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Myth: Chauncey Billups is really ‘Mr. Big Shot’

Welcome to the last installment Myth Week.

Arguably no Detroit Piston player in this era has provided more signature moments than Chauncey Billups, most notably that halfcourt shot against the New Jersey Nets in the 2003-04 playoffs (although the Pistons eventually lost that game in overtime). The guy had a knack for the buzzer beater, it seemed.

The first time I remember the ‘Mr. Big Shot’ moniker he so famously wore for most of his Pistons career was in the 2002-2003 season. Billups was in the midst of one of his strongest stretches of play for the Pistons in March, averaging 26 points per game over the first nine games of that month. What sticks out to me the most is the game on March 9 of that season when, down one with seconds remaining, Billups calmly pulled up and drained a three-pointer over Chris Mills at the buzzer. Rick Mahorn almost peed his pants in excitement (a big accomplishment considering the monotone announcing stylings of Mr. Mahorn) and kept yelling “Mr. Big Shot!” over and over.

What I don’t remember, and I expect most others don’t either, is that just days before, Billups missed a shot that would’ve tied the game in the final seconds against those very same Warriors.

Now, this isn’t about me trying to claim Billups wasn’t a good player or I didn’t want him taking shots in the final minutes of close games. I think he’s still one of the more criminally underrated players in the league. I always loved his demeanor, loved the confidence he exhibited and loved how his personality was the Yin to Rasheed Wallace’s Yang (or is it the Yang to Sheed’s Yin?) on those Pistons teams. But I must admit, I’ve always wondered this: did Billups coast on reputation as a big shot maker because of a few really memorable ones that overshadowed big misses in crucial situations?

Game winners

There aren’t end-all, be-all stats for defining what ‘clutch’ is. And the importance of clutch is a little overrated. After all, Flip Murray and Travis Outlaw were a combined 11-for 11 on game-winning shots between 2004 and 2009. I would still much rather have Dwyane Wade and his 27 percent shooting on game winners than either of those guys.

I’m going to use what we have, relying heavily on 82games.com. The site has a ‘game-winning shots’ stat that has data for the 03-04 season through 08-09 (Note: Billups was in Denver most of that season). Here’s their definition of a game-winning shot opportunity: “24 seconds or less left in the game, team with the ball is either tied or down by 1 to 2 points.”

The stat is not kind to Mr. Big Shot.

Something all Pistons fans would probably guess — Billups liked the ball in those situations. During those seasons, he took 37 shots that fit that criteria. Only seven guys — LeBron James, Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Dwyane Wade — have attempted more.

Billups has hit just six of those attempts, a 16.2 percent clip. Keep in mind, that the league-wide percentage is only 29 percent during those seasons, but Billups is still pretty significantly below that.

Of the four best offensive players on the Pistons, Billups had the worst percentage in those situations of the four. Here’s how they stack up:

• Hamilton: 8-for-22 (36.4 percent)

• Prince: 6-for-17 (35.3 percent)

• Rasheed Wallace: 5-for-30 (16.7 percent)

Sheed, obviously, isn’t much better than Billups when it comes to percentage. There are other arguments that despite his poor percentage, Billups did other things in those situations that were important. He had six assists and only two turnovers and got to the line for 19 free throw attempts. Compare that to Hamilton (4 FTAs, 3 assists, 3 turnovers), Prince (2 FTAs, 5 assists, 1 turnover) and Wallace (2 FTAs, 0 assists, 2 turnovers), and it’s clear that Billups did other things well in those scenarios in the final seconds. Shooting just wasn’t his forte at those points in the game.

Why the nickname?

As I alluded to above, we remember great plays often at the expense of not so great plays. Billups was a well-below-league-average shooter in game-winning situations, yet his ‘Mr. Big Shot’ nickname stuck because he hit four or five really memorable shots as a Piston.

Billups is certainly a player I wouldn’t mind having the ball in the waning moments of a close game. He’s a good decision maker, adept at drawing contact, he’s not scared of the taking the shot and he doesn’t turn it over much. But when he was on the Pistons, the general assumption became, “Billups has to get the ball late in close games.” Statistics show that the Pistons had other options on their team — Prince and Hamilton — who were much better bets than Billups to knock down that game winner if it was needed.

I love everything about Billups’ game. But Mr. Big Shot is a myth.

