people call me big shot bob too, but they're referring to my porn career
temporary layoffs...good times...scratching and surviving...good times...ain't we lucky we got 'em...good ti-iii-iii-iii-mes.
what a great nickname for robert horry huh? i know, it's been a while since i've done some hardcore sports blogging but here we go. last night's pistons/spurs game was a good one and robert horry pulled some more magic out of his ass once again. here's yesterday's column by espn.com's page 2 columnist bill simmons. it says all the usual thing, that we've never been an odder big game player than robert horry. i mean here is a guy who is decidedly not a star but somehow is able to score the biggest baskets when needed. here's another column that appeared in slate that says horry is overrated because his timely shooting makes us forget how the rest of the time he's a pretty average player.
now i, as any good statistics geek know that in baseball, there's no such thing as clutch hitting (or maybe there is). it's one of those socially constructed qualities that we use to make myths about our favorite players. and you would think that i would agree with the slate guy that this extends to basketball. however, you would be wrong. it might be true that if you factor in every game of horry's NBA finals career that horry only averages about eight points a game. but just as a small sample can be deceiving, so can looking at numbers without context. this is horry's seventh NBA finals. his team, so far has won five of those finals, probably six after this year. there are at least three different times where during his team's playoff run, horry has made a game winning shot. in 2002, first against portland, and then again against sacramento. there was the time when he hit 7 of 7 three pointers for houston in 1997, and then sunday's game clincher. in my eyes, all of these situations can be interpreted as "without robert horry, horry's team doesn't win." and in 7 games series, every single game is absolutely crucial. so the problem here is not that the sample size is too small, but rather the sample size is too big. i think that most people would say that horry is not a hall of famer. so looking at his overall numbers don't tell the story. what tells the story is that during the playoffs, there have been four times when the game was literally in his hands:, he makes the shot, his team wins, he misses, his team loses. and of those four times, he's made three of those shots, he missed a game winner last year against the pistons or the spurs, i forget who). obviously basketball is a team sport, and he didn't win those games single-handedly (although a good case could be made for that last night). but the fact is, when given the chance to win a game, he's batting .750. of course true greatness is playing well over the course of a season or a career and then being able to sustain that greatness in the playoffs. but nobody is saying that horry is truly great. i think that people are saying that horry has an uncanny ability to deliver when asked to. and that's a hypothesis that holds up to the data, which in my mind makes the nickname "big shot bob" an appropriate one.
let's not forget that horry made this dunk left-handed