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NBA Clutch Players, part III

In part one of this series on NBA clutch performers, we tackled measures of Clutch Scoring, and in Part Two we brought in looks at plus/minus, rebounding, passing, and shot creating. Today though we will look at some more comprehensive indicators to try and get closer to an overall player ranking scheme.

Again, please note that throughout this series we have defined "Clutch Moments" as the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, where neither team was ahead by more than five points, although obviously you could use tighter or looser requirements. The problem with going with "Super Clutch" type settings, say last two minutes, within three points, is that sample sizes become truly tiny.

Also Note:
- All stats reflect games played through March 15th of the 2004-2005 season
- Generally we require a player to have some minimum of 50 minutes of clutch playing time on the year
- You can see detailed clutch stats for every player in the league by going to the team page, clicking on the player's name and then clicking on the "Clutch Play" link (for instance, see Dwyane Wade in the clutch).

1) How the game changes in Clutch moments
One of the first things to consider is how performance changes in the last minutes of close games on a league wide basis. To that end we've listed a number of key stats below with the "All Season" and "clutch only" distinctions.
Stat
Full Season
Clutch
 Points per 100 Possessions 105.4  110.4 
 Field Goal % .446  .408 
 Effective FG % (eFG) .481  .450 
 Assisted FGM 59.0%  54.1% 
 Blocked FGA 6.1%  6.5% 
 Close Shot 33.7%  30.4% 
 Quick Shot (within 10 secs) 38.3%  35.2% 
 Late Shot (21+ secs) 13.5%  16.9% 
 Shooting Foul/Shot 11.3%  11.9% 
 Free Throw % .757  .765 
 Offensive Rebound% 30.8%  31.9% 
 Defensive Rebound% 69.2%  67.8% 
 Turnover/Possession 15.9%  13.0% 
On the surface this can seem contradictory -- FG% goes down considerably in the tight moments of a game, but Points per Possession goes up? Ah, well let me tell you about one oddity of late game antics -- the intentional foul! Not only do teams get free throws at a higher rate at the end of games, it's often also a team's best free shooter getting fouled. If we took out the intentional freebies, the points per possession would drop back down in the clutch.

It is important to note the higher offensive rebound rate (desperate teams go all out to get the second chance), and the lower turnover number. The lower rate of getting close shots -- you would figure perhaps that teams would try harder to go inside at the end of games -- is no doubt due to missing out on easy transition opportunities in those "timeout after every possession" stages...

2) Player PER ratings in the Clutch
John Hollinger (writer of the excellent "Pro Basketball Forecast" annuals and now a part of ESPN Insider) designed a complicated 'overall' rating of player performance on a per minute basis that is well regarded around the NBA stats community. Indeed we have used it on 82games for the Production by Position breakouts (eg see Tim Duncan or Miami Heat pages). The idea is to take into account every stat measured in conventional box scores, so rebounds, assists, points scored, blocks, etc are all in the formula. Now there are certainly different views on some of his weightings (eg Steals are thought to be more valuable then the weight John assigns to them by several notable people) but it's a very good starting point for analysis. The league wide average is set to 15.0, and we've calculated the ratings using clutch specific data as the baselines (eg the average points per possession in the clutch instead of overall).

