June 05, 2012

Superstar or Scrub?: TrueHoop analyzes who should be taking the final shot in an NBA game.

posted by bperk to basketball at 07:39 PM - 1 comment

To use an analogy from another sport, Tom Brady was asked who is his favorite receiver. His answer was "whoever is open". So it would seem to be with those who can hit the late game-winner. The lesser lights, if they are doing their job, are setting screens, thus in a planned play for your best shooter, they will not be open. Considering the players who seem to be better at hitting the game winners, most are considered good at creating their own shot rather than relying on a catch-and-shoot situation, Ray Allen being a notable exception. Rondo is quick and deceptive, Paul Pierce has excellent footwork and moves, and Kevin Durant uses his size, accuracy, and mobility. It helps the intended game-ending shooter to have at least one teammate who can also hit the shot, thus making it more difficult to double-or triple-team "the man". Many other factors play into this, chief among them being time remaining on the shot clock or game clock when the play begins. The other, most obvious, factor is how far behind you are. If you need one or two points for the win, consider driving to the basket, but understand this takes some time. If you need 3 for a tie, then the choice is obvious. Some teams have used an 'alley-oop' play from the in-bounds pass, but this requires a lot of things to go just right. All-in-all, the best practice would seem to be to get the ball into the hands of a superstar and let him have at it.

posted by Howard_T at 03:55 PM on June 06, 2012

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