Five clutch commandments
So I'm assuming that everyone want to talk about Robert Horry, even though the subject's alreayd been done to death. Clearly the draft is still over people's heads.
1. Why do I think Reggie Miller is a more distinguished clutch player than Horry? Because last night was the first time in Horry's career that he's had a sustained late game effort—a Miller-esque performance—as opposed to just one shot.
2. Hall of Famer, my ass. If you want to penalize Nash's MVP cred based on his lack of defense, surely Horry's chances of enshrinement are hurt by not trying until the last shot of a playoff series's decisive game. There's really never been a player like him in any sport—one who shows you next to nothing until it really matters, while plenty of more talented guys fold under pressure despite having played at a high level up to that point (whether you're talking late in game, late in season, or late in playoff series).
3. Horry's kind of clutch is not quantifiable. Except for last night's game, we're not talking about overwhelming late game efforts; it's hitting a shot in a game that happens to come down to one shot, a situation that's completely beyond his control (if anything, it's a failure on his part for not having widened the gap before then).
4. That said, Horry is ready and willing to take that shot and more often than not, hits it. That's the defintion of a role player: given a specific kind of situation, he can be inserted to do the job. Not, like a star does, set the course of the game himself.
5. If this series has been saved, it's because the game was entertaining, active, and close up until Horry took the final shot. Celebrate Horry for the second half, where he caught fire and kept them in the game, not the "historic" three. To their credit, the media seems to be doing this, but failing to note the basic difference between this Horry and the one that's up to this point defined his post-season career.