Ranking The 10 NBA Players You Want Taking The Final Shot
Ranking the 10 NBA Players You Want Taking The Last Shot
Who will take the final shot? This is one of the greatest questions basketball teams have faced for years.
Growing up, any basketball player's childhood dream is to beat the buzzer and hit a game-winner. Kids all over the world have been on blacktops or in gyms, counting down the imaginary final seconds of a championship game and attempting to drain the game-winner.
The NBA is filled with great shooters, but not everyone is built to take the last shot. Fans, coaches and teammates always want the player who is considered the most "clutch" to take the final shot of the game. Great athletes thrive under pressure and demand to take the final shot. Michael Jordan is probably the best known clutch athlete of all time. His game-winning jump shot against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals is the most famous image of a player taking and making the final shot.
Being "clutch" is considered one of the most important skills to have as an athlete. In basketball, like many other sports, players are judged and criticized on their performances in the biggest moments. Unfortunately, not every team has a clutch type of player who can deliver in the final seconds of a game.
With playoffs getting near, I'm sure we will be seeing a lot more high-pressure games that will come down to the last possession. This article will rank the top 10 active players you would want to take the final shot.
10. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is in his second year in the NBA. Already, he is hands-down someone you would want to take the final shot. He has put the whole league on watch, averaging 50 percent shooting from the field if down by five or leading by five in the last five minutes of a game. By the end of his career, he could be at the top of this list.
9. LeBron James
Throughout his career, there has been a lot of debate surrounding LeBron James and how clutch he is. James has missed some game-winning and game-tying shots before, but he has also made his share of game-winning shots in both the regular season and the postseason. With James constantly being compared to Michael Jordan, it makes it easy to overlook all the great things he has accomplished in his career. Regardless, he is a guy you definitely want taking the last shot.
8. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is currently one of the top 3-point shooters in the NBA. Though he has only in his fifth year in the league, Curry has developed into a clutch shooter under pressure. In the past two seasons, no one has made more three-pointers than him during the regular season. Without a doubt, Curry is the Golden State Warriors' MVP.
7. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson has hit some miraculous game-winners. I believe he has a knack for hitting shots when the game is on the line. Since the 2007-08 season, Johnson is 12 for 16 on shot attempts with 30 seconds or less remaining and the score within three points. He has also made all six of his game-winning shot attempts. He is one of those rare basketball players with an immense amount of self-confidence. Without a doubt, he will have more game-winners in his career.
6. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki has one of the most unique shots the NBA has ever seen. It is almost impossible to defend. Dirk has proved time and time again that he deserves to take the final shot. He has multiple game-winners in the regular season and in the postseason. Whether or not it looks good, Dirk gets the ball to go in the rim when it counts.
5. Carmelo Anthony
While playing with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has hit at least five game-winners for each team. All of his game-winners with Denver came within the last five seconds of the game. Carmelo is clutch and loves the big moment, which makes him a great candidate to take the final shot.
4. Dwyane Wade
Throughout his career, Dwayne Wade has been a beast. Wade is possibly one of the best closers in NBA history. He is solely responsible for the Miami Heat's championship comeback against the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. Without a doubt, he is one of the best options to take the final shot.
3. Ray Allen
Throughout his career, Ray Allen has been a great shooter. The two-time NBA champion has also been extremely clutch. During the 2013 Finals, Allen hit one most amazing shots the basketball world has seen with the Miami Heat on the verge of being eliminated. No one has made more 3-pointers than him in basketball history. He is a special athlete and I doubt we will see another like him.
2. Kobe Bryant
When GMs vote on who they would want to take the final shot, typically the majority choose Kobe Bryant. He has been taking the final shot throughout his career. The Los Angeles Lakers are very fortunate to have Bryant as he has hit 28 game winners in his career for them. Sometimes Kobe gets criticized for shooting too much, but he has made enough shots and won enough championships to shoot away.
1. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is a phenomenal basketball player. He has the great ability to thrive under pressure. One of his greatest talents is the ability to create his own shot. Countless, times we have seen Durant hit clutch game-winning shots. The Oklahoma City Thunder are extremely lucky to have Durant as an option for the final shot.