There’s this misconception floating around out there that Dwyane Wade would significantly improve the Miami Heat in the “clutch,” and therefore would’ve positively affected so many of the Heat’s close losses (21 games decided by single digits), thus flipping this nightmare season on its ass.
Let me preface this with I’m not a big believer in measuring “clutch” statistics, as all points, rebounds, assists, and other stats count the same whether it’s in the first quarter or the last five minutes.
The Golden State Warriors, for example, have played just 42 “clutch minutes,” which are defined as five minutes or less with a margin of five points or fewer. This is more than half of that of the Miami Heat (90 minutes). The ideal is obviously to decide the game well before the final minutes and the Warriors have done that continuously because they are a freak show.
But since ya’ll want to keep pushing this narrative let’s take a glance at Wade’s numbers in the “clutch” with the Bulls this season compared to key Miami Heat perimeter players in the same situation. I’m just curious.
Note: True Shooting Percentage (TS%) accounts for field goals, three-pointers, and free throws
Dwyane Wade: 8/30 FG, 1/7 3FG, 6/7 FT, 34.8 TS%
Goran Dragic: 14/33 FG, 4/7 3FG, 6/7 FT, 54.4 TS%
Tyler Johnson: 15/33 FG, 5/14 3FG, 6/11 FT, 54.2 TS%
Josh Richardson: 5/11, 1/5 3FG, 4/5 FT, 56.8 TS%
Tyler Johnson is shooting 45.5 percent from the field in the clutch. Same as Dwyane Wade did last season for #Heat
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 5, 2017
So not only have Dragic, Johnson, and Richardson been more efficient scoring the basketball in the clutch than Mr. Wade this season, but it’s been by a massive margin if you look at their True Shooting Percentages. Wade, however, was brilliant in these situations during the 2016 postseason, posting a 61.4 True Shooting Percentage.
The Heat’s biggest culprits for poor “clutch” scoring are Dion Waiters (2 of 11), Justise Winslow (7 of 21), and James Johnson (3 of 13).
I still think “clutch” talk is stupid because it can be incredibly random. Even Kevin Durant, a basketball god, is converting only 32 percent from the field in “clutch” situations. Does that make him less great or not clutch? No.
Part of the issue is small sample sizes. Shooting percentages typically normalize over time and regress to the mean. “Clutch” play only considers a sliver of the overall pie.
The Heat’s offense generally stinks this season, “clutch” situations or otherwise, and while Dwyane Wade’s playmaking likely would aid them some overall (he’d also hurt them defensively, by the way), the Heat has several perimeter options who have been more “clutch” than Wade has this season.