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Thread: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

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    Default Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    This is interesting and illuminating.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/TrueHoop/pos...in-crunch-time

    I like the table included which shows the makes, attempts, and FG% of the most clutch players since the 1996-1997 season.

    In other words, Kobe's popularity in the clutch-department is largely due to quantity, as opposed to just pure quality. His % isn't hot, but he's taken so many big shots that you just remember all of the times it worked out, and you feel like, based on that, he's this ultimate clutch performer, when he's not so much. Carmelo comes up looking like gold, though.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    This is interesting and illuminating.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/TrueHoop/pos...in-crunch-time

    I like the table included which shows the makes, attempts, and FG% of the most clutch players since the 1996-1997 season.

    In other words, Kobe's popularity in the clutch-department is largely due to quantity, as opposed to just pure quality. His % isn't hot, but he's taken so many big shots that you just remember all of the times it worked out, and you feel like, based on that, he's this ultimate clutch performer, when he's not so much. Carmelo comes up looking like gold, though.
    Yea I always thought he was overrated as a 'clutch' player.

    Another player, that is probably even more overrated, is Chauncey Billups. There was a similar article a couple years ago showing this (same results as this article). I've always been confused when announcers gush about Billups and how clutch he is... while he bricks 3 after 3... only for them to say 'It's ok, he's Mr. Big Shot. He'll come up big WHEN IT MATTERS!'

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    I've seen this before.

    The percentage thing is nice. But I could have told you he'd have a lower percentage, it only makes sense.

    Who takes the most "clutch" shots in the league? Kobe Bryant. By a huge margin. Who takes the hardest "clutch" shots, in the league? Kobe Bryant. By a huge margin. (only three players ahead of him had taken more than a third of Bryant's clutch shots. Two of which are post players with guards on their teams that can create shots for them.)

    Why do I say that? Take a look at how Bryant is guarded at the end of the game, compared to how any other player is guarded.

    Lebron James..Lebron James..made a "huge" clutch shot at the end of a game against Orlando in the playoffs a few years ago. He was wide open. Kobe Bryant is never wide open at the end of games. Quite often, he's double teamed. And this is Lebron we're talking about, not just a measley starter.

    Hedo, Rashad Lewis, Ray Allen, Shawn marion, Eddie Jones...I'd say there's a good chance they were pretty open when they took their shots.

    This is one of those times, where despite saying "oh, it's just counting" the stats are once again misleading. Chris Paul's percentage is fantastic, but he's taken 31 "clutch" shots. Bryant's taken 115.

    This is like the Center that took 20 threes in his career, and made 10. Right, because he's definitely a better shooter than Ray Allen, just look at the percentage!

    Second, this article uses quotes from Jackson's book. Something that Jackson has even said he used Kobe as a scapegoat a bit.

    And third, defining clutch in the manor that they have is extremely restrictive. I've seen Kobe break many teams backs in the final 2 minutes of the game.

    So essentially, I know what the numbers say, I'm not suprised. But I think this is more of using numbers as an "agenda" than it is anything else. It's much better, in clutch situations to run a play, rather than an iso. (......)

    Iso's are much easier to guard, and it's much more likely to end up in a good shot. The majority of Kobe's clutch shots were taken in ISO situations, they are harder to make, they are easier to guard, and Kobe's taken more of those shots than any player in the league.

    So yea, I've seen these numbers before..but what these numbers actually show is that it's better to run a play to get a guy a good shot, then to have a player run an ISO. It also shows that Bryant has taken an extremely large portion of "clutch" shots. But at the end of the day, I'd give Bryant the ball and say "get your own shot" at the end of the game, before I'd do that for any other player.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    I'm generally in favor of using statistics to either support or refute questions like this. And I generally like Henry Abbott's work. In this case though, there are several things that bother me.

