Not so fast: Major discrepancy in quoted “clutch” performance.
Here’s what he wrote that blew my mind:
Over the last five years, in the final 24 seconds of games his (Chris Paul’s) team trailed by a point or two, or were tied, the Hornets have scored 102 points on 86 possessions (as of a few weeks ago). That’s an offensive rating of more than 118 points per 100 possession.
Remember that number. 118.
Now, consider that most of the NBA is below 85, and 27 teams are below 100. That’s a blowout.
Only the Magic and Blazers are even close (at 107 and 104, respectively). The Cavaliers had LeBron James most of that period, and come in ninth, at 96. The Lakers are 14th at 83. The Celtics rank 20th at 78. Steve Nash‘s Phoenix Suns are way down at 28th on the list, while the Rockets are dead last, with an offensive rating just about half of the Hornets’.
When people brought up Paul’s team’s performance in the clutch before, I went with it, but the idea that Paul’s Hornets’ in the clutch have an offensive efficiency rating of 118 and Nash’s Suns had an ORtg near the bottom of the league more than 40 points per 100 possessions worse just seemed crazy. So I looked up what 82games had in that same time period (last 5 years), here’s what I found:
As you can see, according to 82games, Nash’s teams have actually a clearly superior clutch ORtg when Nash is in the game, compared to Paul’s respective performance.
TrueHoop is using a metric based on the last 24 seconds of a game while 82games is using a metric base on the last 5 minutes, so it is not necessarily a problem with the data that they deviate so much.
There is however a question of credibility imho in the 24 second stat. We’re talking about a swing in ORtg between the two on the order of 50, and this is a stat where the difference between great and terrible is about 10. Either we’re dealing with a gap in performance so huge to be absolutely revolutionary…or we’re dealing with sample size too small to be meaningful on the part of the 24 second stat.
I’m going to have to see more data and analysis before I really let this influence my opinion.
NOTE: Edited with a better description of the two systems used to describe clutch performance.
- Kobe Theory: Adventures in Distorted Probability (asubstituteforwar.wordpress.com)
Subscribe to comments with RSS.