Previous myths


  • Sep 21, 20103:04 pm
    by frankie d


    while i always wanted billups to share the ball more in late game situations, this is another one of those stats that does not accurately measure the value of a player in late game situations.
    first, there are plenty of situations where chauncey or another player might take a shot that is not a last second shot, but one that leads up to that last second, game-deciding shot.   that type of shot may not be included in this stat, which is a fatal flaw in my book.  for instance, a shot with 40 seconds left may be as important and clutch as a shot taken with 20 seconds left.
    next, if anyone tries to tell me that vince carter is the second most clutch player in the league the last few years, then i have a bridge to sell you.
    i have no idea just how carter ranks so highly, but watching him over the course of his career, and watching him choke time after time after time is enough for me.  i haven’t examined how the stat used was compiled, but i’m sure there is a basic flaw in its methodology.
    stats are nice and they definitely provide grist for discussion, but the fact that this stat tells us that vince carter, one of the league’s all-time choke artists, is actually the second most clutch shooter, better than kobe, well, that is all you need to know.
    and i won’t even talk about the fact that lebron is allegedly the most clutch guy….

  • Sep 21, 20103:15 pm
    by brgulker


    A myth I’m 100% in agreement with busting!!
    Only sort of related, the numbers aren’t that friendly to Kobe either …

  • Sep 21, 20103:16 pm
    by nuetes


    Nobody remembers the ones you miss, only the ones that go in. Kobe and Jordan missed far more than they made in the same situations, but the ones that go in are the ones that make the highlight reel. Rip coming off a screen down 1 or 2 would have been the preferable shot, but Billups still would have had the ball in his hands. So either he makes the pass or takes the shot.

  • Sep 21, 20103:27 pm
    by alex


    Here’s the problem with the numbers in this article.  That 16.2 percent isn’t real.  He took 37 shots of those kind and made six.  I’ll take that as fact.  However, shooting percentage should only be considered when the shooter isn’t fouled.  As you so noted, he took 19 free throws from those 37 attempts as well.  That means he was fouled at least 10 of those 37, maybe more depending on how many  “and ones” he had.
    Granted, 6 of 27 isn’t a whole lot better.  I’ve watched most of his games during this span of time.  And far more often in these situations, billups would drive and go for contact to get the foul rather than only concentrate on making the shot.  Whether good or bad, it’s something he did with the ball in his hands and the game on the line far more often that try to just shoot and make a shot.  Since this was a move he did so much at this time of the game with 24 or less seconds, it’s going to kill him when u look at only this stat for whether or not he was a clutch shooter.
    Far more often when billups was making huge shots was middle to late in the fourth quarter and not just 24 seconds until the end of the game.  He’s a player that liked to gamble and take threes and other big shots with a little bit of time left, but would drive and go for contact in the waning seconds.
    I really don’t disagree with your opinion.  I believe other players would deserve the name Mr. Big Shot before Chauncey would get it.  However, your argument is based on very little data.  Making “big shots’ isn’t limited to 24 seconds left in a game when you are down by 1, 2, or tied.  It is certainly relevant information to the subject, but if you are going to look at 37 shot attempts to summarize someones ability to make big shots when he has taken 10, 180 in his career, you are going to miss quite a bit.  Unfortunately, like so many others I’ve read, this is an article based on statistics, which if you do not properly understand how much relevance the numbers have, can be made to look like proof when they really are only one part of the whole picture.

  • Sep 21, 20103:28 pm
    by nuetes


    Speaking of clutch Rip how can you forget this:
    or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ0HzQkzeYk
    Ship Gordon out of town I’m keeping Rip.

  • Sep 21, 20103:28 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @frankie d:
    It doesn’t say that he’s the “second best” clutch shooter. It says that he’s made the second most game-winning shots between the 04 season and 09 season. LeBron’s made 17, Vince has made 16. It doesn’t say anything about who’s better. You can compare the percentages for yourself. Vince shoots about 31 percent on those game-winning attempts. As the primary offensive option on his team, whether you like him or not, Vince got a lot of those attempts and he made a lot. Certainly not in the playoffs or in crucial games, but that’s why his total number is higher.
    You can also read in the post the methodology for the stat, which it looks like you neglected to do before commenting.
    The point of this was not to say that Billups was a bad “clutch” or fourth quarter player. It was to say that his nickname, which was a result of him hitting some memorable game-winning shots, actually overlooks the fact that he did not shoot a good percentage in those situations.
    I pointed out in the post the fact that he got to the line and dished to teammates for assists at a good rate and that those things have value.
    Not sure what you’re arguing. The one point that I made in this entire post is that he didn’t shoot a good percentage on game-winning shots. Whether you like using stats or not, that’s a very hard one to refute. 16 percent is 16 percent.

  • Sep 21, 20103:31 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    Yep. The whole “Kobe is so clutch” myth is tiresome. He hits big shots. He also takes a HUGE volume of them.
    And for as overrated as Carmelo Anthony is in some ways, an underplayed storyline with him is the fact that he’s very good in the so-called “clutch” situations. He hits by far a better percentage of these end-of-game shots than any other star player at about 47 percent.

