For a little while this season I thought that the Wolves were 'un-clutch.' Turnovers and very rookie-like play seemed to too often cause us to lose games that we should have otherwise won.
But, according to a little something called statistics, it turns out we aren't so bad.
The Miami Heat just lost another tough game, and it seems people are going a little crazy. But I don't think anyone here would think twice if we could trade our team for theirs (unless you really really hate LeBron). And, as it turns out, they are 5-13 in games decided by 5 points or less.
Obviously this is a weak point of ours too, and it turns out we are 4-12 in the same situations. We pick up one more close win, and one more close loss (this one should be easy), and we are right there with 'em.
Although clearly their 28 more total wins gives them the slight overall edge, it actually is a bit of a silver lining for us. If one of the best teams in the league can choke in close games, so can we.
It probably means nothing, but a few ideas can be examined with regards to these similar close game records:
According to Hollinger at ESPN, he has found that close games have a close to even probability of going either way. That is to say, the better team doesn't necessary have the better chance of winning a game tied with 30 seconds left. That is why his automated rankings use point differential as one of the main factors. This is obviously wrong if you extend the idea too far, but it makes sense if the games ends up hinging on one or two last second shots.
If you think about Hollinger's hypothesis, and apply it to these two teams, it also kind of makes sense. The Heat are much better, but have a similar close game record. Could it be that random chance is affecting some of our win/loss outcomes more than we could have thought?
Another thought; they don't have a clear crunch-time hierarchy, and neither do we. In end of game situations it is never clear if Wade of LeBron is going to try and take over, and for last second shots it appears to be even more convoluted. We have a similar problem where-in no one is really sure who should be taking over the game or even taking the last shot.
The lack of alpha dog train of though is probably more correct, but at least there is a bit of reason behind the idea that we may be getting screwed by the odds. I don't think I'd weigh too heavily into this theory, but it sure sounds nice.