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Thread: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms



    Also, while we are discussing this, we might as well determine if there is any such thing as a "hot streak" at the same time.

    To the "Intuition Over Integers" crowd (thanks McKey Fan), I would think the answer to both is a resounding yes. I am a member of this crowd.

    To the stat guys, the answer is no, it is all part of the overall dataset that creates the stats used for the analysis, and correlation does not equal causality.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    I mean I guess Reggie called the Knicks chokers in both the 8 in 9 second game and in the 25 points in the 4th quarter game.

    OK, I just thought of when a team did choke. I think the Knicks choked, or maybe were in shock after Reggie scored 8 in 9 seconds, Starks missed two free throws and Patrick missed a rebound putback. In that situation it was such na shocking swing, that I think the Knicks couldn't process just what happened and it impacted Starks shots.

    Brad, we were thinking the same thing at the exact same time

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Nobody else was open, but David had a time out to use did he not?

    To me David's pass and Cody/Sheehey's missed defense at the end of the Illinois game were both prototypical examples of a choke.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    At the game I thought there wasn't a timeout, but later I found out there was.

    Doing that without a timeout available was a mistake but it was forced to a certain extent - so not a choke.

    Making that mistake with a timeout left - yeah, that gets close to the definition of a choke.
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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    The great ones—Jordan, Tiger, Montana, Kobe, Bird, etc—all GET BETTER in the ultimate clutch moment.

    I say West choked the other night. I say Hill choked. However, neither of them are "chokers" in general. They almost always perform in the clutch. I think they are nearly as good as the great ones I listed before. So I am not dissing them overall. But on a case by case basis, you gotta call it what it was the other night.
    Not to be a smart aleck, but do you have any stats to show that Tiger shot or putted better in clutch situations? Or that Kobe shoots better in clutch situations? Henry Abbott would argue he does not.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Making that mistake with a timeout left - yeah, that gets close to the definition of a choke.
    Wouldn't the opposite be more true. I mean here he is knowing there are no timeouts, knowing he has to get the ball in, so he panics and throws the ball long. But he knew the were timeouts and he threw the ball quick, he wasn't close to a 5 second count.

    Is it possible that he thought Lance was running free and je just didn't see the defender and the pass he threw wasn't a perfect throw.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    To me, choking is when a team has the lead, and they lose the game through their own mistakes. Turnovers, easy missed opportunities to score, poor defense.

    Obviously, the other team is going to have something to do with it, but I think the idea is that the leading team/player had control..and they lost it.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Wouldn't the opposite be more true. I mean here he is knowing there are no timeouts, knowing he has to get the ball in, so he panics and throws the ball long. But he knew the were timeouts and he threw the ball quick, he wasn't close to a 5 second count.

    Is it possible that he thought Lance was running free and je just didn't see the defender and the pass he threw wasn't a perfect throw.
    I think it is consistent with my definition. No timeouts, have to get the ball in, make a bad pass - that's a situation where the defense has a big part in forcing the turnover. I would only call it a "choke" if it was done while missing other safe passes. As I recall the rest of the team was pretty covered up (the Raptors pressed hard the last few Pacer inbounds).

    A choke really has to be based on making a game critical mistake when other options existed and were possible. In this case, the timeout option was definitely possible, and would have been a better call.

    Bottom line is that a choke is an unforced error made under game-changing circumstances when the possibility existed of maintaining the lead (i.e. you can't choke if you are the team coming from behind). A choke is a subcase of a mistake.
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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Even David West himself basically said he choked.

    He said he second guessed himself and threw the pass. With a timeout we could've advanced the ball to half-court but he panicked.

    It was a very bad pass to make in any circumstance, and it was well out of the realm of what David West normally does.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    OK, maybe I should ask this. Is choke one of the worst things you can say about a player. or is it somthing that happens to them all - they all do it from time to time.

    I always considered choking to be about the worst thing you can say about a player - in fact it is the worst thing you can say about a player

    Maybe I'm wrong

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I mean I guess Reggie called the Knicks chokers in both the 8 in 9 second game and in the 25 points in the 4th quarter game.

    OK, I just thought of when a team did choke. I think the Knicks choked, or maybe were in shock after Reggie scored 8 in 9 seconds, Starks missed two free throws and Patrick missed a rebound putback. In that situation it was such na shocking swing, that I think the Knicks couldn't process just what happened and it impacted Starks shots.

    Brad, we were thinking the same thing at the exact same time



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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Alright. Is panicked the same as choked?

    I see a bad decision from a guy that is normally pretty reliable at crunch time.

