I mentioned this the other night in the Spurs recap, so of course I had to look it up: How much better does Nenad Krstic play in the third quarter compared to the other three? The answer? Much, much better.
QUARTER MPQ RBDS PPQ FG%
First 7.4 1.9 2.4 38.9
Second 4.8 0.8 1.3 40.0
Third 8.5 1.8 3.9 63.8
Fourth 5.6 1.1 1.2 35.5
The biggest increase comes in his field goal percentage. He goes from shooting 38.1 percent in the other three quarters to 63.8 percent in the third. I liked reader Girlballer’s theory for the better play from Krstic: “Euros don’t eat dinner till like 10 o’clock or something. I think Nenad doesn’t even WAKE UP until 8:30 or so…” That makes perfect sense to me. So I went and looked at Krstic’s numbers for West Coast games. In those 7 PM starts Pacific time, it would be like starting at 9 PM here. And wouldn’t you know it, his shooting numbers, scoring and rebounding all stayed basically the same as his season averages. Theory debunked. Darn it.
But the point remains. For whatever reason, in the third period Krstic comes out firing. Like in the third against the Nets last month where he was 7-7 from the field in the quarter. Or against New Orleans where he was 4-5 for nine points. Or like Wednesday against the Spurs, where he went 3-4 for seven points out of the locker room. SOMETHING wakes him up. Maybe it’s that he’s warmer with the jumper because he takes a bunch at halftime. Maybe he just needed to clear his head in the locker room. Maybe it’s because often times, defensive lag in the third so he gets cleaner looks. Whatever the reason, he’s a better player in the third.
So I guess what we need is something like what happened in Angels in the Outfield when the team THOUGHT the angels were helping them, when they really weren’t. I think Space Jam may have had a similar plotline with Michael’s Secret Stuff or something. Anyhow, Nenad needs to think it’s the third quarter when it’s really the first. Somebody get on that.