Does Mr. 'Big Shot' Warrant His Title
After yesterday's late-game heroics in Miami, Chauncey Billups elevated his already clutch status to new heights. Although his moniker of Mr. Big Shot has followed him around since his NBA Finals MVP for the Pistons, how does he rank among his peers this season?
Is he the efficient, clutch shooter from deep we all assume him to be? Or is he simply an inefficient volume shooter with no regard for his percentages?
All of this and more will be revealed within our Top 10 clutch three-point shooter rankings.
For this stat "Clutch" will be defined as: 4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 5 points.
(Data provided by 82games.com)
Although Gallinari has now vacated Madison Square Garden and taken up more permanent residence at the Pepsi center, we cannot discard his clutch composure this season.
As a Knick, Gallinari was always known for his three-point shooting and willingness to take the important shot when the game was close. This was often received with mixed reviews but this season he is having a fantastic run.
A number of clutch threes have elevated Gallinari's game from choke to clutch. His percentages speak accordingly of this fact, as he was found to be the Knick taking and making the most threes in clutch time.
The Nuggets will be hoping for more of the same in Denver.
Clutch 3P%: 37.5
J-Rich was a destructive three-point force in Phoenix, so it was only natural that a move to the three-point-addicted Magic would yield similar results.
Richardson has not failed to live up to the expectations bestowed upon him since the blockbuster trade between the Suns and Magic. He has been a reliable shooter from deep and has aptly complemented the inside presence of the colossus, Dwight Howard.
In the clutch, Richardson can be especially dangerous. His ability to run around screens and shoot in motion has made him one of the Magic's most dangerous perimeter players.
The Magic system has contributed greatly to Richardson's success in the clutch, as a number of players can light it up from deep, allowing J-Rich to get a number of open opportunities, which he has taken advantage of.
Clutch 3P%: 37.5
The Argentine has spent the majority of his career as the sixth man for the San Antonio Spurs. As a result, he has often found himself in the shadows of starters Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
But not anymore. With the aging Duncan unable to produce his legendary goods on the offensive end, Ginobili has recently found himself being cast in the role of late-game hero.
The offense is now being run through the left-hander during the pivotal moments of the fourth quarter and Manu has not failed to deliver. Nowhere else is this clearer than from behind the arc, where Ginobili has consistently assassinated teams this season.
With the Spurs owning the best record in the league they will be hoping to ride Ginobili's clutch shooting all the way to a fifth NBA championship this summer.
Clutch 3P%: 38.5
Shane Battier, widely considered one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, may make one of the most surprising entries into these rankings.
But heed this warning: Do not sleep on Battier's shooting numbers this season. Even though he has been known throughout his career for his lockdown defense, he has been a welcome boost to a lackadaisical Rockets offense this year.
With many defenses electing to leave him wide open, in an effort to close down the more dangerous Rockets shooters, Battier found himself with a number of open shots this term. For the first time in his career, he knocked these shots down with relative ease as he propelled the Rockets in clutch time.
Even with a trade back to his beloved Memphis, Battier should hold his head high for the clutch work he did in a Rockets uniform this season. He will be missed.
Clutch 3P%: 50.0
Let's all agree that Richard Jefferson had a hugely disappointing first season in a San Antonio Spurs jersey. His coach agreed with us as well.
Jefferson's play ticked Greg Popovich off so much that he gave Jefferson a simple choice at the end of the season: get better by giving up your summer, in order to train with the Spurs staff, or get ready to be traded! Jefferson took the message to heart and decided to work hard on his game over the summer.
Guess what? The work paid off. What a turnaround season he is having too! Along with the improved play of Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson is having a sensational season with the Spurs and has been a huge contributor to a team that boasts the league's best record.
This has been especially evident in clutch time where Jefferson, who was a previously poor three-point shooter to say the least, has become a deadly threat from range. This is a tribute to his hard work and the ability of the Spurs organization to turn lead into gold!
Clutch 3P%: 57.1
Hedo's journey back to the Magic has been one filled with disappointment and deflated hopes but let's leave that to the Suns and Raptors fans.
Throughout his time in the league Turkoglu has been a danger from range and fortunately for us this has not changed in his second stint in Orlando.
He rose to league-wide prominence with his string of clutch performances, which propelled the Orlando Magic to an unheralded appearance in the NBA Finals in 2009. Following this high point, Hedo underwent a season and a half of disappointment before returning to the Floridian sun.
In the time away from Orlando he didn't forget his old tricks, as he has picked up where he left off by accumulating an impressive résumé of clutch shooting this season.
Clutch 3P%: 45.5
Mike Bibby is one of the most underappreciated three-point shooters in the league today. He is even more underappreciated as a clutch three-point shooter.
For the past few years in Atlanta he had been having to compete with peers, Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford, for clutch opportunities. However, even in his limited opportunities, Bibby has been a red-hot shooter in the clutch.
The Wizards that recently traded for him are rumoured to be buying his contract out, which could give Bibby the chance to move to a contender. Pundits are putting Miami as his most likely decision and in all honesty it would be an ideal setting for his skill set.
Knocking down open jumpers is as much Mike Bibby as his signature headband and the Heat would give him ample opportunities to drain from beyond.
Clutch 3P%: 66.7
Arguably the most efficient scorer in the NBA, Kevin Martin is not well known for his work in the clutch but maybe he should be. Martin, a player who struggled with injury in Sacramento, has always been a capable scorer and when given the opportunity in Houston he has not failed to deliver.
Martin does everything you would want from a scorer: gets in the paint, gets to the line and shoots from midrange and from deep. Perhaps his least appreciated strength is his ability to shoot in the pressure cooker that is clutch time.
Martin has all the traits required to be a phenomenal clutch player. Now if only the Rockets would put the ball in his hands more in that exact situation.
Clutch 3P%: 50.0
The JET has enjoyed an NBA career in which he has been known to be a clutch performer. This season he has taken this tag to new heights with his unbelievable fourth quarter play.
The great range on his jumper and quickness on the floor make him a potent scoring option during crunch time. When Dirk Nowitzki has been found unwilling, Jason Terry has taken on the scoring load in the clutch. This will be another reason why Dallas will be a dangerous team, for whoever they face, come playoff time.
The JET has been especially scintillating from behind the three-point line where he has burned a number of teams on his way to some incredible clutch shooting numbers.
The Mavericks will hope this continues deep into the playoffs as they search for the elusive championship missing from their trophy cabinet.
Clutch 3P%: 58.3
The greatest three-point shooter in NBA history graces this rankings, as would be expected. After recently surpassing the record for most three-point field goals made, Ray Allen made the East All-Star team. A well deserved honour for he has been enjoying his most efficient shooting season of his career.
An achievement only surpassed by his work in the clutch. Although the Celtics have a number of legitimate options in the clutch, Allen has been a mammoth performer by all standards. Most notably in his three-point shooting, where his quick release dagger has been as deadly as it has ever been.
In a season filled with accolades and achievements it is difficult to envision what more Ray Allen can do but one thing is for sure. His clutch shooting looks to be driving the Celtics to yet another NBA championship.
Clutch 3P%: 54.5