#
Player
Team
FGA
eFG%
FTA
iFG
Reb
Ast
T/O
Blk
PF
Pts
PER*
1
 Nash
PHO
21.1   .578   17.8   21%  4.6   17.8   5.3   0.7   4.0   39.5   55.1  
2
 Stoudemire
PHO
15.4   .800   20.4   60%  14.2   1.2   3.1   2.5   4.3   38.9   53.7  
3
 Ginobili
SAS
18.6   .450   30.4   60%  8.7   5.6   5.0   1.2   8.7   41.6   49.2  
4
 Nowitzki
DAL
27.3   .383   24.8   18%  17.1   3.0   2.1   2.6   6.4   42.7   44.7  
5
 Marion
PHO
18.0   .657   8.7   37%  12.3   0.0   1.5   2.1   5.1   31.3   43.0  
6
 Duncan
SAS
22.2   .395   15.8   47%  19.3   3.5   1.8   1.2   5.3   29.8   40.9  
7
 James
CLE
25.3   .415   14.3   30%  7.2   9.1   2.9   1.9   1.9   32.9   38.9  
8
 Hughes
WAS
20.1   .543   19.3   21%  7.9   8.3   1.3   0.0   4.4   38.1   36.6  
9
 Francis
ORL
29.9   .411   22.3   36%  9.8   4.9   2.6   0.8   9.4   43.5   36.2  
10
 Stackhouse
DAL
18.6   .522   20.3   30%  8.1   2.4   1.6   0.0   3.2   34.8   36.1  
11
 Kidd
NJN
21.7   .565   11.3   15%  7.1   9.0   2.8   0.0   2.4   33.5   35.8  
12
 Lewis
SEA
20.0   .620   8.2   19%  10.0   1.7   1.3   1.3   4.3   30.0   35.6  
13
 Griffin
MIN
16.3   .722   4.5   33%  15.3   3.6   0.9   5.4   5.4   27.1   35.6  
14
 O'Neal
IND
30.3   .500   17.5   34%  17.5   3.5   2.9   3.5   6.4   43.1   35.1  
15
 Gordon
CHI
27.7   .607   14.3   21%  5.9   2.0   2.0   0.0   5.4   45.5   34.1  
16
 Terry
DAL
15.0   .692   9.3   30%  1.7   4.6   1.2   0.6   3.5   28.9   33.0  
17
 Allen
SEA
23.3   .451   12.8   25%  6.4   4.1   1.4   0.0   1.8   32.0   31.8  
18
 Camby
DEN
9.8   .625   6.7   37%  13.5   1.8   0.6   6.1   4.9   18.4   31.8  
19
 Boykins
DEN
15.5   .643   15.0   21%  3.3   5.0   2.2   1.7   7.8   32.7   31.7  
20
 Marshall
TOR
16.5   .681   6.0   19%  16.1   0.0   0.9   1.8   6.4   27.1   30.7  
21
 Daniels
SEA
14.3   .560   8.6   8%  5.1   9.7   2.3   0.0   4.0   24.6   30.5  
22
 Gooden
CLE
10.8   .688   6.1   62%  17.5   1.3   2.0   2.0   4.7   18.9   29.9  
23
 Ilgauskas
CLE
18.9   .427   12.9   43%  15.2   0.9   3.7   1.4   6.0   26.7   29.9  
24
 Wade
MIA
26.7   .458   20.0   30%  8.3   7.9   6.4   2.3   5.3   41.4   29.2  
25
 Radmanovic
SEA
16.1   .656   6.0   18%  5.0   3.0   1.5   0.5   6.0   26.6   28.7  
26
 Garnett
MIN
23.8   .500   9.0   29%  15.4   7.1   3.9   1.3   7.7   31.2   28.6  
27
 Randolph
POR
23.6   .386   18.2   38%  16.6   2.1   3.2   0.5   4.3   33.2   28.3  
28
 Ridnour
SEA
8.4   .318   12.9   27%  5.3   7.6   0.8   0.0   4.6   17.5   28.0  
29
 Marbury
NYK
28.3   .370   17.5   34%  3.1   8.0   2.1   0.0   5.2   34.9   27.2  
30
 Cassell
MIN
28.9   .451   9.9   17%  4.9   9.2   2.1   0.0   7.1   35.3   27.0  
31
 O'Neal
MIA
16.4   .581   16.8   69%  16.4   5.7   2.3   3.8   8.4   26.4   26.0  
32
 Lue
ATL
12.4   .647   9.4   23%  2.2   10.2   4.4   0.0   8.0   24.7   25.9  
33
 Jefferson
NJN
25.8   .407   15.0   30%  15.0   6.6   4.8   2.4   6.6   31.8   25.8  
34
 Richardson
GSW
34.7   .500   10.2   25%  13.2   3.3   3.7   0.7   4.0   41.3   25.4  
35
 Bryant
LAL
35.2   .371   25.3   26%  6.7   4.7   5.9   1.6   4.0   46.3   25.3  
36
 Billups
DET
19.7   .447   17.3   10%  7.3   4.8   2.4   0.7   5.2   33.2   25.3  
37
 Redd
MIL
22.5   .521   14.2   14%  7.7   3.2   3.2   0.0   3.2   36.1   25.1  
38
 Jamison
WAS
24.3   .493   9.8   19%  12.2   1.7   1.4   0.3   3.4   31.4   23.8  
39
 Wright
MEM
17.1   .478   6.0   52%  15.6   2.2   1.5   0.7   6.0   19.3   23.4  
40
 Williams
MEM
17.4   .667   5.8   14%  2.6   5.1   3.9   0.0   6.4   27.7   23.4  
41
 Arenas
WAS
23.3   .478   20.3   36%  6.4   4.4   4.1   0.0   6.8   37.5   23.2  
42
 Hill
ORL
21.0   .489   11.2   13%  7.9   0.5   1.9   0.9   4.2   28.0   22.6  
43
 Tinsley
IND
19.5   .609   7.9   40%  7.9   8.5   6.1   0.0   6.1   28.6   22.4  
44
 Rose
TOR
25.7   .459   13.9   22%  4.2   1.7   3.4   0.0   5.9   36.2   22.3  
45
 Alston
TOR
18.3   .510   8.6   28%  4.5   7.1   1.5   0.7   6.7   25.5   22.0  
46
 Knight
CHA
16.8   .407   9.9   25%  4.3   13.0   1.9   0.0   4.3   21.7   21.9  
47
 Croshere
IND
18.1   .450   12.7   23%  12.7   1.2   1.8   0.6   7.9   27.8   21.8  
48
 Atkins
LAL
12.8   .720   10.9   17%  5.0   4.4   1.9   0.0   4.4   25.9   21.6  
49
 Howard
DAL
7.6   .583   4.4   58%  8.8   1.3   1.9   2.5   3.8   13.2   21.5  
50
 Iverson
PHI
27.8   .370   14.9   31%  5.0   7.2   5.0   0.0   4.6   34.3   21.1  