    To me a choke is more of when you're in a situation to do what you do best, but fail at the most crucial time.

    I also think in an 82 game season that we should never make too much out of one single game.

    You start seeing something over a series of games and it matters more.


    Did Reggie choke at the end of Game #6 of the 2000 Finals with those two badly-missed threepointers that could have extended it to Game #7?

    Did Rifleman choke at the end of Game #5 in 1991 when we could have defeating ****ing Larry Bird and those ***hole Celtics?

    (yes. to both of those.)
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    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    OK, maybe I should ask this. Is choke one of the worst things you can say about a player. or is it somthing that happens to them all - they all do it from time to time.

    I always considered choking to be about the worst thing you can say about a player - in fact it is the worst thing you can say about a player

    Maybe I'm wrong
    All players choke from time to time.

    There are players who have a pattern of choking. I think calling a player a "choker" (aka, has a pattern of choking) is the worst thing you could say about a player.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    I am now convinced that the term choking serves no real value and shouldn't be used, because it has no real standard of meaning.

    Although some players are better under pressure than others, and some are more mentally tough than others, and some are just better than others.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    West choked twice on the Toronto game, Hill also choked, s*** happens.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    West choked twice on the Toronto game, Hill also choked, s*** happens.
    Exactly. Toronto was an anomaly, not the norm, our two best crunch time players made unusual mistakes. It's not a big deal, but it was a choke. Fatigue, sloppiness, just generally not giving a **** against Toronto (which we all know does happen in the NBA) who knows why exactly it happened, but it happened. In terms of games that I actually wouldn't mind losing that Toronto game is right up there, yeah we should have won against a bad team, but I'm glad we beat CHI, ATL, and PHI and if losing to TOR was the trade we had to make to do that I am ok with it (as long as we take care of BKN tonight)

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    I look at choking as a consistent trend toward not being able to close out a game. Sometimes people have a bad game here and there where they underperform, but I look at their overall trend. David West is not a choker. In fact, he's been consistently good down the stretch when we have needed someone to step up.

    I also look at who steps up to try and make things happen. Half of being clutch is having the cojones to step up and take the shot or make the play, let alone hit the shot.


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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    I define it basically the way it is described when Will Galen cited a definition the other day. It's letting nervousness or anxiety beat you and cause your mind/body to perform at a lower level than normal and therefore resulting in you failing to execute in clutch situation. I think the term literally derives from that concept; your throat feeling tight or dry because you are nervous, and those same nerves being the reason why you perform at a lower level than your norm.

    Robert Horry was always cool as a cucumber. If he missed a shot late in a game, I would never ever consider that a choke job because I know he's not nervous. He just missed a jumpshot.

    There are other players that seem to get too nervous and shrivel in those big moments. They would be chokers/choking.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Here is a good video showing why people called Lebron "Lechoke"





    Note that West and Hill don't choke all the time so they don't qualify as chokers.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Exactly. Toronto was an anomaly, not the norm, our two best crunch time players made unusual mistakes. It's not a big deal, but it was a choke. Fatigue, sloppiness, just generally not giving a **** against Toronto (which we all know does happen in the NBA) who knows why exactly it happened, but it happened.
    So basically any time they fail, it's a choke? Looks like you're more interested in the outcome, as opposed to the reason why it happened.

    Chocking is a subcategory of failing, and it revolves around the "why."

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    So basically any time they fail, it's a choke? Looks like you're more interested in the outcome, as opposed to the reason why it happened.

    Chocking is a subcategory of failing, and it revolves around the "why."
    I think choking involves making one or more unforced mistakes. Even if you want to give West a pass on the pass, he still blanked on that timeout.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    So basically any time they fail, it's a choke? Looks like you're more interested in the outcome, as opposed to the reason why it happened.

    Chocking is a subcategory of failing, and it revolves around the "why."
    That's always been my understanding as well, but I see more and more people use 'choke' as a substitute for any kind of late game failure. I don't care for it, but I do read/hear that more than I thought I used to.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    I think choking involves making one or more unforced mistakes.
    So do you consider missed shots/FTs "mistakes?"

    I don't.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    So do you consider missed shots/FTs "mistakes?"

    I don't.
    No I do not. Assuming they are good shots, now if a team is settling for shots outside of their offense it starts to look like a choke.

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    Default Re: What is your definition of "Choke" in sports terms

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    No I do not. Assuming they are good shots, now if a team is settling for shots outside of their offense it starts to look like a choke.

    I should have emphasized it more in the original question, but I was more hoping to get it geared towards missing FTs. Are those chokes?

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