Clutch options — IT, Hayward, Horford… and the rest of the Celtics at crunch time

celtics clutch shooting stats

Gordon Hayward’s imminent addition to the roster prompted us to check out the Celtics team “clutch shooting report” at…

and, with a little keyboard and graphics work, add in #20’s stats (from Utah) as well.

Here’s the result so you can draw some of your own conclusions —

before we, inevitably, draw some of our own:

Boston Celtics clutch shooting stats chart

(Click the image to few a larger version in a separate tab.)

Looking forward, the Celtics will benefit from having a “1a” and “1b” option in crunch time.

Duh, right? But a quick glance at some of the NBA’s other highly-reputed closers suggests that they often come in pairs:

MBA clutch shooting stats chart

Wall and Beal, LeBron and Kyrie (not listed, but effective), McCollum and Lillard… they make one another better.

This makes sense. Single closers (Westbrook, Harden) can expect double teams and stacked defenses.

But a closer look at the Celtics chart suggests several further conclusions.

1. Al Horford (especially given his performance in the playoffs) may be underrated.

And given he’s one of the better-passing bigs in the game — and can shoot free throws — the Celtics should have options 1A, 1B, and 1C.

2. Jaylen Brown (limited “clutch-squared” sample size, but more than 50 “clutch” shot attemps). His effective shooting percentage rises steadily from 47 percent in “garbage” situations (large lead or deficit) to 51 percent in normal situations, 57 percent in clutch, and 75 percent in clutch-squared (basically, end-of-game, win-or-lose-or-tie type of shots. He hit one, a 3-pointer, and missed one, for an EFG of .750.)

3. Marcus Smart‘s game 3 against Cleveland was inspiring and exciting — but, as his detractors know, sadly, not the norm. Every Celtic fan we know loves his heart, tenacity, and street-smarts — if he can ever develop a stroke, he’ll be crazy good. Marcus Smart as an NBA average shooter would be a terror.

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Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff is composed of fans, journalists, disbarred attorneys, people laid off by ESPN, and other disreputable types who spend too much time watching basketball -- and loving it. If you'd like to join our merry band, you can post a comment, tweet us at @Celts247, or email us (see the contact page.) The only requirement is that you bleed green.
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