  • Sep 21, 20103:37 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    “Rip coming off a screen down 1 or 2 would have been the preferable shot, but Billups still would have had the ball in his hands. So either he makes the pass or takes the shot.”
    Exactly. I’m not advocating that Billups shouldn’t have had the ball late. He absolutely should have. I’m just saying that his “big shot maker” reputation is somewhat overstated.

  • Sep 21, 20103:49 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    If someone is fouled and misses the shot, that doesn’t count as a field goal attempt, so Billups wasn’t fouled on any of his misses in that total of 37 shots. The only shots in that 37 he could’ve been fouled on are shots he made for and-one attempts. He actually attempted more than 37 shots in those situations, the ones he missed and was fouled on just don’t count in the stat total.
    I’m not arguing whether or not Billups was a “clutch” player. He was a playmaker in every quarter of the game, in every situation, whether the game was close or a blowout, whether it was regular season or playoffs. He drew contact, he didn’t turn it over, he set up teammates and he hit shots.
    What I am arguing is that his nickname suggested he was a much, much better shooter in those late game situations than he actually was. It doesn’t mean I’d rather have the ball in someone else’s hands necessarily.

  • Sep 21, 20103:52 pm
    by frankie d


    i surely did read the methodology used, or at least how it was described in the post that was linked.
    what wasn’t clear were whether the concerns noted by alex in his comment above were taken into consideration.
    as alex noted, what about the circumstances where a player is fouled?  is that factored in?
    one of the irritating things about chauncey in the last seconds was his habit of initiating contact, in an attempt to get to the free throw line.  sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t work, but most times it would affect the kind of shot he threw at the rim.
    is that taken into consideration?
    was a three point attempt given the same weight as a layup?
    what i gathered from reading the post was that the authors simply used a filter to gather numbers about players and shots and game circumstances.  that is fine as far as it goes, but in my mind, it shows how easily stats and numbers can be manipulated.  and how poorly they serve as the basis for any real argument or discussion.  and that extends to how they might not measure how well chauncey performed in that setting.
    and i repeat that vince carter’s status as the second best game-winning shooter – fine if you find my “clutch” label a bit too much – is proof enough.  anyone who’s watched nba basketball over the course of his career has seen him choke time after time after time in clutch and crucial situations.  heck, orlando even started taking him out of games in clutch situations.  but he ranks number 2?
    while kobe is much lower.
    tell you what…anonymously poll nba coaches and players and ask who they think are the best game-winning shooters and i guarantee that vince carter is not going to be number two.

  • Sep 21, 20104:12 pm
    by frankie d


    the authors apparently agree with me.
    this is at the end of their article on last second shots.
    they acknowledge that they even have better methods.
    “For better quality analysis of clutch play, I prefer a filter of “last five minutes of fourth quarter/overtime, with neither team ahead by more than five points.” Each player has a page for the stats accrued under these circumstances, and we also have sortable tables, eg see ”

  • Sep 21, 20104:55 pm
    by alex


    @ Patrick.
    I suppose if I were you I would have done the same and ignored the portion of my response that points out your argument is based on very little data, such a small snapshot of only 37 shots out of 10,000 and you have no other data or evidence in your article to back up your argument.  I guess if you really only think “late game situations” are only with 24 seconds or less, being down 0, 1, or 2, then I guess you really have something there.  I would think most fans would consider late game situations is when either team is within 2 possessions of each other with less than 5 minutes left.  And again, not to say what numbers you use are irrelevant, they simply are too limited to really make the argument you make without any other evidence or data.  So to consider what you wrote as a “myth buster”, you fall far short.

  • Sep 21, 20105:02 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @frankie D:
    Again, just because he’s ranked second in a counting stat doesn’t mean they’re saying he’s a great “clutch” shooter.
    They’re saying Vince has made the second most game-winning shots in the period of seasons they looked at. That’s just a fact.
    He’s also taken a huge volume of them, which would explain why his total is so high.
    I also get that Billups sometimes threw up garbage shots hoping to draw a foul that was never called. It’s still a shot attempt. Based on his ability to draw contact, it might not even be a bad play to go that route if a better shot wasn’t available.
    Again, what I’m saying is that in end-of-game scenarios, Billups didn’t make as many “big shots” as his nickname suggested he did. Great player nonetheless.

  • Sep 21, 20105:06 pm
    by nuetes


    Mr. Big Shot implies the guy makes shots with the game on the line. No it’s not going to consider when the team is down by 3 with 5 minutes left and Billups drains a 3. That is a big shot but it is not ‘the big shot’. This seems like the most cut and dry of all the myths. 6 of 37 when taking game winning/tying shots on the last possession. Not good. Patrick points out that Billups makes other decisions that impact the game at the end, but his nickname is Mr. Big Shot not Mr. Big Decision.

