New Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd declares that Joe Johnson will be his go-to-guy come crunchtime. A rather puzzling statement, considering the fact that he has a lot of other options after acquiring a bunch of veterans, including Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both of whom are also known for their clutch prowess.
Let’s imagine a fictitious situation, which one way or the other is most likely is bound to happen this year: 1.2 seconds left in the game, Nets trailing by a basket but has possession, which Net will you go to for your game-winning shot? Which Net would you set-up plays to get that clear shot at a victory?
In an interview with NY Daily News, Kidd will prefer starting shooting guard Johnson to take that probable last shot.
“If you’re into analytics, you look at Joe Johnson as the clear-cut guy taking the last-second shot,” said Kidd. “He was 9-for-10 with 24 seconds or less. So that would be your guy who is the closer.”
However, Kidd was quick to point out that in-game situations may vary and lead to other players attempting the crucial shot.
“But the game of basketball is such that you draw up a play for one player, most of the time it doesn’t end up with that one guy taking the shot. He creates a problem, which results to one of teammates getting a wide-open look. Make-or-miss, it’s the right basketball play," said Kidd, who has had hit a few clutch shots in his colorful 19-year NBA career.
"For us, it’s about making the right basketball play at the end. But if you’re looking at stats, which a lot of you people do, Joe Johnson’s name comes first. … He’s a guy who delivers. He loves that stage at the end of having the ball and making the right play.”
Do you agree with the rookie head coach?
Crunching the clutch numbers should do the trick. Here are the late-game stats for the core of Brooklyn.
2012-2013 Clutch Stats from 82games.com:
*Defined as "4th quarter or OT, less than five minutes left, neither team ahead by 5 points.
Brook Lopez - 28.6 PPG (44.2% on 21.6 FGA)
Paul Pierce - 25.3 PPG (34.3% on 23.1 FGA)
Deron Williams - 25.1 PPG (27.3% on 16.7 FGA)
Kevin Garnett - 24.6 PPG (41.2%on 21.8 FGA)
Joe Johnson - 23.1 PPG (40.0% on 17.6 FGA)
Jason Terry - 17.1 PPG (34.8% on 13.8 FGA)
(FGA = Field Goal Attempts, FGM = Field Goal Made, FG% = Field Goal Percentage)
2012-2013 Clutch Stats from nba.com:
Field Goal Percentage in Last 5 Minutes of ballgame with their team either ahead or behind and the lead is within 5 points for either team.
Brook Lopez – 44.2%
Kevin Garnett – 41.8%
Joe Johnson – 40.0%
Jason Terry – 34.8%
Paul Pierce – 34.3%
Deron Williams – 27.3%
Field Goal Percentage in Last 2 Minutes of ballgame with their team either ahead or behind and the lead is within 5 points for either team.
Joe Johnson – 52.0%
Kevin Garnett - 39.0%
Jason Terry – 36.0%
Paul Pierce – 35.7%
Deron Williams – 26.9%
Is Jason Kidd correct in his assessment? Would you do the same, trust Johnson over the others, after seeing this numbers? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
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