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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Kobe is below average on the last shot

By ESPN Stats & Info


US PresswireSteve Blake (left) made almost 40 percent of his corner 3-pointers during the season.
In his playoff career, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant is 7-for-27 on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime. That’s a field goal percentage of 25.9, which is below the league average of 27.2 percent, and pales in comparison to his teammates over that span. Other Lakers are 9-for-21 (42.9 percent) on such shots, even after Steve Blake's miss in Game 2 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In his 16-year career (including postseason), Bryant has made 71 of 226 field goal attempts (31.4 percent) in one-possession games in the last 24 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime. That ranks 57th among 114 players who have at least 30 attempts in those situations over that span. The league average is 31.6 percent on such shots over that span.

So, should Blake have taken the last shot?

According to Synergy, Blake was 40-for-88 (45.5 percent) on unguarded catch-and-shoots during the regular season. In the playoffs, Blake was 12-for-23 before his final shot. (In Game 2, he was 1-for-4 on those shots before the last attempt.)

According to NBA.com, Blake was 29-of-74 (39.2 percent) on corner 3's this season, including the playoffs, including 16-for-35 on 3-pointers from the right corner. (Both numbers include the final miss in Game 2.)

Blake now is 12-for-24 in the playoffs on unguarded catch-and-shoots. The league average in this year's playoffs on these shots is 38.9 percent. Blake’s 50.0 shooting percentage on unguarded catch-and-shoot attempts is tied for seventh among 43 players with at least 10 such field goal attempts this postseason.

During the regular season, the league average on unguarded catch-and-shoots was 40.6 percent, so Blake was above average in the regular season as well.

No matter how you look at it, it was a pretty good percentage shot considering the situation.

-- Statistical support for this story provided by NBA.com. Alok Pattani contributed to this post.