THIS IS WHY Damian Lillard is The CLUTCHEST Player In The NBA
Against the Pelicans in the clutch, Damian Lillard completely took over. First he gets a double high screen, decides to attack the slower Hernangomez, the quick stutter step and the stop on a dime before knocking down the three.
The very next possession, on the handoff, once again goes at the big man, and easily blows by, and, look how cool and calm Dame is as he casually eurosteps around Zion for the layup.
Which sets up the final play. Down by 1, Lillard explodes past Lonzo, to the rim, takes the contact and finishes with the and 1. Of course converting the free throw as well.
He basically single handedly won the game for Portland and has been doing it throughout the entire season so far.
And there are some mind blowing stats that show you that Lillard has been the most clutch player in the NBA this season. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Damian is leading the league in points in the clutch. But the most mind blowing statistic is the fact that dude is shooting 61.5% from the field and 59% from three in those situations. What?!
When the defense is most locked, when it’s most difficult to score, and btw with the pressure being the highest, Lillard is actually playing the best which is crazy.
And talking about pressure, it’s well known that even good shooters tend to miss more free throws with the game on the line. Well Dame is 24 out of 24 from the line in the clutch.
Talk about being ice cold.
Oh and btw, when the defense collapses on him, he finds the open man and is number 3 in the league in assists in the clutch.
In 16 close games that Portland played this season, they are 12-4 which is an amazing record.
Especially knowing that throughout most of these heroic performances by their superstar, the Blazers have been without both CJ Mccollum, and Jusuf Nurkic, which make all of these numbers that I went through, even more special.
Look, I know that both Gary Trent Jr, and Anfernee Simmons are giving this team some great production in the absence of 2 of their stars.
I also commend Carmelo Anthony for being productive at 36 years of age.
But as you look at some of these clips in crunch time, you know who is THE threat on this team, and how the entire defense is focused on stopping Lillard. And besides all of that, Dame is 61 and half from the field, and 59% from three, leading the league in points during crunch time. Incredible.
Lillard is literally holding this team with duct tape, and willing them into playoff contention.
At 18-11 Portland is firmly in 5th place in a killer western conference. And the return of his star teammates is getting closer and closer, so things should only get better.
And in my opinion- I know this is virtually impossible but if the Blazers can somehow get to the number 3 seed in the west, then Dame should automatically be the MVP of this season for what he’s done holding down this injury riddled roster. He’s been that great this season.
And at the end, here’s another thing for you. I saw this graphic that since 2013 Lillard has the most game tying or go ahead baskets at the end of games.
So digging deeper, I found an awesome thread on twitter displaying Damian’s most clutch shots against every team in the league. Shoutout to Thomas for putting this together.
So I’ll sign off and let you enjoy that. Subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.