big finish by Burke.

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 last season, 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 inbound play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

Let’s get to the game-winner…

DIFFICULTY
With 2.3 seconds left on the clock, the Jazz didn’t have to rely on a catch-and-shoot. Two-plus seconds is enough time for at least a dribble, maybe even a pass.

But it looked as if the play wasn’t even drawn up for Burke to get the shot. Burke began in the far corner and set a screen for Gordon Hayward, who already had 33 points on the night. Hayward popped to the top of the key and looked to receive a pass. But Knicks forward Quincy Acy denied the look to Hayward, just as Burke flashed to the ball around the free throw line. Burke caught the ball, dribbled left into the corner, and fired up a fadeaway jumper over J.R. Smith, who was all over Burke and contested the shot well. But Burke cleared just enough space with a step-back move to release the jumper, and he drilled the shot as the buzzer was ringing.

Smith actually defended fine on the play — he went under three separate screens and stuck to Burke on the shot. Burke had to make a perfect play just to clear room for the shot. And Burke played it perfectly.

GAME SITUATION
After squandering a last-second attempt earlier in the week, when J.R. Smith eschewed a pass to Carmelo Anthony to fire up a three, tonight the Knicks cleared out for Anthony, who banked in a three to tie the game at 100 with 2.3 left. Anthony finished with 46 points for the Knicks, who were without Amar’e Stoudemire, and Anthony was brilliant all night.

But Utah called a timeout after Anthony leveled the game and calmly came up with the play. A shoutout to Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who came up with a play that had multiple options; and a shoutout to inbound passer Joe Ingles, who calmly went to Burke after not being able to get the ball to Hayward.

IMPORTANCE
It was big, for both teams. Yes, we’re still early in the season, but after losing six straight, the Knicks needed a win, especially at home. And Melo had put them on his back and carried them throughout the game.

The Jazz entered this season in rebuilding mode, and though they’re below .500, they’ve looked promising as they’ve tried to implement Snyder’s pace and space offense. Also, it’s worth noting that this is already Utah’s second appearance on the Horry Scale this season. So not only are they competing, but they’re giving themselves opportunities to win games (and taking advantage of those opportunities).

CELEBRATION
It was fortuitous that Burke popped the shot directly in front of the Utah bench. Because as soon as the shot went in, he was swarmed by his teammates. The Jazz couldn’t give an all-out celebration because they were on the road, so they didn’t get that awesome crowd reaction like they did at home against Cleveland. Still, the team huddled around Burke and let him have it (including a towel over the head) while Smith looked up in disbelief to check the replay.

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Also, we can’t ignore Carmelo’s reaction. After such a big game, all he could do was grimace with the realization that better days are ahead. Hopefully sooner than later.

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GRADE
It was a great play, a great shot, and an important result for a team that needed a win. But being pragmatic, this was a regular season game between two teams under .500. And considering we gave Hayward’s previous Horry Scale entry rated four Horrys, I don’t feel like this one quite matches that one, particularly on the celebration matrix. So I’m giving Trey Burke’s game winner 3 Horrys.

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What say you? How many Horrys would you give Trey Burke’s GWBB?

A big week for birthday cakes and the NBA

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This is apparently a great week to be an NBA player having a birthday, or even if you’re just an NBA player who enjoys eating birthday cake.

Just one day ago we saw Danté Exum presented with a birthday cake. Little did we know it would mark the start of a trend.

Two nights ago, “The Starters” presented Bucks rookie Jabari Parker with this cake.

Last night, after Trey Burke visited “The Starters” on NBA TV, he was presented with a cake, which he promptly smashed into the face of my main man Trey Kerby.

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(gif via @CJZero)

Meanwhile, out in Portland, Damian Lillard got a birthday cake from a camper at his basketball camp featuring a photo of his Horry Scale shot against Houston from the playoffs.

If that wasn’t enough, Lillard also got a cake with an adidas shoe in the middle of it…

NBA Draft Prospects Visit 9/11 Memorial

NEW YORK CITY — It was one of those fall mornings that made all the aggravation that comes with living in New York City completely worth it. Even by the time I rolled out of bed, right around 9:00 AM, the sun was high in the cloudless sky, and a cool breeze promised to stick around through the evening. My girlfriend and I were making breakfast, and making plans for the days and weeks ahead, and then everything changed forever.

The day was September 11, 2001, and what happened that day was the single largest terrorist attack on American soil. I lived through it, and I still remember the raw emotions, the way people on the street looked at each other, the way a smell of burned wreckage lingered in the city for weeks after the attack.

911oneThe experience is something that affected all of us in different ways. For me, initially there was confusion — trying to get a grip on what was happening around us. Then there was fear — wondering if other parts of the city were safe. Then there was sadness — processing the massive loss of life. There was anger, and there was resilience, and… well, there were about a million other emotions, and they came and went without warning.

In the years that followed, Ground Zero became a place that visitors to New York felt compelled to go and see, both to pay their respects and, for younger people, to learn about what happened. A few hours ago, the players in town for tomorrow’s NBA Draft paid a visit to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The players were all children when the attacks occurred, and as far as I could gather, this was the first time they’d been able to visit Ground Zero.

NBA Cares set up today’s visit in conjunction with Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit organization that “has made a long-term commitment to meet the needs of every individual impacted by the events of September 11, 2001.”

The players wandered the memorial plaza in today’s blazing sun, walking around each of the memorial pools. It was mostly quiet, as people on site respectfully looked at the names of all the victims ringing the pools and reflected on all that the memorial represented. The visit was also educational, as the players weren’t old enough at the time of the attack to fully remember the experience of living through 9/11.

“I remember being right in front of the TV set,” said Kentucky C Nerlens Noel. “I forget what I was watching, but it just took over every channel. It was really an emotional time, and I was young and was not really sure what was going on. I’m grateful to be here. To see all the names here, it makes you cherish life, and be thankful and not take things for granted.” (more…)