Wednesday, March 20, 2013
LeBron James, Heat great in the 'clutch'
By Micah Adams, ESPN Stats & Info
As it pertains to the NBA, "clutch time" is defined as less than five minutes to go in the fourth quarter or overtime and the score within five points.
And right now no team is more clutch than the Miami Heat, and no player is more clutch than LeBron James.
And after Monday’s comeback against the Boston Celtics, it’s worth noting in recent history just how great this Heat team has been in clutch situations.
In the past 17 seasons, the Heat are one of two teams that have outscored their opponents by more than 30 points per 100 possessions in "clutch time". The only team better than this year’s Heat? The 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers, who just happened to be led by LeBron.
For comparisons sake, Michael Jordan’s last two seasons in Chicago the Bulls net points per 100 clutch possessions was a combined 22.2 (14.8 in 1996-97, 7.4 in 1997-98). Jordan accounted for 54 percent of the Bulls' clutch points during the '96-97 season. James has accounted for more than 60 percent of Miami's "clutch" points.
This season, only Kevin Durant has scored more clutch points than LeBron; however, James does more than just score late in close games. In fact, he leads the NBA in points assisted on in the clutch -- and it isn’t even close. He has assisted on more than twice as many points as all but three players in the league. His 115 points off of assists are 46 more than any other player.
A combination of points and assists is points created. James has been responsible for 243 points in the clutch this season, the next closest is Paul Pierce with 172 points.