Saturday, January 29, 2011

The myth of Kobe Bryant's clutchness, part 2

[Kobe] Bryant makes crunch-time defense easy for opponents by shooting just about every time he touches the ball (over a five-year period, he mustered 56 clutch shots, to go with one assist). ...

ESPN Stats & Information's Alok Pattani dug through 15 years of NBA data (see table below) -- Bryant's entire career, regular season and playoffs -- and found that Bryant has attempted 115 shots in the final 24 seconds of a game in which the Lakers were tied or trailed by two or fewer points. He connected on 36, and missed 79 times.

One shot for all the cookies. And the NBA is nearly unanimous that this is the guy to take it, even though he has more than twice as many misses as makes?

Over Bryant's 15-year career, the Lakers have had the NBA's best offense, and second-best won-loss record. No other team can match their mighty 109 points per 100 possessions over the entire period. ...

In the final 24 seconds of close games the Lakers offense regresses horribly, managing just 82 points per 100 possessions. And it's not a simple case of every team having a hard time scoring in crunch time. Over Bryant's career, 11 teams have had better crunch-time offenses, led by the Hornets with a shocking 107 points per 100 possessions in crunch time, a huge credit to Chris Paul. ...

[The Lakers are] among the league leaders in how much worse their offense declines in crunch time.

When Bryant is on the floor in crunch time, Bryant's Lakers are actually outscored by their opponents.

A great offensive team performing at average levels, with a star setting records for number of shots attempted. Teammates left wide open. Evidence, even, that Bryant's play puts his team into nailbiters that needn't be so close.

That, my friends, is a ball hog.
--Henry Abbott, ESPN.com, on Kobe the ball hog

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