You’ve probably heard of situational players. But which NBA superstars would you choose for these four critical situations?
Jason Concepcion: There are many flavors of last shot. After-the-timeout action in the half court. Pull-up jumper in transition. Drive-and-kick to the shooter with his feet set. Mano a mano hero-ball dribble drive against a double-team. I choose Kevin Durant because The Servant can serve them all. At 7 feet with a deft handle and ICBM range, he can see over most defenders, drive past the ones he can’t, and let it fly from anywhere he wants. Durant is currently putting up a historically good shooting line—52 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3, 88 percent from the line.
Just look at his clutch stats this season. He’s shooting 60 percent on 42 attempts in the last five minutes with the game on the line and 53 percent from 3. And he’s done it from everywhere on the floor and in every way—long-range bombs, midrange dribble drives, Dirkian elbow fadeaways, layups, and on and on.
Game on the line? Just let KD cook. I like the odds.
Shea Serrano: Let’s say the Spurs are in the NBA Finals, and let’s also say that it’s Game 7, and let’s also say that they’re playing on the road, and let’s also say that the score is 101-99, and let’s also say that there are 14 seconds left, and let’s also say that the Spurs are in possession of the ball, and let’s also say that they have just used their final timeout, and let’s also say that we’re playing against a suddenly unstoppable Cavs team, and let’s also say that in addition to the title being at stake my life is (somehow) also at stake. If we take all of those things to be true, then I want Steph Curry taking the shot. He is smart enough, good enough, deadly enough, fearless enough for me to feel like I have a better than average chance at being alive at the end of that possession.