Having secured the victory, all Russell Westbrook needs to do here is dribble out the clock in his final offensive possession. But instead, look at what he does. He passes it to PG and heads out of bounds. Do you know why? Because he doesn’t want to get the ball back. A shot clock violation registers as a turnover in the statsheet, so he was protecting himself from that.
Nowadays with all the advanced stats and analytics, players are aware that shifting some of those numbers in their favor, can translate into millions of dollars in the new contract, or in Westbrook’s case, stats will help a lot when talking about his legacy and the ranking among top point guards in NBA history.
That’s pretty selfish but sadly a lot of players do it. Let me show you the ugly side of the NBA. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check, let’s get into it.
This is one of those things that the casual fan would never notice, but there are a ton of situations at the end of the games where selfish guys are disrespecting: one their own teammates and two, the game of basketball itself.
But you know, there’s that statistic that measures assist to turnover ratio which if you’re a point guard, is extremely valuable. So a lot of quote unqoute cheap turnovers like these could add up and potentially hurt you during contract negotiations.
I mean, I definitely don’t justify it, I’m just explaining the thought process for some of the players.
Similar to this, you have another category of tricks for those who are padding their stats.
What players do now at the end of quarters, they take an extra dribble, allow the clock to expire, and then pretend to heave the ball from long range. Instead of hurting their shot percentage with an easy miss from beyond half court, they still pretend to shoot it but just barely being late, so the attempt doesn’t register.
Unlike the turnover thing that happens at the end of games, when everything is decided, this is literally holding back and not doing everything in your power to try to win.
Even if 1 of every 20 shots goes in, that’s still points that count, and that can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing.
If I’m a coach, this thing would drive me crazy. Rick Carlisle doesn’t like it either.
But again, everyone mentions field goal percentages when comparing players so they protect themselves I guess.
I made a video about Steph Curry being the goat shooter, and what I didn’t mention there is that he has such a high percentage despite always shooting shots beyond half court. You have to respect him for that.
Here’s another example of a pathetic behaviour while chasing stats. Deandre Jordan almost kills Luka Doncic here just to get the rebound.
And on the topic of stealing rebounds, I made an entire video about the way Russell Westbrook steals rebounds, and forces teammates to shoot after he passes the ball, so that he could possibly get an assist and eventually a triple double. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll leave a link in the description.
Oh and speaking of triple doubles, this is the area where you can see the most embarrassing examples of stat padding. That’s exactly what I mean when I say the ugly side of the NBA.
Look at James Harden chasing that last rebound so hard, and eventually being pissed off at his teammate for just playing basketball and trying his best. Even great players aren’t immune to this.
And also at the very end I have to mention 2 legendary attempts. First by Andray Blatche who made it clear to everyone what he was doing. He also got yelled at his teammate for getting the board, and moments later even asked an opposing player to straight up allow him to get it if the free throw is missed.
As crazy as that is, Ricky Davis once was so desperate for a triple double, that he attempted a shot at his own basket just to get the rebound. This is by far the most bizzare thing that a player has done for a stat.
Or maybe not? Let me know in the comments if I missed something.
That’s it for now, if you like this video subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss my future in depth analysis. Talk to you in the next one. Peace out.