    Sookie pointed out a few of them. The definition of clutch seems a little too narrowly defined, leading to a sample size issue. Kobe's in his 15th season, so his 115 "clutch" shots means about 8 attempts per season - surely that's too low? Furthermore, Kobe's clutch reputation is being painted as due solely to volume, but he's not even top in "clutch" attempts - LeBron's data from the table for example lists 69 attempts in 8 seasons, for 8.6 attempts per season compared to 7.7 for Kobe.

    Another problem is that there has been no effort to differentiate guys who create their own shot (like Kobe, Paul, etc) versus pure shooters who were getting shots off set plays. It's no surprise that set up shooters drain a good percentage.

    Then there are just a lot of odd names popping up in that list. Big Dog Robinson? Jalen Rose? That really suggests low sample size is injecting noise into the data.

    Finally, where are reputed clutch performers such as our own Reggie Miller? Or Robert Horry? Heck, how about James Posey? The collected data is from 1996 to the present, so Reggie should have the requisite shot attempts. Are their reputations as overrated as Chauncey's? Certainly I think this article should have looked at other reputed clutch players too, rather than solely picking at Kobe's record. If your statistical system is telling you too many odd things, it's time to take a second look and wonder if you're measuring the right thing. And don't stop with Reggie. Why not look at the record of guys like Jordan, Bird, Magic? That should be a useful sanity check.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    As someone who sat through the overtime of game 4 in person, I have no interest in hearing that Kobe isn't clutch.
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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    I don't easily assume that Kobe is the only one on that list covered on most of those shots. That's a huge stretch IMO.

    Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy, Hedo Turkoglu, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, you can't tell me guys like that, most of the time, are not as heavily covered during the last shot of a close game.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I don't easily assume that Kobe is the only one on that list covered on most of those shots. That's a huge stretch IMO.

    Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy, Hedo Turkoglu, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, you can't tell me guys like that, most of the time, are not as heavily covered during the last shot of a close game.
    If you watch, they really aren't. Take a look at that photo, five guys are on Kobe.

    I gave you the example of Lebron, they'll give him a three pointer. They won't give Kobe a three pointer.

    Look at Monte Ellis, an established star. At the end of the game, we put one player on him to try and stop his shot. He made it.

    You think one player will ever be on Kobe? As I said, take a look at that picture.


    And once again, I don't think it's fair to compare someone who has taken 115 clutch shots to someone who has taken 40. I expect Kobe's reputation is what has contributed to him being more heavily guarded.

    Like I said in my original post, and like I've been saying throughout this season when talking about the Pacers problems at the end of the games. Set plays are much more successful than ISOs. You want to make a basket in the final seconds of the game, in the final two minutes..have set plays..don't run ISOs.

    But if we were going to just say, give a player the ball and look for the win..I'd take Bryant.
    Last edited by Sookie; 01-28-2011 at 03:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sookie View Post
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    I've seen this before.

    The percentage thing is nice. But I could have told you he'd have a lower percentage, it only makes sense.

    Who takes the most "clutch" shots in the league? Kobe Bryant. By a huge margin. Who takes the hardest "clutch" shots, in the league? Kobe Bryant. By a huge margin. (only three players ahead of him had taken more than a third of Bryant's clutch shots. Two of which are post players with guards on their teams that can create shots for them.)

    Why do I say that? Take a look at how Bryant is guarded at the end of the game, compared to how any other player is guarded.

    Lebron James..Lebron James..made a "huge" clutch shot at the end of a game against Orlando in the playoffs a few years ago. He was wide open. Kobe Bryant is never wide open at the end of games. Quite often, he's double teamed. And this is Lebron we're talking about, not just a measley starter.

    Hedo, Rashad Lewis, Ray Allen, Shawn marion, Eddie Jones...I'd say there's a good chance they were pretty open when they took their shots.

    This is one of those times, where despite saying "oh, it's just counting" the stats are once again misleading. Chris Paul's percentage is fantastic, but he's taken 31 "clutch" shots. Bryant's taken 115.

    This is like the Center that took 20 threes in his career, and made 10. Right, because he's definitely a better shooter than Ray Allen, just look at the percentage!

