FanPost

Superstars in the clutch

As promised, I just have to elaborate on a stat I posted a day ago.

So, the media goes on and on about how teams need a star to take over in the clutch, at the end of the game or the team will just not be a real contender.

Well, last week TNT pointed to an interesting stat. (I may not have the exact numbers, but close enough)

The great Kobe, taking shots with 10 seconds or less left in the game, to win or tie, has taken 66 such shots in his career. What would you figure his success % at? Must have seen a hundred hilites of Kobe winning games in these situations right? Would you say his success rate matches his lifetime FG% (around 46%), a little higher because its crunch time, a little lower because teams key on him? What do you say?

The answer, roughly 22/66 for a 33% success rate. 33%! For the great Kobe.

The same stat was tallyed for the combined efforts of Wade and James. In my book, the 2 best players in the NBA. Theyve taken about 2x as many such shots as Kobe. Makes sense, no.

Their success rate, much lower than 33%. Come on, admit it, you're surprised. I was.

Maybe its not a good idea to have your "star" monopolize the ball. Maybe the best strategy is to set up a good play, some options just in case, tell the worst shooter on the court not to take anything more than a layup and go from there.

Is there any doubt that success rates would be higher than 30%? No doubt at all in my mind.

Those stats are hard to argue against.

So dont drink the Kool Aid about, "Oh, how will the Nuggets win in crunch time without Carmello?" Me thinks, just fine.

Hey Mello on the Knicks, in 2 such situations was called for a charge in a situation that a FG would win game, and hit jay in situation where hit wins and miss sends game into overtime. No real surprise there.But the media went hog wild over the hit shot. That image will emblazon in fans minds. The images of the much more common misses just wash away but the losses dont.

Think of so many important games over decades that have been won by role players. Remember Steve Kerr, Craig Hodges, Paxson, Horry, Ron Artest in 7th game of finals, on and on.

Even if your "stars" do more heavy lifting, good complementary players provide 2/3 of the team production. You cant win without stars? Well, role players become "stars" given certain scenarios.

The real truth is, you cant win without good contributing players. Ask Jerry West, Dirk, Cavalier days LeBron, Kevin Love, B Griffin, Monte Ellis. Should I go on?

My feeling is that the Nugs will do just fine in clutch situations. I love Gallo but I dont think he's ready to be a go-to at the end, maybe a second option. Needs more confidence. For me, AAA fits the bill. Guy could shoot, drive, hits FTs and has major cogones. But they should run good plays and keep the defense guessing.

If that's what they do, how much you wanna bet that the Nug success rate would top the 30% that immortals like Kobe, Lebron and Wade achieve?

Write respectfully of your SB Nation community and yourself.

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