As we draw closer to crowning a Champion for the 2012 season, we all will begin to explore what it will take for each team to attain the ultimate goal.
Some will say the more efficient offense, others will say the stronger defense. The easiest answer will be “the team with the best bench”, which is partially correct, in my opinion. To win the title every team needs that one player who steps up in the most unlikely moment. Every Championship team needs a “Big Shot” Bob.
Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association, winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics. He is one of only two players to have won NBA championships with three different teams: two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs. He has regular season career averages of 7.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Nothing impressive. He has never been the 2nd, or even 3rd, best player on any of his teams. But yet, any team would’ve been glad to have him, and he earned the nickname “BIG SHOT”. Horry was the definition of the word “CLUTCH”. You can look at each path to his 7 Championships, and see where his expertise comes in handy. Time after time, when his team needed a big shot, a clutch 3-pointer, or a go-ahead basket, Horry was their man. When the opposing team was busy game planning around the “superstars”, Horry was willing and capable of of being the bailout plan…..and he did it well.
Every Championship team needs a “Big Shot” Bob. Jordan didn’t hit many game winning shots in his 6 title trips. He had John Paxton, and later, Steve Kerr. Though Shaq and Kobe were the face of the Lakers franchise for years, they had Robert Horry and Derrick Fisher to drain those game saving buckets. Even though the Spurs have three future Hall-of-Famers on their roster, we still can credit their rings to the services of Robert Horry and Steve Kerr. None of these teams needed another “star”, just somebody willing and able to show up in big moments.
As we watch this season’s Finals, the question is who will be “THAT GUY” for each of these teams? We know what each team’s all-stars are capable of doing, but who will be that big shot guy be. That is truly what LeBron has never had on any of his Playoff runs. Never the guy who can hit the clutch play once the defense focuses on the most talented player in the court. So far, in this Finals, Shane Battier seems to want to be that guy, but can he? On the other side, backup PG Derrick Fisher has don’t it time and time again at his previous place of employment, but can he do it now? You can have all the stars in the world, but every team needs a “BIG SHOT” BOB.