  • Sep 21, 20105:07 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    To be honest, I tuned out the rest of your comment after that intro paragraph in which stated your belief that he was fouled on 10 of those 37 misses. Sorry if I don’t take a stats-based argument too seriously from someone who thinks missed FG attempts that someone is fouled on are counted in the actual total of FG attempts.
    My argument is that Billups was not a good shooter on potential game-winning shots.
    And clearly, he wasn’t. 16 percent is 16 percent. That doesn’t mean he didn’t make other plays, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the best option at the time to have the ball. It just means that if Chauncey Billups is taking your final shot to win or lose a game, he’s going to miss those final shots at a below league average rate.

  • Sep 21, 20105:13 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @frankie d again:
    “and that extends to how they might not measure how well chauncey performed in that setting.”
    Uh … they measure EXACTLY how well Chauncey performed in that setting. The basis of this whole thing is “was Chauncey Billups a good shooter in game-winning shot situations?”
    The answer is, “No, he isn’t.”
    I mean, I get that hitting shots in the second and third quarter to help build a big lead can be just as “game-winning” as in the final possession of a tie game. I get that drawing fouls, getting assists, etc. can be just as clutch.
    But calling someone ‘Mr. Big Shot’ has a connotation. He wasn’t ‘Mr. Big Foul Draw-er.’ He had a reputation for hitting an inordinate number of shot attempts very late in game-winning situations.
    Sure, this doesn’t account for hitting a shot with 3 minutes left in the game that could spur an 8-0 run that seals the game. That’s important too. But it’s not what I’m looking at here.
    As I said in the previous comment, if Chauncey Billups is taking your final shot to win or lose a game, he’s going to miss those final shots at a below league average rate.

  • Sep 21, 20105:14 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    Perfect summation of what I was clumsily trying to get at. Thanks.

  • Sep 21, 20105:25 pm
    by alex


    @ Patrick.  I’m well aware it is not a fga when the shooter is fouled.  When looking at the site I had some confusion on what they were calling a fga.  On the top, they were calling it game winning shot opportunity, which sounded to me that they were counting how many opportunities the player had rather than what would be considered a fga.  When I saw the league percentage at below .300, I kinda figured that assumption was correct and would make more sense because I don’t think it really is that low.  It’s almost too low to believe which is why I thought they were counting the opportunities rather than attempts if you know what I mean.

  • Sep 21, 20105:43 pm
    by frankie d


    i have to say that seems like just another of the many attempts to denigrate chauncey billups in a way that makes the god-awful AI trade appear to be not so god-awful.
    i had my problems with chauncey when he was with the team.  in fact, i thought that the team should have been more of ben’s team rather than chauncey’s team, because of his somewhat nonchalant attitude about matters.
    so i am not just a chauncey slappie who ‘s on his jock.  but the guy was the guy who made clutch shots, clutch plays, clutch free throws and the team has sorely missed not having that player since he’s been gone.
    which player takes that shot on the team now?
    tay?  rip? stuckey? gordon, if he’s even on the floor?
    who knows.
    the fact is that when the team won all of those games, chauncey was the guy who made a lot of the important shots that got them into all of those conference finals.  was that our collective imagination?  didn’t they win a lot of last second games, with lots of last second made shots?  wasn’t the saying at one time, “if it aint rough, it aint right…” when the team constantly dug itself out of trouble to win games? somebody was making those clutch, last second shots that helped win games, and my memory tells me that chauncey made more than his fair share.
    16% is a number that means nothing, except that it is a number gotten to based on data selectively culled.  again, as the authors of that very post state, they have better numbers themselves in other articles.  and i’m sure that someone else has done other stats analysis that come to different conclusions.
    i’ve worked with stats enough in my job to understand that numbers can be manipulated to show almost anything someone wants them to show.
    btw, i haven’t seen vince carter in too many conference finals.  so what is the value of his supposed proficiency in making last second shots?
    again, i’ve seen a concentrated effort to downgrade the importance of chauncey’s contribution to those winning teams and it’s a shame.  using stats that even the authors of the post cite as being not all that great is just the latest example.

  • Sep 21, 20106:03 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @frankie d:
    You are the Vince Carter of commenters.
    No one has denigrated Billups’ contributions to anything. This was a post solely on whether the Mr. Big Shot moniker was a deserved one or not. As has been pointed out, he was Mr. Big Shot, not Mr. Big Offense runner, foul-drawer, teammate setter-upper, etc.
    There’s a perception that Billups hit an extraordinary number of his shots in late game situations. The reality is, he didn’t hit as many as most remember. You’re trying to create drama where there is none.
    This post talks about one very isolated aspect of Billups’ outstanding Detroit career. It doesn’t require you or anyone else conjuring up some theory about people trying to make it seem as if he wasn’t a great player.

