Give and Go: Clutch Time Stats

Insight6 years ago3 min readGiancarlo Navas

Welcome to the first Give and Go! This is a new series I’m going to be doing to point out some interesting numbers for the Heat in a short, easy, visual and digestible way. So lots of pretty graphs and gifs. Yay, technology! It’s always going to be short so think of it as something to read when grabbing a coffee or waiting in line. Credit to @Heat_CM for coming up with the awesome name.

Clutch Time Numbers


Something that struck me was the Heat’s hyper-efficient clutch time offense and defense. In clutch time, which is defined as the final 5 minutes of a game that is within 5 points, Heat are posting an Ortg of 111 and a Drtg of 94 which lands them a Netrtg of 17. Good for third in the NBA behind only Golden State and Dallas. That Drtg of 94 would be first in the NBA if extrapolated across a whole game and their Ortg would be second – for the season, Miami has an Ortg of 102 and a Drtg of 100. So the Netrtg balloons for Miami in the clutch. Below is an interactive graph that shows the differences between every team’s Netrtg in the clutch and out of it.

Here is a graph showing Miami players in the clutch in terms of +/- and Netrtg. Credit to fromal09 for making the following graph

The Heat are also securing defensive rebounds in the clutch. They are third in the league in clutch defensive rebounds, grabbing 80% of them. Perhaps more important is what the Heat are doing defensively. They allow the ninth fewest points in the paint (while scoring the ninth most) and limit opponents fast break points to the fourth fewest. They also hold opponents to 25% three-point shooting and almost as important they allow the 9th fewest attempts – you need to contextualize this with Miami playing at a pace of 97. They do all this without fouling as they foul the second least in the clutch. That yields their opponents free-throw shooting to be the third lowest. Because they limit sending opponents to the free-throw line it allows for that kind of randomness to occur, giving a larger sample – more opponent free throw attempts – for the numbers to even out.