So there you have it, the top fifty PER rated players for their clutch efforts so far in 2004-05. We must emphasize that with the small amounts of playing time, these numbers would come with some pretty huge standard deviations if we calculated them, so take the hierarchy of players with a grain of salt. Additionally that "Intentional Foul" issue is a problem, boosting a guy like say Ridnour who has shot poorly and infrequently. While we could remove the freebie FT's, it seems some credit should be given to the guys who at the end of the game can be relied upon to take an inbounds pass without turning it over, and then knock down the pressure shots at the other end.

PER veterans will know it's rate to find a 25 rated player for the NBA full season, let alone a 55! Still 'Nash for MVP' types will probably run with the table above to the local media outlet. As for Kobe Bryant fans, stunned to see their man at #35, well, first off a 25.3 rating is very good, and secondly Kobe gets brought down by a few key areas -- that ugly .371 eFG (or .337 FG% if you prefer), and that high 5.9 turnovers per 48 minutes.

Ah, but we put quotes around the 'overall' measure description of the PER for a reason -- there's a lot they don't take into account, primarily defense (beyond blocks and steals), and the influence on team performance as a whole. Measuring individual defense is of course the biggest challenge currently facing NBA statisticians, and we're working on a variety of things there. The simplest to present, is the PER Counterpart numbers...

3) Player "Counterpart" Defense in the Clutch
A simple notion for tracking on some level the defensive efforts of a player is to provide the numbers for how his opposing "man" does while he is on the floor. The assumption is that a PG is guarding the opposing PG, the SG the SG, etc, which is admittedly flawed, and problematic given zone defenses, switches, difficulties in assigning a guy a position, etc and not helped any by using only the small subset of data of clutch minutes. Nevertheless, it is worthy of consideration, and here is what we find:

