The numbers behind the clutch shooting and no surprise, Kobe leads.
ESPN: Through the years, there have been many different sets of data about clutch shooting. Any which way I have ever seen it sliced (last five minutes of close games to last ten seconds), as I have written on TrueHoop before, it has looked like Kobe Bryant has been a guy who shoots a ton in crunch time, and hits at a pretty good, but not elite, rate.
I’m open to the idea that he could still be the best clutch player in the NBA. At that time of the game, there’s value in being able to create scoring opportunities. Bryant may shoot those difficult fallaways that often miss, but he’d be a far worse player if he couldn’t get a shot off at all. And that’s the situation some lesser players would find themselves in.
Quite honestly, I think the real way to crown a crunch time king would be with video. Somebody should make a TV special where they string together every crunch time touch of the handful of elite end-game players (Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony etc.) If we want to tell the world that somebody is the most likely to succeed in a certain setting, let’s take an honest and complete look at how they do in that setting. Show me the turnovers, the misses and all that. Let everyone watch all of that video — not just the makes! — and at the end of that I think we’ll end up with a good sense of who’s the best.
A lot of sports fans think it’s crazy talk to even consider candidates other than Bryant. And they’re especially vocal right now, when Bryant seems to be hitting game-winners just about every night.
So, how’s it going?