CP3, Hornets Clutch No More?

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Published: April 13, 2011

It is playoff time and our Hornets are back into the playoffs after missing it last year. After good (some of them impressive) wins over Portland, Houston, Indiana and Phoenix, we had too very bad losses against Memphis and Utah.

Apparently we have a consistency problem and it comes at a bad time right before the most important games of 2010-2011 season. More importantly, it seems like we will miss D-West a lot in the playoffs. Because, I don’t expect to have comfortable wins like those against Suns and Pacers and I also do not expect blowout losses like those against Grizzlies and Jazz. So, What do I expect? Should we expect slow-paced defensive games from our Hornets trying to control the tempo? If that would be the case, most of our playoff games are going to be close at the end of the 4th and the winner will probably be decided in the last couple of minutes. Who do you think we need in that situation? A clutch player, a winner, a leader!

D-West was one of those type of players on this Hornets team. Remember the game winning jumper against Thunder? The clutch steal from Dirk and the free-throws against Mavs? Even the dunk that led to his injury at Utah was clutch!

I kinda hear some of you saying how come I skip CP3 as the first-best(?) clutch player of the Hornets team. He was for sure!, is he still?, I don’t know.

I want to share an interesting stat on Clutch-ness. 82games.com has its top story on Clutch Stats. Sortable! Fell free to sort, play and see who is clutch and who is not!I played a little bit to save you some time.

First of all, For the stats “Clutch” is defined as:
 4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 5 points.

So, when we sort the clutch-ness by points scored, CP3 is #11 in 07-08, #5 in 08-09, #9 in 09-10, #64 in 10-11 season! #64(!) after being in pretty much top 10 for 3 seasons in a row?

With D-West out, that is not good to know. After watching many games this season, I kinda felt like CP3 was slower than before injuring his knee. But not taking open shots while he can? Not playing with the ball but simply passing it to someone else and leaving all the responsibility on a teammates’s shoulder? I started seeing those more and more. May that be why he is #64?

He was attempting 15.7 Free Throws in 07-08 (#21), 17.5 Free Throws in 08-09 (#11) and now 9.1 Free Throws this season (#69). Is that an indication that CP3 lost his quickness, that he uses the ball less, that he is not a slasher as he used to be? Consider the fact that CP3 is an above 85% FT shooter, don’t you think he should keep the ball in his hands more to draw more fouls?

His assist and turnovers in clutch time is almost the same for 07-08, 08-09 and 10-11. As you may have realized, I have started excluding 09-10 since he was injured most of that season.

Another drop in the clutch-ness of CP3: Steals:

He was #10 in 07-08 with 2.9 steals, #2 in 08-09 with a striking 4.7 steals in 44 games considered for clutch! 10-11? #41 with 2.0 steals. Is that an indication that he is not as quick as he was before?

So, all these indicate that CP3 is not as efficient as he was during clutch time! Neither defensively nor offensively. Hopefully, it will change in the playoffs.

The question is: Is CP3 going to play like his old CLUTCH-self in the playoffs? I sure hope so. I know that he can. I have seen that in him in multiple games this season. That’s what we need if we want to have a chance to advance! Otherwise, our Hornets might be in trouble in close games!

Geaux Hornets!

This post was submitted by kempleton.

2 comments
Kempleton
Kempleton

Thanks Joe. I will just cross my fingers and hope that we will watch the CLUTCH-est ever Hornet team in the next couple of weeks. Eliminating Lakers at the first round will definitely go into the records as one of the biggest upsets of all time. Anybody keeping track of the Lakers all season long and especially for the last 4 weeks may realize that they are drifting away from their Champion-selves. Otherwise they would be competing with the Spurs for the top seed rather than being in conversation of who is going to be 2nd, 3rd, 4th discussion down to the wire, right? So, Can we eliminate the Lakers? Hell Yeah! Why not? Nothing is impossible! Geaux Hornets!

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Good points all around. I think defensively he's a bit better this year, but offensively it's clear he's not all there. They actually have stats that only take into account "clutch" situations- http://www.82games.com/1011/CSORT11.HTM He's fallen from top 5 in the league in the late 00's, to somewhere in the 50's in terms of points/48, and his assist numbers aren't much better. There's not doubt his performances this year were not as clutch as in past seasons. He's still good, but no longer one of the best statistically. Oddly enough, the Hornets are. Compared to their regular offense, the Hornets offense in the clutch represents the biggest improvement in the league. I threw up a link to this main page. nice post!