#
Player
Team
FGA
eFG%
FTA
iFG
Reb
Ast
T/O
PF
Pts
PER*
1
 Wade
MIA
12.4   .258   5.3   33%  5.3   3.0   2.6   6.4   9.8   1.4  
2
 Claxton
GSW
16.6   .217   10.5   23%  7.2   3.9   2.8   9.4   13.8   2.5  
3
 Chandler
CHI
19.9   .282   7.7   38%  10.2   1.5   1.0   10.2   15.3   2.8  
4
 Hassell
MIN
18.5   .210   6.6   25%  7.1   4.2   1.2   3.0   11.9   2.8  
5
 Brand
LAC
14.5   .220   9.6   36%  9.0   1.7   0.9   7.3   13.6   3.5  
6
 Gasol
MEM
13.2   .400   8.8   26%  10.6   0.9   5.3   12.3   15.0   3.9  
7
 Camby
DEN
15.4   .240   5.5   48%  9.2   3.1   2.5   8.6   11.1   3.9  
8
 Davis
BOS
14.2   .282   4.6   20%  7.0   4.6   2.6   4.1   11.6   4.7  
9
 Jeffries
WAS
17.0   .350   8.5   5%  5.1   2.5   0.8   7.6   17.0   4.8  
10
 Deng
CHI
12.7   .395   4.0   5%  6.7   2.7   2.7   8.0   12.7   4.9  
11
 Jackson
HOU
9.3   .167   6.2   25%  8.5   2.3   0.8   3.1   8.5   5.1  
12
 Anthony
DEN
15.0   .212   4.0   34%  8.6   4.6   2.3   4.0   9.8   5.1  
13
 Maggette
LAC
13.1   .341   8.0   19%  6.1   3.8   3.2   7.0   15.6   5.4  
14
 Iverson
PHI
14.9   .282   8.0   10%  5.3   5.3   6.1   7.2   16.0   5.6  
15
 Van Horn
MIL
17.5   .375   2.6   35%  7.9   0.0   0.9   4.4   14.9   6.6  
16
 Carter
NJN
15.3   .310   8.7   33%  8.7   1.5   1.5   7.3   15.3   6.7  
17
 Wesley
NOH
15.9   .333   6.0   12%  5.3   6.0   2.7   4.0   13.9   6.7  
18
 Hinrich
CHI
14.2   .284   6.2   16%  7.3   6.9   1.9   7.7   11.9   6.9  
19
 D.Jones
MIA
16.2   .380   3.6   24%  4.2   4.2   2.9   5.2   15.6   6.9  
20
 Miller
IND
12.5   .385   5.3   15%  5.8   1.9   3.8   4.8   13.5   7.1  
21
 Turkoglu
ORL
8.0   .423   3.1   23%  6.8   1.2   0.6   6.8   9.2   7.4  
22
 Tinsley
IND
12.2   .400   8.5   5%  1.8   6.1   4.3   5.5   14.6   7.9  
23
 Payton
BOS
14.6   .462   4.8   17%  5.6   3.9   3.6   6.4   17.4   8.1  
24
 Peterson
TOR
20.9   .281   7.8   15%  9.8   2.0   1.3   3.9   17.6   8.2  
25
 Prince
DET
13.3   .378   5.5   19%  7.1   1.9   1.0   3.2   13.6   8.2  
26
 Mihm
LAL
12.4   .200   14.8   53%  19.0   1.6   3.3   9.9   15.7   8.2  
27
 Smith
NOH
12.4   .469   10.9   31%  7.0   3.1   3.9   3.1   16.3   8.3  
28
 Hudson
MIN
10.2   .250   3.4   25%  9.3   12.7   3.4   5.9   5.9   8.5  
29
 Stojakovic
SAC
14.9   .436   6.5   25%  6.9   2.7   2.3   5.0   17.9   8.7  
30
 Fisher
GSW
16.9   .347   10.8   30%  8.0   5.2   2.8   5.6   17.8   9.0  
31
 Bryant
LAL
18.2   .402   4.0   32%  7.1   5.5   2.0   9.5   16.6   9.1  
32
 Stackhouse
DAL
16.2   .325   4.9   15%  6.5   4.1   1.6   6.5   13.8   9.2  
33
 Richardson
GSW
13.9   .408   4.8   31%  6.2   2.2   0.7   4.8   15.3   9.7  
34
 O'Neal
MIA
12.6   .242   13.4   36%  13.8   0.8   1.5   9.9   17.2   9.7  
35
 Boozer
UTA
15.7   .387   5.6   45%  10.7   2.0   2.0   7.6   15.7   9.8  
36
 Billups
DET
16.6   .344   5.9   20%  5.5   8.0   1.7   7.6   15.9   9.9  
37
 Foyle
GSW
10.2   .273   16.7   54%  12.0   0.9   0.9   8.3   16.7   9.9  
38
 Allen
SEA
12.3   .407   1.8   37%  7.8   2.3   1.8   3.7   11.4   10.0  
39
 Gordon
CHI
21.3   .326   9.9   25%  7.4   4.5   2.5   5.5   21.3   10.1  
40
 Simmons
LAC
10.3   .564   5.5   20%  4.5   3.4   1.8   4.5   16.6   10.1  
41
 B.Wallace
DET
16.4   .409   6.0   40%  6.7   1.1   1.5   4.5   17.9   10.3  
42
 McGrady
HOU
10.5   .422   6.5   31%  7.8   3.3   2.3   6.5   14.0   10.5  
43
 Blount
BOS
14.5   .353   11.1   44%  11.1   2.1   0.9   4.3   17.4   10.6  
44
 Williamson
PHI
15.5   .417   13.5   25%  16.1   1.3   3.2   9.7   20.0   10.8  
45
 Redd
MIL
18.4   .482   4.2   21%  7.1   2.6   1.6   7.4   20.3   11.3  
46
 Jamison
WAS
12.2   .431   6.8   47%  11.8   3.0   2.0   8.1   15.2   11.3  
47
 Ginobili
SAS
11.8   .342   9.3   57%  7.5   1.9   3.1   8.7   16.2   11.3  
48
 Sura
HOU
21.2   .364   7.1   27%  5.8   7.7   1.3   4.5   19.9   11.4  
49
 Odom
LAL
17.3   .407   7.7   29%  10.3   1.9   1.3   7.4   19.2   11.5  
50
 Knight
CHA
14.9   .354   1.9   12%  8.1   9.9   3.1   5.0   12.4   11.6  

