NBA fans love to argue about what player is the most clutch or who they would want taking the last shot in a game. It seems most would always say Kobe Bryant including other NBA players and GM’s.
It is amazing how everyone simply agrees with this when the numbers don’t entirely back Kobe up during crunch time. He is the most prolific at taking shots when the game is on the line. He is just not the most efficient in doing so.
For example, the Lakers over Kobe’s career tenure with them have had the most efficient offense in the NBA. The drop off in their efficiency once games enter crunch time is the greatest of any other team.
Chris Paul on the other hand, is by far the most efficient player once the game enters crunch time. And not only as an individual but his team has been the most efficient in the NBA during this time.
Henry Abbott goes into more detail about this.
Paul didn’t become the most efficient by taking fadeaway jump shots over two defenders but by always trying to run offense and find the open man in late-game situations.
But sometimes in the NBA you can’t always find an open shot and you have to take a bad shot. That’s why stats can’t definitely tell you who the most clutch player in the league is. Kobe’s skill and ability to get off a decent shot from anywhere on the court does have its value, it’s just not always the best decision.
Here’s my ranking of players I want taking a clutch shot in the NBA, based on the type of shot or scenario in the game.
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