    Second, this article uses quotes from Jackson's book. Something that Jackson has even said he used Kobe as a scapegoat a bit.

    And third, defining clutch in the manor that they have is extremely restrictive. I've seen Kobe break many teams backs in the final 2 minutes of the game.

    So essentially, I know what the numbers say, I'm not suprised. But I think this is more of using numbers as an "agenda" than it is anything else. It's much better, in clutch situations to run a play, rather than an iso. (......)

    Iso's are much easier to guard, and it's much more likely to end up in a good shot. The majority of Kobe's clutch shots were taken in ISO situations, they are harder to make, they are easier to guard, and Kobe's taken more of those shots than any player in the league.

    So yea, I've seen these numbers before..but what these numbers actually show is that it's better to run a play to get a guy a good shot, then to have a player run an ISO. It also shows that Bryant has taken an extremely large portion of "clutch" shots. But at the end of the day, I'd give Bryant the ball and say "get your own shot" at the end of the game, before I'd do that for any other player.
    You are absolutely delirious. You have been provided with statistics proving that Kobe is not nearly as "clutch" as widely believed, yet you still choose to hold your belief due to your flawed logic. I would continue to disect your post and disprove each and every OPINION you present, but I do not feel like wasting another 30 minutes of my time retyping what I had previously written.

    On a side note, anyone know of a way to recover text from a web page? I had written out a response to this post previously but when I had tried to submit it I had been logged out, and when I logged back in my post had disapeared.

  12. #9

    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    so, umm, where's reggie on that list?

  13. #10

    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sookie View Post
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    I've seen this before.

    The percentage thing is nice. But I could have told you he'd have a lower percentage, it only makes sense.

    Who takes the most "clutch" shots in the league? Kobe Bryant. By a huge margin. Who takes the hardest "clutch" shots, in the league? Kobe Bryant.
    Your last sentence is the point of Abbot's essay. Kobe takes the most shots, and the most difficult shots, for no reason. There are five players on the court. No one player should take the last second shot every time. It's predictable and as Abbot has proven not that good percentage-wise.

    You bring up Chris Paul. Chris Paul has taken way less last second shots than Kobe. He also passes on that shot when it's the right thing to do for a better shot (I remember the Hornets beating the Pacers two years ago when he gave the ball up and David West hit the game winner).

    The Lakers won the title last year in spite of Kobe's late game shooting. He's been blessed with super talented teammates (Pau, Ron) who saved him twice after he shot last second air balls.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by croz24 View Post
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    so, umm, where's Posey on that list?
    Fixed

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
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    Your last sentence is the point of Abbot's essay. Kobe takes the most shots, and the most difficult shots, for no reason. There are five players on the court. No one player should take the last second shot every time. It's predictable and as Abbot has proven not that good percentage-wise.

    You bring up Chris Paul. Chris Paul has taken way less last second shots than Kobe. He also passes on that shot when it's the right thing to do for a better shot (I remember the Hornets beating the Pacers two years ago when he gave the ball up and David West hit the game winner).

    The Lakers won the title last year in spite of Kobe's late game shooting. He's been blessed with super talented teammates (Pau, Ron) who saved him twice after he shot last second air balls.
    Wow. You really believe the Lakers won in spite of Kobe? They wouldn't even be in a position to win the title if it wasn't for Kobe.

    As for the general point of this article, it's laughable. It's nitpicking at the greatest player of this era. And for what? What's the point? To prove he isn't as good as we think he is? Mr. Abbott, you are incredibly wrong. He is as good as we think he is. Actually, probably even better.

    The stats are very skewed, and it's certainly not as simple as "oh look, this is the total number and he made and missed this many. See, that's all to see here." Think about those years after Shaq left when he had to carry his team every single night. He averaged the second highest ppg for a season since Jordan. You can say "well he takes difficult shots, he should pass more, he's a ball hog," and so on. Well my answer is, pass to whom? Kwame Brown? Smush Parker? Luke Walton? I'm sure those years had a big impact on these stats, and I would love to see his "clutch" statistics for just those years, post-shaq and pre-pau. And if you can tell me you would rather have Kobe pass to one of those players than shoot with 3 people on him, then we can just agree to disagree. I wouldn't even trust those players if they were wide open in a scrimmage.

