Damian Lillard Joins Former MVPs On Historic Clutch Time Performance Numbers

Published 02/18/2021, 2:30 PM EST
Jan 30, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) celebrates with his teammates after making the game winning three point basket at the buzzer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Damian Lillard is clutch. There have never been two ways about it. He can have a bad game till the last four minutes of the fourth quarter and then not miss a single shot. Every shot he takes seems like a bad shot until it goes through the net. Lillard has won the Trail Blazers a number of games in last shot situations this season, most notably against Chicago and Dallas this month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, he has done a lot more than just hit those two game-winning shots. Lillard has been consistently showing up in clutch time situations with the game in the balance in the last few minutes of a contest. He has 82 points in that situation, shooting 63% on his shots. He is easily the league leader in this stat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What is even more amazing is that Lillard is only the third man in NBA history to lead the league in both clutch time scoring and percentage. The other two are Hakeem Olajuwon from his post-MVP 95-96 season and Kevin Garnett‘s 1999-00 season. That is some neat company to be in.

Damian Lillard: Can the clutch factor help Portland make a deep playoff run

While Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers struggled to make it into the playoffs last season, they are in a comfortable spot this year. The playoffs look inevitable, and Portland will hopefully have Jusuf Nurkić and CJ McCollum back by then.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Jan 5, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) hits a shot over Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of the game at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Considering how well this team is playing already, it seems crazy to imagine how good they would be if Nurkic and McCollum were also on the floor. Lillard can excel in the clutch, but Portland has to make a habit of keeping games close enough to win in the clutch.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Lillard seems unbeatable when the stakes are at the highest. He has represented Portland his entire career and taken them to a Conference Finals. However, the championship window for him is also closing. Every season is a season they want to win, and Lillard is playing like that.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT