Luckily for us, Basketball-Reference.com recently launched their “Shot Finder” which claims to track every shot from the 2000-01 season through to this season — up to the February 28 games, as of this writing. The table below shows the results of my Shot Finder query with the following criteria: regular season or playoffs, fourth quarter or overtime, 0:05 or less remaining, shot to tie or to take the lead. The Shot Finder doesn’t let you query across multiple seasons, so I did it for this season and the previous two seasons and added up the numbers for 35 of the most prominent players in terms of overall fame/ability or their tendency to take these shots. If you think I excluded a worthy player, feel free to look him up yourself.
As you can see, I sorted the results by field goals made. Part of me wants to dismiss the meaning behind these numbers because of the sample size — would you be comfortable making an absolute judgement on a player’s shooting skill based on 23 or fewer field goal attempts? But when it comes right down to it, these numbers do absolutely nothing to change Kobe’s and LeBron’s reputations.
Some surprising numbers.
Kobe: 36-133 - 27%
LeBron: 19-86 - 22%