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View Full Version : What d'you do when you're not clutch?



indytoad
02-24-2006, 10:17 PM
I'm actually trying to pose a serious question here, so don't ban me.

It's fairly obvious by this point this team doesn't have any composure under pressure. Missing free throws, surrendering offensive boards, bad fouls, general defense lapses, inbounding of all things - it's happened in too many games this season for it to be a coincidence. When you can't get past Atlanta, you have a problem.

So what do you do?

I have no idea. I'm asking. Is "it" - you know, that clutch ability - something that can be learned, or is it innate? If it's the former, how do you teach "it"? If it's the latter, do you get rid of all the players that don't have "it" and look for ones that do? Is it a coaching problem? Do you just have to cross your fingers and hope your players pan out?

For instance, both Detroit and San Antonio have very clutch starting lineups. Every single member has "it." When they need a score or a stop at the end of a game, they will get it. Are they just lucky? Or do they actively pursue players that are composed under pressure?

It seems like an incredibly important aspect of the game to leave to hopes and wishes. There has to be something we can do.

Right?

IndyToad
Catharsis in action

Jermaniac
02-24-2006, 10:19 PM
They are soft thats what it is, no one on this team wants the ball when it counts. Reggie is gone and it has left this team. I wish we could sign Reggie and have him come out with a super man cape on everytime we are in a close game with 2-3 minutes left cause that is the only man that can save us.

SwissExpress
02-24-2006, 10:30 PM
I'm actually trying to pose a serious question here, so don't ban me.


:laugh:

SwissExpress
02-24-2006, 10:34 PM
What did Saras do during those 1.6 seconds after he was brought in? He usually is not afraid to take those shots. Of course, he had a bad night tonight in general, so him shooting wouldn't necessarily have been a good thing..

Moses
02-24-2006, 10:34 PM
Because our team was obviously at full strength this game. On a back to back with only 8 players available and Joe Johnson is shooting lights out the entire game. He just wasn't missing..they doubled Joe and he was still killing us.

Unclebuck
02-24-2006, 10:37 PM
Ban him, questions are not allowed

Pacesetter
02-24-2006, 10:40 PM
This game was blown not because of the lack of clutch, even though one could make an argument about the 2 missed FT's in the final minute, no, this game was blown because we didn't play for 48 minutes, and there's a big difference between playing clutch basketball, and crushing the neck of your opponent when you've got your foot on his throat. This team needs the killer mentality like Reggie had. When you've got your foot on their throat, stomp 'em.

We did have some very bad defensive sequences in the closing minutes of the game. Failure to block out, failure to execute on the defensive end, mental lapses. But really the bottom line is the team just has to gain that killer instinct that enjoys turning the lights out on the opponents. It's all in the way they look at executing.

This was another tough loss. :(

Jon Theodore
02-24-2006, 10:44 PM
to answer the initial question, when you wear a Pacers jersey and your number is not 31...you know your not clutch.

And also if your name is Sarunas and you are only given one chance ever to perform in the clutch and you miss the shot.

SwissExpress
02-24-2006, 10:44 PM
As regards building clutch skills... In European leagues it is rather usual to see, e.g., in blow-out victories coaches of both sides taking timeouts just before the game ends and trying to organize pseudo-crucial plays during final seconds. Of course, the atmosphere is not the same as during real crucial moments, but it probably helps players to understand that every play has to be performed with the same concentration on tactics, and to learn to listen to coaches in those psychologically-tuff moments.

It's probably impossible in the NBA due to the 'garbage time' attitude, however. I mean that idea that it's inappropriate to play your best players when everything is clear. There wouldn't be any sense to practice in the above-mentioned way only with your 2nd-tier players.

indytoad
02-24-2006, 10:57 PM
Because our team was obviously at full strength this game. On a back to back with only 8 players available and Joe Johnson is shooting lights out the entire game. He just wasn't missing..they doubled Joe and he was still killing us.

This isn't exactly the first time this has happened. And it seems every game we lose someone is like "we would've won if [insert name] hadn't gotten totally lucky," or whatever. Well, good teams don't give the opposition a chance to get lucky. A good team wouldn't give up the offensive rebounds to allow Johnson second chances at his wild shots.


We did have some very bad defensive sequences in the closing minutes of the game. Failure to block out, failure to execute on the defensive end, mental lapses. But really the bottom line is the team just has to gain that killer instinct that enjoys turning the lights out on the opponents. It's all in the way they look at executing.

A lot of people seem to think playing clutch is just hitting shots, but being able to get key stops is just as important. We seem to have a LOT of defensive lapses - I don't think many of us have faith in this team to stop our opponents when we really, really need it. These mental lapses have been a key characteristic of the past few Pacers teams, at least since 2000. I wish I knew where the symptoms lay.