  • Sep 21, 20106:12 pm
    by nuetes


    Some nit picking going on around here. Not every stat is available to pull from here. 82games happens to track last possession shots, not 34th possession or 56th possession, no, last possession. This is like some guy arguing wins produced is a joke because it only explains 94% of the variation and not 100% of it. really? it’s the best you get but you still have to complain about it? sorry it bugs me. As for the billups clutch thing I think it’s almost impossible, or at least very difficult, to track the type of clutch behavior that frankie d and alex are asking for. Is the data accurate? yes. can it be more accurate? yes. Oh well.

  • Sep 21, 20106:18 pm
    by frankie d


    “No one has denigrated Billups’ contributions to anything. ”
    the post before this one contains several negative points about billups, one of which was admittedly untrue, and generally paints him as a player who was clearly on a steep decline in detroit.  according to the previous post, the AI trade was reasonable, at the time, because chauncey appeared to have finally started that inevitable decline that was going to lead the team to less success.  the post downgrades where billups was at, at that point in his career, implying that detroit was smart to get rid of him at that point.
    (for instance, the author of the previous post claimed that billups lost weight after the trade to denver when he clearly lost weight before he was traded.  he’s admitted that he was wrong in the comments. why essentially claim that chauncey only lost weight after he left the pistons if your intention is not to imply that he was of less value here?)
    a reasonable person might view the two posts together as being negative towards billups and attempting to downgrade his contributions.
    seriously, arguing that he was not a great last second shooter, regardless of one’s view of the argument, is on its face, an attempt to argue that his value was not as great as it was perceived to have been.

  • Sep 21, 20106:52 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @Frankie D:
    First, two different authors.
    Dan Feldman wrote that post you refer to. I was the one who mentioned the weight thing in the comments, then corrected in a later comment. Dan Feldman didn’t comment at all in the comments of that story. Bylines my man. Shouldn’t be hard to get that info correct if you’re going to criticize.
    Billups has been better in Denver than he was in Detroit. Not significantly better, but better. He’s been rejuvenated playing in his hometown, and in his first year there, playing with a team that came within an eyelash of knocking the eventual champs out of the playoffs.
    He was great in Detroit and he’s been great in Denver. But he definitely had some complacency issues in Detroit. To point those out is not denigrating him. To point out that, because the team’s management was in search of shaking up that complacency, he was traded for an All-Star coming off his best season in years wasn’t a bad idea at the time is not denigrating him.
    “seriously, arguing that he was not a great last second shooter, regardless of one’s view of the argument, is on its face, an attempt to argue that his value was not as great as it was perceived to have been.”
    That’s total BS. It’s not that at all. It’s an argument that he wasn’t a great last second shooter. Last second shooting isn’t a skill that’s high on my list of things I want in a player. But he has a nickname and reputation based on what people perceive is his ability to knock down last second shots. That reputation is greatly overstated.
    “a reasonable person might view the two posts together as being negative towards billups and attempting to downgrade his contributions.”
    People can view these posts however they want to.  The point of all of them was to take some commonly held beliefs about the Pistons and offer some evidence suggesting things aren’t as cut and dry. There’s a lot of revisionism among Pistons fans. I don’t know you or know where you stood on Billups pre-trade, but I do know that he became a hell of a lot more popular after he was traded. He was one of the most criticized Pistons before the trade. It was pretty easy for people to realize Billups was great after he was traded for Iverson, but let’s not pretend that everything was wonderful in Detroit before that deal. It’s flat out dishonest.

  • Sep 21, 201011:28 pm
    by gmehl1977


    I am sure everyone has there own opinion but my definition of Chauncey as Mr Big Shot was a guy that was willing to take that big shot…miss it or make it. A lot of guys in the league wouldn’t or don’t take these shots due to the fear of being blamed for losing the game. I also think that the stats are a little flawed because maybe they should just show the games where big shots are hit in games like the playoffs or just conference/nba finals. The term big shot should also be tied to big shot in a big game. Think Derek Fisher, Michael Jordan and dare i say it…Robert Horry!
    I am not 100% sure of this but hasn’t Billups got a huge amount of 4 point plays over his career? He always had that great ability to get the player guarding him to jump into him with a slight stutter step whilst drawing a foul. He did this late in games over and over again whether it was a 3 point play or a 4 point play.

  • Sep 22, 201012:16 am
    by The Rake


    This is the type of post that is goign to keep me away from this site. Using that BS metric at 82 games for the whole basis of your argument is pointless and pathetic. What is the point of bashing a former star, (my favorite Pistons and countless others at the timeI am sure) who has been gone from the team for a few years?  I don’t understand. Why ar eyou making this argument? He was the best option we had, the last 24 seconds of a game “do not a clutch player make.”  The guy is money from the line, hitting countless shots prior to us being in that last 24 second situation.  This is completely bogus and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for writing this trash on  a Pistons fan site.  F*cking ridiculous.

