It’s time for us to have an honest chat about Damien Lillard.
We have to recognize him as one of the greatest clutch players to have ever played the game. It’s just right.
In a crucial Game 5 against the Nuggets going for double overtime, Lillard dropped 55 points on 70 percent shooting from the ground and 70 percent on 3-point land, including two game-tying threes in the final 10 seconds . One of which was in regulation and the other in overtime.
He finished with a playoff record of 12 three-pointers in a game and became the first player in an NBA game with at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 threes.
This man literally had professional basketball players praying to their Lord and Savior for mercy from Lillard’s three-point barrage.
Lillard’s greatest performance of all time begs us to question whether this man is one of the most clutch NBA performers of all time. For me, he’s done enough to consider Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller at the top of that list in similar conversations.
You have to remember how he sent Houston home packing as a youngster in the 2014 playoffs, a 40-something footer against OKC where he said goodbye to Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and showed up to them in the clutch countless times. Gone.
They call it “Dame Time” for a reason.
Mount Rushmore of NBA clutches probably goes as far as Jordan, Miller, Lillard, and Robert Horie, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James. Personally, I prefer to give preference to star players who appear in clutch moments because of the increased level of defensive focus and pressure applied to them in those moments. But Hori will have to be in the news as he has ripped the hearts of teams several times.
Honestly, Lillard, Miller and Jordan are probably having their conversations in this category and you can rank them based on how fit you are. But what you can’t deny is that Lillard deserves an argument on his part for his game at these moments throughout his career.
It’s getting ridiculous at the moment. If you’re not sending two guys to the DEM in the last seconds of the game, I’m going to ask your entire coaching staff.
Give this man his due respect and put his name in the canoes with the greats of all time.
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