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Kobe Bryant Has To Be The Reason The Lakers Rank No. 1 In Crunch Time...Right?

The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant is known for being the most clutch player in the NBA. He is the guy every coach in the league wants taking the last shot and for good reason. The numbers back it up as the Lakers lead the league in plus/minus during "Crunch Time", which is defined as less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime with neither team ahead by more than five points, according to ESPN's True Hoop .

But hold up one second...

The Lakers may be the top team in the league in crunch time but Bryant isn't the primary reason. As a matter of fact, Pau Gasol (+78) and Andrew Bynum (+74) rank first and second on the team to Bryant's (+58) which places him third.

Now, that isn't to say that Bryant isn't the one you want with the ball in his hands late in games. But it does throw an interesting wrench into the equation that the guy known for being clutch is on the most clutch team in the league but isn't the primary reason for that ranking.