True Hoop Drew

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

Tag: robert horry

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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How important is it to be in your prime?

As the Miami Heat were busy eliminating the Boston Celtics, I got thinking about how it was clear that the Celtics did not have anything left in the tank and were too old and too injured to keep up with Miami.

As someone who was watching the series hoping that Boston would advance because I like watching them play more, before the series even started my biggest fear was essentially what ended up happening.

Things like Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be able to be effective enough on both sides of the court, Ray Allen would be relegated to a jump shooter and not hitting in every game and Paul Pierce would have to carry too large of an offensive load. Even while watching the regular season meetings between the two teams you could kind of see this fate looming. While Boston seemed to always get a ton of good looks, it also seemed like they had to play pretty perfectly to get those looks and it’d be harder in the playoffs.

A big reason why Miami won the series was youth and talent overpowering Boston. They have their best three guys in their prime. It sounds simple but it really allows for them to play more minutes and play them more effectively. When Doc Rivers was forced to bring back Garnett early in the fourth quarter for Game 4, Boston was doomed and Garnett ran out of gas as the game eventually went into overtime.
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Nothing better than Walton cheering from the sidelines

Well, I didn’t watch a lot of sports today, at least not any recent sports. It’s past midnight now and that means fair game for just about every classic NBA game I own so there’s really no telling where the night will go. I think I’m going to try and go daily with this blog from now on. As long as I keep it short and sweet and all about me, there’s no reason why I can’t keep the updates coming.

On the subject of classic NBA games, which is another way of saying “while we’re on the subject of my life”, I double-dipped somewhat last night and had a solid 45 minutes of YouTube researching as well.

I started off with the “Bird Steal” game in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit. You really can’t go wrong there. Bird pours in an amazing performance numbers wise and also caps the game off with the great steal. But hands down, the best part of re-watching the game was Bill Walton’s reaction to the play (no surprise here and fast-forward to the 5:28 mark for the reaction).

I had just gotten a solid dose of Walton the night before via Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals in 1995 that featured a Rockets-Suns matchup. Walton was announcing and on top of his game as usual. It’s always a treat to pop in an old game, not knowing who’d be announcing and then get Walton.

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