Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours: Kobe Bryant and the Eye Test

Where to start? Kobe Bryant is a lot of things. Future Hall of Famer, pathological competitor, possible sex offender, arguably the greatest player since Jordan retired. But most importantly, one of the most prolific volume shooters the NBA has ever seen.

If there was a Mount Rushmore for volume shooters, the faces on it would most likely be: Kobe, Jordan (yes, it's true), Allen Iverson, and my boy Antoine Walker. Carmelo is making a strong push for that #4 spot though. Any way you slice it, Kobe is either #1 or #2 on that list.

While I was watching Steph Curry's Golden State Warriors run train on the Lakers the other night, I noticed just how much Kobe started to shoot when the game got out of hand. Like, every time he wasn't being bearhugged by Mike D'Antoni. His stats for the game look great on paper: 36 points!...on 11/27 shooting. Yeah, Kobe is a chucker sometimes. And almost all of those shots/points came when the Lakers were down by about 20 points.

This got me wondering, who is the greatest "garbage time" volume shooter? I'm going to define garbage time as being down by 10+ points in the 4th quarter. I know teams can come back from 10 point deficits in the 4th, but often they don't. Biggest chucker: it's got to be Kobe, right?

Aw, hell yeah. Kobe is outpacing the field by a comfortable 14 shot attempts in such situations. To his credit, he does hit 48.5% of them, so it gives his team a better chance to get back into the game. Let's pause to look at the other players behind him: Jimmer Fredette? JJ Barea? E'Twaun Moore!? HUH?!?!?

Interestingly, if I look at shots when down 15+ in the 4th quarter instead of 10+, Kobe drops to 31st on the list. So how do I decide this eye test? Screw it - Kobe, I deem thee a chucker.


And ok, I had to...

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