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In Crunchtime, Carter, Harris, Simmons Excel

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Among the new look Nets, who can fans expect to be clutch performers, those who play best in the 4th qauarter over time, with less than two minutes left and neither team ahead by more than three points?

That stats-heavy 82games.com provides annual sortable stats on clutch performances. To even out the disparity in clutch minutes, it based its numbers on a 48-minute model.

Vince Carter was easily the Nets' best clutch player last season and not just in scoring. According to 82games.com, Carter was among the top 20 in seven different clutch categories: 15th in points per 48 minutes of clutch time and trips to the foul line, first in free throw shooting--he didn't miss a free throw in clutch time; 16th in assists, 19th in +/-, and (shockingly) second in steals. He was also among 53 NBA players didn't commit a turnover in clutch time.

He was not however a good shooter in the clutch. Carter tied for 92nd in field goal percentage at 37.5% (with Kevin Garnett, Eddy Curry,
Rashard Lewis and Tony Parker, among others) and 35th in three-point shooting at 40.0%.

Among the new Nets, the most clutch player turns out to Devin Harris. Although not at Carter's level last year, Harris did finish tied for first among clutch three point shooters--he didn't miss any; second in assists and fourth in steals. But based on last year, don't expect clutch ball-handling from Harris. He was among the worst in the NBA, with 5.3 turnovers per 48 minutes of clutch time.

Bobby Simmons, in spite of an injury-plagued season, also played well in the clutch. Although he didn't play as many minutes as Carter and Harris, when he did play, he played well. He finished first in the NBA in +/- with a +101 rating, tied for first in field goal percentage and free throw percentage--he didn't miss in either.

Neither Yi Jianlian nor Eduardo Najera performed very well in the clutch although Yi did finish second among rookies--and 25th overall--in field goal percentage, at 60%. Najera didn't score in the clutch last season, but did finish 23rd in clutch rebounding. He and Simmons were both poor ball handlers as well, turning the ball over 3.1 times per 48 minutes of clutch time.

Keyon Dooling and Jarvis Hayes didn't play enough clutch minutes to qualify. Nor did last year's acquisitons, Stromile Swift, Trenton Hassell or Maurice Ager.

And who were the NBA's top clutch players last season: Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Paul, all of them All-NBA...for a very good reason.