You get some of the players with "defensive" reputations showing up well -- Chandler, Hassell, Camby types -- along with a number of superb (and superbly active) offensive players...Wade, Maggette, Iverson, etc. One theory would be that the go-to guys on offense leave their man focused on defending them and not doing much at the other end (or rebounding say) that their counterparts consequently post middling to no stats of note themselves. This however could be a very important consideration -- a great offensive player can be a positive on defense as well, since the poor sap having to guard him needs to catch his breath when the team with the ball changes. Again, with the league average set to 15, a lot of players posting better than average counterpart stats aren't cracking the top fifty.

Okay, now it's time to take a stab at putting it all together

4) A semblance of an overall Player Clutch Rating
So what should go into the "ultimate" player rating system? Certainly we want to include a player's easily trackable elements, like shooting, rebounding, and the like. Clearly we would love to have better measures for what the player gives up in those same stats on the other end. Finally, we would want to include something that gets at how well the team plays with the player on the court -- after all, there are lots of ways to contribute in basketball that go unmeasured currently, and whether your team wins or loses is supposed to be the true goal, not whether you are a highlight film regular.

We've been working on a substantial project for some time to do just this, bring these different pieces together, AND incorporate the extra statistical information we have here at 82games (eg did a passer contribute more on an assisted dunk than on an assisted 2-point jump shot? or, did the free throws come via a drawn shooting foul, or a backcourt intentional foul). This Uber-Rating is however going to have to wait until the regular season concludes, and we wrap up a few more reseach projects relating to this.

In the meantime we'll go with something quick and easy -- PER minus Counterpart PER (also referred to as "PER Difference") adjusted by 1/5 of the player's clutch plus/minus per 48 minutes. We have published ratings that use PER Diff + ON/OFF, but as mentioned elsewhere, the on/off splits are useless for clutch breakdowns since some players are never off the floor in those moments. Adding in a full +/- number is too strong, and too dependent on the teammates, but surely putting a player on the hook for 1/5 of the team performance doesn't seem too much, indeed, it's in most cases a minor adjustment to the PER Diff component.

