Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan, left, drives past Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, March 2, 2014. (AP photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Let’s quickly look at clutchness.

If you believe that offensive efficiency in the last five minutes with the score within five points is considered a good indicator of clutch then I have some news for you: Mo Williams is the clutchest player in the league with a rating of 129.8 in those situations.

DeMar DeRozan, on that scale is 71st with a rating of 102. Amongst shooting guards, that’s good enough for 36th in the league. Note that this only considers players who have played at least 25 games this season.

There’s also a belief that he takes too many long jumpers. Let’s examine that a little further. Below are his overall shot distributions and ones only for the the above-defined “clutch” situations, which if hearsay is to be believed, would suggest that DeRozan opts for too many springers with the game hanging in the balance.

Note that I can’t figure out how to subtract his clutch shot chart from his overall visually, but that doesn’t detract from the point.  Click on the image to see the bigger version.

Overall

Clutch

What do we notice?

  • He shoots more shots at the rim in clutch situations than he does otherwise
  • He shoots fewer long-twos in clutch situations
  • He shoots below league average in clutch situations (blue areas are above-league average)

Conclusions? None, really, except maybe that we have a distorted sense of just how many jumpers this guy takes. It’s almost like for every jumper he takes in a tight game registers as three jumpers in our minds.  His overall performance in clutch situations, though, is disappointing.   Lowry, by comparison, has a 104 offensive rating which is good for 61st in the league, and 30th amongst guards.

  • Jimi

    I’m not sure that I’ve seen anyone say that he shoots too many jumpers in clutch spots; the complaint is just that he shoots badly, from anywhere. (Or he turns it over.)

  • Steve

    He chokes big time in the clutch, and its not because of where he’s shooting it from. He should just be there as a distributor as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over.

    • GetLicks

      I half agree with you. He used to disappear pretty much always in the 4th, but this year he’s improved a lot on making big shots/plays in the final quarter. However, he still struggles in the last couple minutes and mostly end of game plays. Is it all on him though? IMO, the coaching staff needs to shoulder some blame there. Why not run some off-the-ball screens and try to get him open as a spot up shooter? Instead, most of the time we give him the ball to go ISO (which is playing to his weakness as a ball-handler).

    • noname

      now it’s a work in progress, he could develop some clutchness in the future when he has more experience playing under a lot of pressure (playoffs will help a lot in that regard), and plus he has had some nice clutch shots before (game-tieing shot against washington, game-tieing shots (a couple of them) against the mavs including an epic long-two and1, and theres also the badass game winner against orlando last year. Come to think of it, he actually shoots long-twos somewhat efficiently in the clutch but not otherwise, the reason why he is dubbed a choker is because of the turnovers. It’ll come with time i’m not worried about demar at all this is the worst we’ll see from him until he starts to decline. But on another note i just get the feeling that terrence ross has some clutch genes. He has hit clutch shots before, quite a few in that 51 pt game of his, even if it ended in a loss) and on other occasions, but what makes me think he is clutch is that he is always calm and doesn’t get nervous ever since his rookie year so i believe DC should probably look into that.

    • noname

      now it’s a work in progress, he could develop some clutchness in the future when he has more experience playing under a lot of pressure (playoffs will help a lot in that regard), and plus he has had some nice clutch shots before (game-tieing shot against washington, game-tieing shots (a couple of them) against the mavs including an epic long-two and1, and theres also the badass game winner against orlando last year. Come to think of it, he actually shoots long-twos somewhat efficiently in the clutch but not otherwise, the reason why he is dubbed a choker is because of the turnovers. It’ll come with time i’m not worried about demar at all this is the worst we’ll see from him until he starts to decline. But on another note i just get the feeling that terrence ross has some clutch genes. He has hit clutch shots before, quite a few in that 51 pt game of his, even if it ended in a loss) and on other occasions, but what makes me think he is clutch is that he is always calm and doesn’t get nervous ever since his rookie year so i believe DC should probably look into that.

  • ace5950

    Well let’s not forget he only started being the go to guy after Rudy left, so in another words being a late game closer is something completely new to him, he hasn’t even had a full season of being “the guy.” Also recently Kyle stole the job of him finishing, but the only way DeRozan’s clutch performances are going to improve is if they continue to trust him and put him in that situation.

    • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

      I think Demar learned a lot from watching how Rudy went about it in clutch situations…

      • ace5950

        Rudy Gay is actually pretty good when it comes down to clutch situations…

      • ace5950

        Rudy Gay is actually pretty good when it comes down to clutch situations…

  • Raptors Argentina

    Just give the ball to kyle, Greivis or Pat in clutch time. thats all.

  • Raptors Argentina

    Just give the ball to kyle, Greivis or Pat in clutch time. thats all.

  • KJ-B

    DeRozan DeChozen or DeRozan DeFrozen depending on 1/2 full empty, I believe is #1 in the L in 4th quarter scoring for all his “unclutchness”. Or is it #2?!

    Please correct me Mr. Arsenal (GLORIA to Liverpool FC!!!)…

  • KJ-B

    DeRozan DeChozen or DeRozan DeFrozen depending on 1/2 full empty, I believe is #1 in the L in 4th quarter scoring for all his “unclutchness”. Or is it #2?!

    Please correct me Mr. Arsenal (GLORIA to Liverpool FC!!!)…

  • Icarus Descending

    I love the analysis you guys do on this site. It’s always great to see if the numbers actually bear out common conceptions about certain players or scenarios.

    For Demar I think the point missing here is how many turnovers he has in the clutch as well since it feels like he often loses the ball off the dribble at the end if tight games.

    • arsenalist

      His TO ratio in the clutch is 8.2. Overall, is a 7.3.

  • Icarus Descending

    I love the analysis you guys do on this site. It’s always great to see if the numbers actually bear out common conceptions about certain players or scenarios.

    For Demar I think the point missing here is how many turnovers he has in the clutch as well since it feels like he often loses the ball off the dribble at the end if tight games.