May 14, 2011

Forget About The Closer, Find Someone That's Open-er

     5 seconds left.  Down by 2 points.  Who do you want taking the last shot?  It's a question asked on sports shows probably every 20 seconds.  And every time, the analysts bring up all the big names in basketball:  Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and so on.  (Not LeBron James, though; he must be terrible.)  Yet there's always one man that never comes up in this discussion.
     The open man.
     Obviously you want to get your non-LeBron superstar open for a game-winning-or-tying shot, but the defense knows that to, and they'll do anything to keep it from happening.  So you find someone else.  Every team has at least one or two decent players that can make an open three but don't attract attention from the defense.  I think Miami has six of them.  Teams need to go to them instead of letting their superstar force a shot over a defender.
     Think of it this way.  The people at ESPN tell me that the average shooting percentage on potential game-winning-or-tying shots in the last 10 seconds (or something like that) is around 25%.  I think Kobe's was 27% and LeBron's was around 30%.  Are you telling me there isn't anyone on the Lakers that can shoot better than 27% when his defender botches his assignment?  That's how Derek Fisher and Robert Horry became famous for having clutchness.  They made open shots because defenses were too focused on Kobe and/or Shaq.
     So why bother discussing whether James or Wade should take the last shot?  I'd pick Mario Chalmers, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Kyle Korver, and James Jones over those two.  Because no one would expect it.  Because clutch basketball is just like regular basketball:  in order to make the shot, you have to take the best one you can get.

1 comment:

  1. This why the Mavericks may win the title in the first round they opened and closed! Dirk was tremendous!