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Who Comes up Clutch for the Trail Blazers?

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Zach Harper takes a look at who should have the ball under pressure.

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Rip City knows that Damian Lillard performs well under pressure for the Portland Trail Blazers: after all, he owns two signature clutch moments that fans refer to by name. Zach Harper of the Athletic looks at who can come up big in the clutch for each team in the league, and in Portland, there is no doubt who that player is. Whether it’s Lillard Time or Dame Time, Lillard is who gets the ball when it counts.

But last year, Lillard Time was pretty much the only option for the Blazers when the game was on the line in the final 30 seconds of a close game. The Blazers trust Dame to do what’s best in those situations. Usually, it ends in a contested shot. Sometimes that shot comes from a nearby suburb. Sometimes he waves goodbye to the competition shortly after. But this is Dame’s time in so many ways.

Harper also examines who shouldn’t get the ball, concluding that CJ McCollum and Rodney Hood are less reliable options in the clutch. He lists Kent Bazemore as a “safety valve” option for the Blazers.

You can read the entire piece here.