What Is “Clutch Shooting” In Basketball?

clutch shot basketball

Key Takeaway: Clutch shooting in basketball refers to successfully hitting a shot in the last two minutes of a game, with players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James known for their ability to thrive in these pressure situations. Mastering clutch shooting is a crucial skill that can give teams a significant advantage in close games and crucial moments.

Basketball is full of surprises and magic. You will see one team in the lead, and then suddenly, their opponent overcomes the deficit. Sometimes a player sinking in a circus shot, which makes your jaw drop, or sometimes a player sinks a shot with 0.5 seconds remaining in the clock. These circumstances are the reason why basketball is full of surprises, and these circumstances only happen occasionally.  

Basketball moves like a slam dunk, crossover, or circus layup is a common move that everybody knows even though they are not fond of basketball. Many players have played the game since basketball was created, and these previous players have changed the game over the years. They’ve contributed various moves that are now used by the new generation, and one of these is clutch shooting.

Clutch shooting is often used every last second of the game, and most players now use it to win the ball game. But what exactly is clutch shooting? What does it cost in a game? 

Today, we are going to talk about the clutch shooting. We will take a deep dive to see the deeper meaning of clutch shooting in basketball. If you are ready to learn, then continue reading!

What Is “Clutch Shooting?”

Clutch shooting is basically when a player successfully hits a shot in the last two minutes of the game. It could be the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or the last two minutes of overtime. The shot could be a dunk, layup, jump shot, or a three-point shot. However, when a player shoots a free-throw during the last two minutes of the game is considered a clutch shot. They call it a clutch free-throw.

Let me give you some examples. Let’s say the Lakers are down by some points with only 2 minutes left in the clock. Lebron James hits a three-point shot to get the Lakers a one-point lead. After that, Danny Green snatched the ball and he was intentionally fouled, and because their opponent is in the penalty, Danny Green will go to the lane for a bonus free-throw. Green nails two free-throws which give the Lakers a three-point lead. Suddenly, the opposing team scores a three which tied the game, and the clock has only five seconds left. After the Laker’s timeout, they will inbound the ball. Mcgee passed the ball to Lebron James, and Lebron James attempted a three. James hit the three-pointer and won the game. The above situation is an example of a clutch shooting in basketball.

Clutch shooting can also be called a clutch shot. The above situation I gave you is called a clutch shot. A player that can hit a clutch shot is called a clutch shooter, and the skill they have is called clutch shooting. 

What Is Considered Clutch Time In Basketball?

One basketball game has 12 minutes per quarter, which totals to 48 minutes per one ball game. The question is, where between those minutes is considered clutch time? 

The answer is basic. The last two minutes of the game are considered clutch time. This could be the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or the last two minutes of overtime. If both teams must undergo a couple of overtimes then the clutch time remains in the final two minutes of each overtime.  

How Important Is “Clutch Shooting”?

Clutch shooting is an essential skill that every basketball player must master. Having the ability to hit a shot during the final minutes of the game while under pressure gives your team a lot of advantage against other teams. Some players are nervous and unconfident to take the final shot, but some players get used to it, and they seem to enjoy it. 

Every coach wanted a good clutch shooter in their team because coaches can rely on their clutch shooter every close game. Another thing a coach loves about clutch players is their ability to make good decisions, and they still manage to carry the team while things get tough. Clutch players are focused, and very dedicated to every game they play. 

If one basketball team has a player that is known for being clutch, they will rely on this player in the last minutes of every basketball game to get the best chance of hitting a big shot and winning the game. Clutch shooting is essential because it gives a team a final blow during close games and the last minutes of a game.

Who Are The Best Clutch Shooters?

Most clutch shooters in the history of basketball have sometimes had the best career and are sometimes considered as the best player to play the game. Previous and current players showed how important having a clutch shot skill because the outcome of the clutch shot they’ve attempted defined their careers. Below are the best clutch shooters in the NBA. They are very clutch that it looks like they’ve been born with it. 

Michael Jordan 

Michael Jordan can be not included in this list. He was a legendary clutch shooter and a great basketball player. Jordan hits some memorable clutch shots that are still buried in our brain. He hits important clutch shots as well that give the Chicago Bulls a triumph and championships.

Kobe Bryant 

Kobe Bryant is like a mini Michael Jordan. He copied most of the moves of Jordan that helped him to be a great player. The Black Mamba is so good when it comes to hitting the final shots of every game. Like Jordan, Bryant hits many memorable and crucial shots that led the Lakers to victory. 

Lebron James

Lebron James is like a 21st century Jordan. He was idolized by many 21st century kids. One of his skills that most millennials and generation z loved is his clutch shooting. James is just so clutch that gets every NBA team afraid when they face him. Lebron is a player that is not just clutch in the shooting but also in the clutch in other ways. He has many defensive plays and passes that helped his team to win games. 

Below are the other clutch shooters of all time in the NBA (not in order):

  1. Robert Horry
  2. Ray Allen 
  3. John Havlicek
  4. Stephen Curry
  5. Shaquille O’Neal
  6. James Worthy
  7. Rick Barry
  8. Reggie Miller
  9. Kawhi Leonard
  10. Larry Bird
  11. Kevin Durant
  12. Dirk Nowitzki
  13. Hakeem Olajuwon
  14. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  15. Tim Duncan
  16. Magic Johnson
  17. Jerry West
  18. George Mikan
  19. Bob Petitt
  20. Sam Jones

Final Thoughts

Clutch shooting is not a gift that only a few players can attain. It is a skill that every basketball player can master. You just have to put in many hours of training, and make sure to be dedicated to playing basketball. Clutch shooting is extremely important and having this skill will let you outperform other basketball players. 

Who do you think is the best clutch shooter of all time? Let’s hear your opinion in the comments section below!

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