  • Sep 22, 20101:13 am
    by thebinxster


    “seriously, arguing that he was not a great last second shooter, regardless of one’s view of the argument, is on its face, an attempt to argue that his value was not as great as it was perceived to have been.”
    That’s total BS. It’s not that at all. It’s an argument that he wasn’t a great last second shooter. Last second shooting isn’t a skill that’s high on my list of things I want in a player. But he has a nickname and reputation based on what people perceive is his ability to knock down last second shots. That reputation is greatly overstated.”
    talk about total BS.
    this is how illogical that statement is…
    i know a woman who has a reputation of being a beautiful woman.  according to this statistical analysis i’m going to provide, i will prove that she is not a beautiful woman.  now, whether she is a beautiful woman or not is of no concern to me, as beauty in a woman is not something i value highly.  regardless,  her reputation as a beautiful woman is greatly exaggerated.  but of course, in arguing that she is not a beautiful woman, i’m in no way attempting to denigrate this woman or imply that she is a lesser person…even though her reputation largely rests on her beauty…
    does that sound silly?  of course.  but it sounds no more silly than the statements you make.
    the least you could do is fess up.
    and as illogical is the entire “it was a bad trade, but no one could have seen that it was a bad trade when it was made, so no one is at fault”  BS.
    as i’ve noted before, gms get paid to know that stuff and when they don’t make good judgments, it is their fault.  trying to rationalize it in the way you do is simply totally illogical and nonsensical.

  • Sep 22, 20101:31 am
    by thebinxster


    @ patrick
    i was one of the few fans around who called BS on the chauncey trade immediately.  when it was first announced, i predicted exactly what would happen and i was absolutely correct.
    as i’ve stated, i’ve been well aware of chauncey’s flaws as a player, but i knew enough about BB to know that trading him for a washed up “superstar” whose supposed career year had been achieved because of george karl’s system, well i knew exactly what was going to happen and it did.
    it was a horrible trade, it showed horrible judgment and i suspect that you are one of those people who supported it when it was made, therefore, your continued efforts to justify the trade and make your own judgment – and joe d’s – not look quite so bad.  i’m sure a search of archives somewhere would reveal your position on the trade and i’d be very surprised if you were not one of those people joyfully predicting how such a brilliant move was going to help transform the pistons.
    like i said, i immediately predicted utter catastrophe and i was right.
    don’t believe me?  well it’s all there on the record.  i’m sure there’s an archive of detroit news pistons’ forum posts from that time period and my large number of posts on the subject from november of 2008 is right there for posterity. (and if there isn’t something that goes that far back there are plenty of fairly current posts that prove that posters on that forum acknowledge the fact that i was right and that i predicted what would happen with the AI trade.  every once in a while i have to remind people about who really knows what about basketball.)   i post on that site under this same name, and i’ve been rather infamous  since then because i was one of the few people who railed against the trade when it happened.  i caught a lot of flack from so-called fans because i actually could see the horrible impact iverson was going to have on the franchise, and again, i predicted it before it happened.
    so the idea that somehow a team’s gm could not have seen what might unfold is utter BS.  if a fan, on a fan forum can see what will happen, an nba gm darn sure better be able to imagine such a turn of events.  and if he cannot, he should not have his job.
    and the idea that i’m using hindsight and attributing things to billups because of the disaster that unfolded is simply not true.
    you can look it up.  my views are all right there on the record.

  • Sep 22, 201010:17 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    @The Rake:
    Plenty of other sites out there my man. I’ll never beg you or anyone else to read.

  • Sep 22, 201010:18 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    It’s possible. I don’t know where to find that stat, but if anyone does know a site that tracks it, I’d be happy to look it up.

  • Sep 22, 201010:28 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    @the binxster (first comment):
    I have nothing to fess up to. I wrote in the post and throughout these comments that I don’t think his below league average shooting percentage on last second shots in any way impacts whether he was a good or bad player. In fact, he’s still very underrated as a player.
    This is the gist of it: I think it’s an interesting stat. Do I think it’s a tell-all stat? Of course not. But I would think that if you asked any Piston fan if he/she thought Billups was a great last second shooter, they’d pretty universally say yes. The reality was, he wasn’t a great last second shooter. Doesn’t mean he didn’t do other things in those scenarios great (getting to to the line, getting assists and not turning it over are all important skills and all of those things were all pointed out in the post).
    So no, I don’t need to “fess up” to anything. I used a stat, admitting it’s not an all-encompassing one by any stretch. This is a thread full of people putting extra words in my mouth — “You are denigrating Chauncey!” or “you are discounting all of the other great things he did!” — and being drama queens. Read the post. I draw one conclusion: Billups was not a great shooter in the last 24 seconds of games when the Pistons needed a tying or game-winning shot. He took more of those types of shots than all but a handful of players in the league during that stretch. His percentage was very low on those shots. That’s it. That’s the whole argument. I’d certainly rather give him the ball than Vince Carter.
    But if you or others want to read deeper into this or extrapolate what you think I’m trying to say from this very isolated stat I’m looking at, that’s your call. Don’t expect me to apologize for how you interpret what I wrote.

