Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard ranks among the most clutch players in the NBA

Trail Blazers

Rip City knows what happens when it’s Lillard Time.

Heck, most of the entire NBA world knows that when the game is on the line, Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard is ready to take over.

And according to NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, Lillard ranks among the best clutch players in the league. 

It's not the hottest take in the world since the stats back up the statement.

According to the NBA’s stat glossary, crunch-time is defined as the final five minutes or overtime for a team either ahead or behind by five or fewer points.

Lillard has ranked among the Top 20 for total clutch scoring during each season of his career.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest David Lucas]:

According to In Predictable, Lillard ranks No. 4 in the NBA’s clutch shooting breakdown.

And then there are the most memorable Lillard-game-winners:

The Wave/The Bad Shot vs. Paul George and the Thunder

The 0.9 second shot vs. Houston

 

So with all of that being said, where does Lillard rank on our NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh’s list of the Most Clutch Players in the NBA?

(By the way, Haberstroh determined this Top 10 list by downloading data and crunching the numbers to see which player, with a minimum of 250 games played, on average most raised his team’s odds of winning down the stretch.)

Lillard comes in at No. 5 on the list. 

Here’s why:

As if his “bad shot” buzzer-beater against Paul George last postseason wasn’t enough, Lillard is the 2019-20 season leader in clutch WPA (playoffs included). Lillard has sent home two playoff teams with buzzer-beaters, which has only been done by one other man (Michael Jeffrey Jordan). 

Though folks remember his deep 3s, Lillard has a knack for getting to the rack for clutch buckets, thanks to his strength and hops. Four of Lillard’s seven “double clutch” made baskets this season came within five feet of the hoop. He also boasts one of the lowest turnover rates in crunchtime, which can’t be overstated. Either way you cut it, Dame D.O.L.L.A is money when you need it.

-- Haberstroh considered all 268 players currently in the league to rank the NBA's top 10 Clutch Players.

Who beats out Lillard on this list?

Haberstroh’s Top 5 include:

  • Anthony Davis
  • LeBron James
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Kevin Durant

So Rip City, do you agree with this assessment of clutchness?

Find the entire list and the player’s crunch time stats and information right here.