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The NBA Under Pressure

You want clutch talk? We got it.


  1. Matt Goldman and Justin M. Rao's paper, "Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance," tells us how free throw shooting and offensive rebounding are impacted in the clutch. But first a little talk about why clutch time is different from any other point in a game.
  2. Matt Moore is a bit skeptical about this, but JD Hastings had a smart explanation for why late-game plays impact the game more than early game plays.
  3. And with added pressure and risk in the clutch comes more crowd intensity. 
  4. And here we see one of our HoopIdeas coming into play and apparently being backed up by the research. Away players get to fall back into the white noise of the crowd, while home players are put under massive pressure by home crowd silence.
  5. And of course the distraction and crowd noise elements will bring out jokes. 
  6. But wait, it isn't all bad for the home team in the clutch. Remember that offensive rebounding mentioned earlier?
  7. No worries about this all coming from a small sample. This study used "a dataset over 1.3 million possessions and 300,000 free-throws."