May 3, 2011, 9:53 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant is largely considered one of the game’s best closers, but the numbers recently have shown that this assertion is simply not factually correct.
The most recent data comes from ESPN Stats & Info, who point out that Bryant has now missed five straight postseason go-ahead or game-tying field goals that he’s taken in the final 24 seconds of fourth quarter or overtime.
This includes, of course, Bryant’s missed three-point attempt at the buzzer against the Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Monday. The reason for the streak of misses, as told by Bryant himself at the Lakers practice facility on Tuesday?
“I’m not clutch,” he said sarcastically.
Bryant’s production in the clutch has been widely debated, and for good reason. He has plenty of makes with the game on the line, but due to almost exclusive usage by his team in these situations, he has many more misses. And in the playoffs, according to ESPN Los Angeles, the last time Bryant has converted was back in 2008 against the San Antonio Spurs.
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- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle fined $25K for publicly criticizing officials after Game 3 loss to Rockets 10
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