#
Player
Team
PER
dPER
Diff
+/-
Rating
1
 Ginobili
SAS
49.2  11.3  37.9  +9  39.0 
2
 Stoudemire
PHO
53.7  19.5  34.2  +16  36.2 
3
 Nash
PHO
55.1  23.8  31.3  +31  35.4 
4
 Wade
MIA
29.2  1.4  27.8  +79  33.7 
5
 Nowitzki
DAL
44.7  16.0  28.7  +43  32.3 
6
 Camby
DEN
31.8  3.9  27.9  +22  30.6 
7
 Griffin
MIN
35.6  15.8  19.8  +58  30.2 
8
 James
CLE
38.9  12.4  26.5  +13  27.8 
9
 Stackhouse
DAL
36.1  9.2  26.8  +5  27.6 
10
 Allen
SEA
31.8  10.0  21.7  +58  27.0 
11
 Gordon
CHI
34.1  10.1  24.0  +26  26.5 
12
 Terry
DAL
33.0  12.8  20.2  +52  26.2 
13
 Hughes
WAS
36.6  14.6  22.0  +42  25.7 
14
 Lewis
SEA
35.6  15.4  20.2  +59  25.4 
15
 O'Neal
IND
35.1  14.6  20.5  +18  22.6 
16
 O'Neal
MIA
26.0  9.7  16.3  +67  21.4 
17
 Daniels
SEA
30.5  16.6  13.9  +65  21.4 
18
 Kidd
NJN
35.8  18.9  17.0  +38  20.5 
19
 Tinsley
IND
22.4  7.9  14.5  +44  19.9 
20
 Ridnour
SEA
28.0  12.2  15.9  +22  19.2 
21
 Bryant
LAL
25.3  9.1  16.3  +34  19.0 
22
 Garnett
MIN
28.6  13.6  15.0  +55  18.6 
23
 Gooden
CLE
29.9  13.2  16.7  +12  18.3 
24
 Richardson
GSW
25.4  9.7  15.7  +31  18.0 
25
 Cassell
MIN
27.0  15.9  11.2  +42  17.1 
26
 Billups
DET
25.3  9.9  15.4  +23  17.0 
27
 D.Jones
MIA
18.4  6.9  11.5  +82  16.8 
28
 Boykins
DEN
31.7  18.2  13.5  +28  16.6 
29
 Francis
ORL
36.2  19.6  16.5  -10  15.8 
30
 Iverson
PHI
21.1  5.6  15.5  +2  15.7 
31
 Marion
PHO
43.0  28.9  14.1  +15  15.7 
32
 Jamison
WAS
23.8  11.3  12.4  +45  15.5 
33
 Marshall
TOR
30.7  16.6  14.1  +6  14.7 
34
 Hudson
MIN
19.9  8.5  11.4  +17  14.3 
35
 Carter
NJN
13.9  6.7  7.3  +43  13.5 
36
 Randolph
POR
28.3  13.1  15.2  -16  13.5 
37
 Smith
NOH
19.3  8.3  11.1  +15  13.4 
38
 Redd
MIL
25.1  11.3  13.8  -12  13.0 
39
 Jefferson
NJN
25.8  13.2  12.6  +3  13.0 
40
 Hassell
MIN
15.9  2.8  13.1  -2  12.8 
41
 Davis
BOS
17.0  4.7  12.3  +4  12.5 
42
 Chandler
CHI
13.1  2.8  10.3  +17  12.0 
43
 Ilgauskas
CLE
29.9  19.2  10.7  +13  11.9 
44
 Butler
LAL
20.8  11.9  8.9  +27  11.5 
45
 Claxton
GSW
12.5  2.5  9.9  +11  11.2 
46
 Mihm
LAL
15.1  8.2  6.9  +26  11.1 
47
 Van Horn
MIL
16.5  6.6  9.9  +4  10.6 
48
 Radmanovic
SEA
28.7  25.4  3.4  +69  10.3 
49
 Anthony
DEN
13.5  5.1  8.4  +16  10.2 
50
 Turkoglu
ORL
16.2  7.4  8.8  +11  10.1 

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.

For number fiends, or those whose favorite player didn't make the top fifty at left, we've published Team-by-Team lists of Player Clutch Performance Ratings.


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