As far as the killer instinct goes, I've always thought that even the best NBA Pacer teams have lacked it - which has always irritated me. Is this another one of those mysterious intangibles? Or is it a mindset you can instill?


As regards building clutch skills... In European leagues it is rather usual to see, e.g., in blow-out victories coaches of both sides taking timeouts just before the game ends and trying to organize pseudo-crucial plays during final seconds. Of course, the atmosphere is not the same as during real crucial moments, but it probably helps players to understand that every play has to be performed with the same concentration on tactics, and to learn to listen to coaches in those psychologically-tuff moments.

This is a pretty cool idea, I like that a lot. Of course, since you wouldn't be facing anything near end-game-level defense, it'd be kind of hard to know if you're actually benefitting. On the other hand, it really can't hurt.

IndyToad
Get out of my suit

Unclebuck
02-24-2006, 10:58 PM
I thought the game was lost in the first 6 minutes of the first quarter. Pacers looked like they were someplace else. That gave the Hawks confidence and allowed them to get going, and then it was tough.

Hawks have some great athletes

#31
02-24-2006, 11:02 PM
Are you talking about this game tonight or the players overall clutch skills? The game tonight was NOT lost by "lack of clutch", it was lost because of bad Rebounding and some bad defense. But overall clutch skills... PEJA?? S-JAX?? AJ? FREDDY? SARUNAS? We got many.........

When you are clutch, it doesnt mean you will 100% hit clutch shots and buzzer-beaters everygame?

PS: Basketball is not only playing offense, and once again people like to blame missed shots instead of missed blocks, steals, rebounds in a bad game.

Tim
02-24-2006, 11:10 PM
I thought the game was lost in the first 6 minutes of the first quarter. Pacers looked like they were someplace else. That gave the Hawks confidence and allowed them to get going, and then it was tough.

Hawks have some great athletes


I think we need to give the Hawks credit, they play us tough. Even last season it wasn't easy to beat this team.

SwissExpress
02-24-2006, 11:13 PM
This is a pretty cool idea, I like that a lot. Of course, since you wouldn't be facing anything near end-game-level defense, it'd be kind of hard to know if you're actually benefitting. On the other hand, it really can't hurt.

IndyToad
Get out of my suit

The other team usually puts some strong effort into defense during these moments as well, though the motive, of course, is not saving a game. However, this is an opportunity for the other team to gain some 'crucial plays' experience too, in this case defensive experience. Besides, it's a bit of a matter of honour; particularly so as the other team knows in advance when such pseudo-crucial plays will be organized - the attacking team asks for a timeout to prepare.

SwissExpress
02-24-2006, 11:41 PM
There have been some funny incidents, however, when the teams are of different caliber. There are cases when the stronger team destroys opponent by some 30 or 40 points and just wants to travel home as the players aren't benefiting from playing much weaker opponent, but the coach of the latter decides to try out some final plays.

E.g., last year a well known incident took place in Israel, where Hapoel played Tel Aviv Maccabi. Maccabi totally dominated them all the game and the difference in points was huge; in the end of the game the coach of Hapoel went a bit too far and started using all the timeouts he had in order to try some plays. During the 2nd or 3rd of those Saras and several other players got so bored that they started making pushups... Pictures of that were shown in all Europe:)

SoupIsGood
02-24-2006, 11:44 PM
Give the ball to Danny

D-BONE
02-24-2006, 11:51 PM
Some folks have brought up defense and defensive-oriented stuff here. It seems to me like our defensive effort these last two games has been particularly inconsistent. I know you can't play great D every single possession. I also know Joe Johnson wouldn't have been contained by too many individual defenders in the league. But at times Detriot was really breaking us down. Sometimes there was not help, others they had nice dumps to the help guy's man under the hoop (i.e. Ben Wallace). Tonight we had a couple good stops at the end of regulation that would have eeked it out w/ a timely FT or two, but overall I didn't feel like we "won" enough possessions. If you do that, maybe you're not forced into so many clutch, must-make situations late. Also, Atlanta flat out played a tough game.

McKeyFan
02-25-2006, 01:58 AM
This is a good thread. Its a good question to ask.

Yes, I think it is VERY important to have clutch players in at the end of games. (BTW, I think AJ is generally clutch. You can't make them all.)

But missing free throws at the end? That's frustrating. Allowing easy offensive rebounds. Not good.