  • Sep 22, 201010:47 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    @the binxster (second comment):
    “when it was first announced, i predicted exactly what would happen and i was absolutely correct.”
    You predicted that Iverson would rapidly decline skill-wise that quickly, that he’d murder his career by publicly refusing to go to the bench when everyone could see that’s where he was better-suited to play, that he’d (allegedly) get banned from all of Detroit’s casinos and that, minus brief appearances in Memphis and Philly, his NBA career would be all but over? Why do I find this hard to believe that you got this “EXACTLY” correct?
    I’m very happy that your forum buddies have given you virtual high-fives on your correctness on the trade. I have zero interest in searching through any forum archives to find the evidence. I’ll take your word for it.
    As for my reaction to the trade, I didn’t hate it. Trading Billups wasn’t my first choice. (Or my second or third, for that matter). But it was inevitable that someone was gonna get traded. It was inevitable that Dumars was getting the itch to rebuild. What the trade accomplished — creating cap space to sign free agents and opening up playing time for Rodney Stuckey, viewed as their best young player at the time — are not things I can argue with. If you’re a GM, and you want to rebuild, cap space and minutes for your perceived young stud are valuable things.
    They certainly become less valuable when it becomes clear a year later that Stuckey may have peaked already and you spend your cap space on Gordon/Villanueva and extend one of your aging stars who probably should’ve been purged with Billups and Wallace in the rebuilding effort. I have no defense for the follow-up moves. I’m not a fan of them and they haven’t worked out at all.
    But for anyone to say that the Billups/Iverson trade made no sense is either lying or doesn’t understand the business aspect of the NBA. It made sense. And Dan Feldman’s post saying that it made sense, which you reference, wasn’t saying that it was the right move. There you go again, interpreting things that aren’t there.
    Just to reiterate: All of these ‘Myths’ posts we’ve done haven’t been to advocate anything. They’ve simply been presenting the other, usually forgotten or overlooked, side to very commonly held beliefs about the Pistons.
    It doesn’t mean we’re necessarily right. It means we’re trying to create some discussion and (hopefully) encourage fans to consider all the different angles or ways of looking at things.

  • Sep 22, 201010:58 am
    by travis


    George Blaha coined ‘Mr. BigShot’, and if Blaha says it, than I believe it!  And as Blaha would say: “Hello!” and “Thankyou!”

  • Sep 22, 201011:08 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    @The Rake again:
    Sorry, I can’t just let your comment go with only a one sentence reply. Threatening to “quit reading” is the single stupidest, most hollow threat.
    How much do you pay to read this site? How much do I care what your opinions on what I write are? (Hint: They are the same amount).
    Your comment deserves a line-by-line refutation, so here we go:
    “Using that BS metric at 82 games for the whole basis of your argument is pointless and pathetic.”
    My argument was that Billups, despite taking an inordinate number of last second/potentially game-winning shots, hit them at a below league average rate. So yes, that stat is the basis of my argument that Billups is not a good last second shooter in potential game-winning situations.
    It’s explicitly stated in the post that he did other things well in those situations. Shooting was just not one of those things.
    “What is the point of bashing a former star, (my favorite Pistons and countless others at the timeI am sure) who has been gone from the team for a few years?”
    There was no bashing. In fact, there were much more compliments (calling him “criminally underrated” for instance) going on than bashing. He’s a really good player. There are maybe only three PGs in the league I’d rather have running my team than him. There is no one in the league I’d rather have my young players around than him. But his reputation as a knock-down shooter late in games is a bit overstated. Saying that doesn’t change any of those other great things about his game and it doesn’t mean that he’s not a great, great player.
    “I don’t understand. Why ar eyou making this argument?”
    Because it’s Myth Week.
    “He was the best option we had, the last 24 seconds of a game “do not a clutch player make.”  The guy is money from the line, hitting countless shots prior to us being in that last 24 second situation.”
    He was a very good option. He wasn’t always the best option. If the Pistons needed someone to make a play, then yes, go to Billups. I would say Hamilton and Prince were also very good options in last second situations because both are much better catch-and-shoot shooters than Billups, who’s a better shooter off the dribble.
    And yeah, your dumb comments about “clutch” situations have been covered by me in several other comments in this thread. Nowhere did I say that Billups wasn’t a clutch player. I’ve said in the post and throughout these comments: He wasn’t a good last second shooter. That is true. It doesn’t tell the whole story, but it is true.
    “This is completely bogus and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for writing this trash on  a Pistons fan site.  F*cking ridiculous.”
    You need to relax. You should be ashamed of yourself for getting that worked up over a rather innocuous post. You should be ashamed of yourself for reading too much into it and drawing conclusions about what I wrote that aren’t there.
    If this is how you behave, if you really, really feel like you have the right to try and tell me what is appropriate for me to write on this site and what isn’t, then I hope you do choose to read/comment elsewhere. No one twists your arm to hang out here. Your comments don’t really add much to any discussion. You aren’t vital.
    If you want to have discussions, present arguments, etc., then those are the readers/commenters we want around here. You don’t run this town, and just because something written here offended your delicate sensibilities doesn’t mean that it’s not worth talking about/writing about/discussing.

