True Hoop Drew

I breakdown basketball constantly in my mind and occassionaly translate it into blog form

Tag: henry abbott

Who should be taking a shot with the game on the line

NBA fans love to argue about what player is the most clutch or who they would want taking the last shot in a game. It seems most would always say Kobe Bryant including other NBA players and GM’s.

It is amazing how everyone simply agrees with this when the numbers don’t entirely back Kobe up during crunch time. He is the most prolific at taking shots when the game is on the line. He is just not the most efficient in doing so.

For example, the Lakers over Kobe’s career tenure with them have had the most efficient offense in the NBA. The drop off in their efficiency once games enter crunch time is the greatest of any other team.

Chris Paul on the other hand, is by far the most efficient player once the game enters crunch time. And not only as an individual but his team has been the most efficient in the NBA during this time.

Henry Abbott goes into more detail about this.

Paul didn’t become the most efficient by taking fadeaway jump shots over two defenders but by always trying to run offense and find the open man in late-game situations.

But sometimes in the NBA you can’t always find an open shot and you have to take a bad shot. That’s why stats can’t definitely tell you who the most clutch player in the league is. Kobe’s skill and ability to get off a decent shot from anywhere on the court does have its value, it’s just not always the best decision.

Here’s my ranking of players I want taking a clutch shot in the NBA, based on the type of shot or scenario in the game.
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Maybe he ruined the game

This is a study I conducted where I inserted microchips into the heads of 50 NBA players to determine how they truly felt and reacted when their opponents made tough shots and they were the primary defender. Just kidding but I wish I could do some science on this because I think it plays a huge role in this league.

This is something I always notice in the NBA and it goes against what the stat geeks say. When star players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant hit really tough shots that become highlights on SportsCenter and essentially make their defender look bad, those buckets seem to be worth more than just two or three points. Let’s call them demoralizing buckets and they seem to really get into the psyche of the victims.

Now, I can’t spout off a million stats to back this theory up, I’m going off my eyes and what I see to be a trend. I have noticed this a lot with the Miami Heat, when there are games when Wade and LeBron are hitting really tough shots that in actuality are only worth two points but it seems to really affect the defenders and suck away their confidence. This is probably a natural reaction to such a situation but these guys are professional basketball players and I would think they should all be used to something like this.

It’s something that you will never see in a basketball video game although it has been attempted to be captured with features such as momentum. But in a video game, there are always more dunks and crazy shots going in but it does not matter because the digital guys aren’t thinking as they run down the court and they don’t take it personal.
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