We've had many threads, I suppose, where we've discussed which players are clutch and which are not. My quick recap:

Clutch: Croshere, AJ, Foster,

Not all that clutch: JO, Tinsley, Jax

Not sure: Freddy, Pollard

Too soon to tell: Granger, Runi, Peja

Moses
02-25-2006, 08:43 AM
Give the ball to Danny
Yeah, he was red-hot..:laugh:

He misseda good 5-6 wide open jumpers. It definitely wasn't his night.

Ragnar
02-25-2006, 09:58 AM
We have three clutch players, two of them did not play last night and the other one had his shot rim out.

SwissExpress
02-25-2006, 10:11 AM
There's no sense in singling out clutch players as making crucial shots ultimately depends on coaching and sharing the ball.

Some guys like Kobe are often singled out as clutch while making some 0.300 of crucial shots; while others like Carmelo Anthony are not, though they are very accurate in these moments. Of course, the former ones usually totally take over the last play and shoot while being doubled, while the latter ones often shoot open as final plays in Denver and some other teams are much more organized.

I don't think it's necessary to talk who is "clutch". The question is: what plays should be used to make sure that at least one player gets opened in a very short time.

SwissExpress
02-25-2006, 10:25 AM
Personally, I would always like the best shooters to get open for the final shots. I would never prefer Kobe over Peja in this respect, no matter how media depicts them.

And if it really happens so that Peja and other Pacers' players repeatedly start to strugle in the end of some more games later this season, I would, firstly, question coaching in the end of games, and, secondly, if everything is fine in that respect, I'd start wondering whether some individual psychological therapies or at least Phil Jackson-type karma-treatments are necessary.

If players who aren't even the best shooters on the team are being named as the most clutch, as it is in this thread, adjustments are necessary.

Hicks
02-25-2006, 11:30 AM
I think when you're not clutch, offensively, you attack the basket.

Defensively, I don't know. Maybe zone because it should mean less scrambling?

Pacesetter
02-25-2006, 12:27 PM
One thing's for sure about last nights game - the referees were clutch - for ATL! :D :-o

D-BONE
02-25-2006, 12:56 PM
This is a good thread. Its a good question to ask.

Yes, I think it is VERY important to have clutch players in at the end of games. (BTW, I think AJ is generally clutch. You can't make them all.)

But missing free throws at the end? That's frustrating. Allowing easy offensive rebounds. Not good.

We've had many threads, I suppose, where we've discussed which players are clutch and which are not. My quick recap:

Clutch: Croshere, AJ, Foster,

Not all that clutch: JO, Tinsley, Jax

Not sure: Freddy, Pollard

Too soon to tell: Granger, Runi, Peja

Suppose you can say Fred's unknown as far as clutch based on relative low opportunities, but he's not taken advantage of those chances. He and Peja really killed us on FTs last night down the stretch. Fred could still develop that I suppose. Peja was not comfortable at the line on any attempts in the last few minutes of the game. He nearly jacked two at one point. He missed the first and then on the second he came blowing down the lane after it b/c he obvsiously thought he'd missed. I hope this does not play into or reflect the Peja non-mental toughness, playoff-disapprearnce theory. Also, he's been unable now in two games against the Pistons to get anything going. Maybe starting with not able to get shots. We'll just have to continue to see how this pans out. I mean Peja played a GREAT game otherwise. I also find your Foster designation interesting. He also was outstanding against Atlanta and even was money at the line in the fourth. I was impressed on the FT tip particularly. Can he do that under pressure over time is what I wonder.

KINGS FAN
02-26-2006, 04:23 PM
Are you talking about this game tonight or the players overall clutch skills? The game tonight was NOT lost by "lack of clutch", it was lost because of bad Rebounding and some bad defense. But overall clutch skills... PEJA?? S-JAX?? AJ? FREDDY? SARUNAS? We got many.........

When you are clutch, it doesnt mean you will 100% hit clutch shots and buzzer-beaters everygame?

PS: Basketball is not only playing offense, and once again people like to blame missed shots instead of missed blocks, steals, rebounds in a bad game. are you crazy? you still think peja is clutch?:laugh: wow i remember when this team was one of the toughest in the league. now that they have peja they are very soft and dont wanna take big shots.:laugh:

SoupIsGood
02-26-2006, 04:24 PM
are you crazy? you still think peja is clutch?:laugh: wow i remember when this team was one of the toughest in the league. now that they have peja they are very soft and dont wanna take big shots.:laugh:

Go away!

#31
02-26-2006, 09:05 PM
are you crazy? you still think peja is clutch?:laugh: wow i remember when this team was one of the toughest in the league. now that they have peja they are very soft and dont wanna take big shots.:laugh:

Thank GOD for this ignore list thingy