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Old 10-07-09, 04:55 PM
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No One Wants LeBron To Take A Shot With The Game On The Line

Latest News, NBA / Oct 7, 2009 / 9:58 am
No One Wants LeBron To Take A Shot With The Game On The Line
By Aron Phillips

Every year, I can’t wait to read the results of NBA.com’s annual GM Survey to get an insider look into what the people running the League are thinking. And with GMs not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel, you know they have to be objective in their responses. So after reading through the 60 questions that were asked, it seemed LeBron was going to take a clean sweep: MVP, most athletic and best finisher to name a few. LBJ even got 78.6% of the vote when asked, “If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be?” But there was one question that kind of surprised me, with the reigning MVP not even receiving one vote:

Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?

The breakdown was this:

1. Kobe Bryant, 89.7%
2. Paul Pierce, 6.9%
3. Carmelo Anthony, 3.4%

Now if you ask any one of your boys (even if they’re Kobe haters), more often than not they’d agree that they’d want Mamba with the ball in his hands with the clock winding down. But even with so many awards going to LeBron, you gotta find it a little troubling that not one of the other 29 GMs would give the rock to King James (and they’d rather give it to a guy like ‘Melo).

Why No One Wants LeBron to Take a Shot With the Game On the Line
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Old 10-07-09, 05:16 PM
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I'd want BronBron handling the ball but not taking the shot necessarily. I'd want someone like {through gritted teeth} Ray Allen or heck Robert Horry taking the shot. But start the play with the ball in Lebron's hands, he'll make something happen. Same with Pierce.

As for Kobe, he's overrated as an end of game specialist. Makes bad decisions and quite frankly is not deadly with the game on the line. The numbers speak for themselves. I just don't have them handy. However, I am sure that someone will challenge me on this. At that point, I'll put in the effort to find the supporting data.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:34 PM
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Ok, I challenged myself and found this four year old study. Lots of numbers and whatnot, but you can skip over to the third page. It ranks overall clutch performers. Kobe is 21st, Lebron is 8th. Guess who's number 1.

I'm not among the Kobe haters. We'll just say he's a Laker. I try to call him what he is and like this study says, he deserves tons of credit for wanting the ball at the end. I just hope that one day he doesn't realize that he tries too hard to do it all himself. Because then he'd truly be clutch.

NBA's best clutch scorers from 82games.com

NBA Player Clutch Statistics from 82games.com --> Page 3
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Old 10-07-09, 05:44 PM
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I was wondering why no love for Manu in the clutch--maybe because of his foul on Dirk in '06?
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Old 10-07-09, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
All right, a lot of people would balk at the notion of Manu Ginobili as the NBA's most clutch player. The facts though are he is very productive on offense (#6 in the league in points per minute during clutch stages), draws an incredible number of shooting fouls (#8 and the top perimeter player), knocks down the free throws (81%), creates his own shot (only 8% of his clutch FGM are assisted), holds his counterpart to sub-par performance (.342 eFG and only 1.9 Assists to 3.1 Turnovers), and while his +9 plus/minus doesn't seem like much, the Spurs have actually been -21 when he's off the court during crunch time, good for the #12 on/off or Clutch Roland Rating in the league. Did we mention that 60% of his crunch time shots are taken inside? Manu takes it to the hole!

This will not sway Kobe Bryant fans any, who are still reveling in his incredible recent performance in the 4th quarter against Charlotte. That however is the problem in a nutshell -- people remember the game where he's brilliant, and forget the games (yes, plural) where he falls short. Let's state it one more time, Kobe is a good clutch player, but not currently the best. For further evidence that Kobe is not infallible, you might want to check out his 03-04 playoff clutch efforts, when he had a Field Goal Percentage of, ahem, 28%...

No, the better arguments against Manu come from the likes of Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade, and Amare Stoudemire, all of whom have some fantastic numbers to show off in the "money minutes" this season.

Truthfully though, any conclusions we can draw from these numbers are limited by the reality of so few minutes of clutch time performance for players to assess. The solution though is simple -- the next time we talk about Clutch stats we will use a Three-Year survey of data at which point we should have on hand something substantial.
Balk away Kobe fans.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:45 PM
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This is what I was looking for.

NBA Game Winning Shots -- leading players

25% (14 of 56) on game winning shots!! League average is 29.8% for some reference.

Lebron is 34& (17 of 50)
Ray Allen is 38.5% (15 of 39)
Melo is 48.1% (13 of 27)
Pierce 34.4% (11 of 32)

Duncan 39.1% (9 of 23)
Parker 37.5% (6 of 16)
Manu 28.6% (6 of 21)

These numbers were for the '03-04 season through 2/4/09
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Old 10-07-09, 05:50 PM
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They do have clutch stats for '08-09, they just don't rank the players. I did want to point out that Kobe's "clutch" shooting has gone up considerably and his turnovers have gone down.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:57 PM
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No one wants LeBron to take the shot with the game on the line??? That's not what MVPs do for their team.

I guess the MVP is just another popularity contest.
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