    This is why Kobe is so polarizing. You either hate him or you love him, and I believe we just found out which category Mr. Abbott prefers.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    If you guys could choose a current player in the league to take the last shot with the NBA Championship on the line, who would you chose? I'm taking Kobe every time.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by ilive4sports View Post
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    If you guys could choose a current player in the league to take the last shot with the NBA Championship on the line, who would you chose? I'm taking Kobe every time.
    I'll be honest that I would have a hard time picking. Kobe is right there but i'd also throw Paul Pierce in there as well.

    I certainly don't buy that Kobe isn't clutch. I just have a lot of faith in PP in the clutch.

    It would come down to those two for me.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuq_e_Zi91 View Post
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    Wow. You really believe the Lakers won in spite of Kobe? They wouldn't even be in a position to win the title if it wasn't for Kobe.
    Not in spite of Kobe. "The Lakers won the title last year in spite of Kobe's late game shooting."

    They won even though Kobe took some terrible shots at the end of games. Overall he played great and was a huge part of why they won back to back titles.

    As for the general point of this article, it's laughable. It's nitpicking at the greatest player of this era. And for what? What's the point? To prove he isn't as good as we think he is? Mr. Abbott, you are incredibly wrong. He is as good as we think he is. Actually, probably even better.

    The stats are very skewed, and it's certainly not as simple as "oh look, this is the total number and he made and missed this many. See, that's all to see here." Think about those years after Shaq left when he had to carry his team every single night. He averaged the second highest ppg for a season since Jordan. You can say "well he takes difficult shots, he should pass more, he's a ball hog," and so on. Well my answer is, pass to whom? Kwame Brown? Smush Parker? Luke Walton? I'm sure those years had a big impact on these stats, and I would love to see his "clutch" statistics for just those years, post-shaq and pre-pau. And if you can tell me you would rather have Kobe pass to one of those players than shoot with 3 people on him, then we can just agree to disagree. I wouldn't even trust those players if they were wide open in a scrimmage.

    This is why Kobe is so polarizing. You either hate him or you love him, and I believe we just found out which category Mr. Abbott prefers.
    Abbott doesn't hate Kobe. I don't hate Kobe. Kobe isn't flawless, no one is. It's just analysis.

    Abbott's larger point, the same point most statisticians and economists will make, is that we need to look at things with a more critical eye. Anecdotal evidence is only part of the larger picture. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't WANT to try and understand basketball more. Be it through statistics or any other means.
    Last edited by King Tuts Tomb; 01-28-2011 at 08:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Kobe Bryant... not so clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sookie View Post
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    Why do I say that? Take a look at how Bryant is guarded at the end of the game, compared to how any other player is guarded.

    Lebron James..Lebron James..made a "huge" clutch shot at the end of a game against Orlando in the playoffs a few years ago. He was wide open. Kobe Bryant is never wide open at the end of games. Quite often, he's double teamed. And this is Lebron we're talking about, not just a measley starter.
    LeBron wasn't double because there was one second left. You can't double one guy on a pass-in with one second left. As soon as LeBron got the ball, the double from Rashard naturally dropped, but was obviously too late. Either way, he shot over a fully extended 6'10'' Hedo.

    Still, Kobe is definitely not always doubled.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4HZYLMhwV0&feature=fvst

    Where's the double here? There was 5 seconds left. What about his Celtics game winner in January? The double never came. Where's the double in his game winning 3 against Memphis? He's wide open when he hits the Kings game winner. In his game winning 3 against the Heat, he's doubled on the throw in but the double falls off for the final 5 seconds. Teams leave him just as open as LeBron behind the three and anywhere else on the court.

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