  • Sep 22, 20105:48 pm
    by The Rake


    Outstanding. Way to support your readership. Smart move.

  • Sep 26, 201011:31 pm
    by Graham Simmington


    The following are the comments that were lost in the site migration:

    Luis (September 22, 2010 at 6:20 PM)

    Great article!!
    Like a good scientist, your conclusions are based on statistics………

    Patrick Hayes (September 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM)

    @The Rake:
    I support informed debate. I don’t support whining, I don’t support idle threats that are meaningless and I don’t support people who respond to disagreements unreasonably.
    I love the commenters here. It’s one of the best things about writing here vs. where I was previously writing — a good community of well-informed commenters that doesn’t have the drive-by trolling by morons that goes on on a lot of sites.
    There are plenty of commenters here — laser, in particular — who I and other commenters have frequent disagreements with. But you know what? We both have opinions, we state them, argue them and defend them, and at the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for his contributions to the site and I hope he has respect for mine. Dozens of other smart opinions/analysis float around here from people like brgulker, nuetes, gmehl, hell, even from Keri Laimbeer.
    Your comment amounts to you disagreeing with something and taking your ball and going home. I don’t respect that, and if that’s how you feel, I won’t beg you to stay. This isn’t Burger King. I’m satisfied enough with the people who do choose to frequent the site and engage in discussions without being babies.

    frankie d (September 22, 2010 at 11:09 PM)

    Then why would you block my posts when I merely point out factual discrepancies. It seems like the height of cowardice…blocking posters who present strong arguments against your position.
    Its a great tchnique bue incredibly dishonest.

    frankie d (September 22, 2010 at 11:19 PM)

    Please excuse the typos.
    . Previous posts had been blocked so I wanted to make certain these got online

    Dan Feldman (September 22, 2010 at 11:24 PM)

    Frankie, I can assure you nobody blocked your posts.

    Patrick Hayes (September 22, 2010 at 11:26 PM)

    @frankie d:
    I agree it is the height of cowardice. But I didn’t block anything. I don’t even know how to go about doing that. Your last two comments came through fine, perhaps there was a problem on your end?

    gmehl1977 (September 23, 2010 at 6:15 AM)

    Hey with Denver looking for a 3rd team to help make the Carmello trade happen so he can wind up in either New York or Chicago i was wondering if you guys think there is anyway the Pistons can be that 3rd team?

    Patrick Hayes (September 23, 2010 at 9:57 AM)

    The Knicks desperately need a team to get involved that will part with a first round pick, potentially a lottery pick, b/c Denver has said they want a good first rounder in any deal for Melo. They’d be the most likely to need  third team. I think Chicago or NJ could do the deal on their own b/c they have the picks. It’s a matter of if either team is willing to part with Noah or Lopez.

  • Sep 27, 20106:56 am
    by xerowattbulb


    This is a fine article, if you want to overlook the fact that being “clutch” is really just a description the fans place on a player, and not beholden to statistics at all.  Just like in baseball, where a guy like Derek Jeter can be labeled “clutch” because of a solid handful of (amazing) “clutch” plays, Billups was labeled that by the fans, not the statisticians.  C’mon guys, it’s sports, not physics- reputations with the fans is not something that has hard and fast rules.

  • [...] veterans on the squad are starting to show life as Marcus Camby put up 137.95 points and Chauncy “Big Shot” Billups added an additional 121.05.  With their next 3 games against T-Boyz, ILLicit, and [...]

  • [...] The actually ‘biggness’ of Billups isn’t quiet what it’s cracked up to be, as broken down by Patrick Hayes earlier this season. [...]

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