Shaquille O’Neal Would Prefer To Play With Damian Lillard Over Stephen Curry In Clutch Time

Shaquille O’Neal, four-time NBA champion and basketball legend, recently shared his preference for a clutch-time teammate, choosing Damian Lillard over Stephen Curry. The revelation came during an episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” where the iconic center was asked about his pick for a game-winning shot.

“I hate to even answer this question. … Steph is the best shooter but ‘Dame Time’ is clutch at that shot. Damn! I’mma have to go with Dame Lillard.”

“Steph Curry is the best shooter and I think he hits more of those shots moving. I’ve seen Dame hit a lot of standstill shots or get in just one position. I think playing with me, he’d be able to catch it, step into the shot, and hit it. With Steph Curry, I think he gets better rhythm with dribbling.”

Shaquille O'Neal Would Prefer To Play With Damian Lillard Over Stephen Curry  In Clutch Time - Fadeaway World

While acknowledging Curry as the best shooter, Shaq emphasized Lillard’s prowess in clutch moments. He noted that although Curry is renowned for his shooting abilities, Lillard’s aptitude for hitting standstill shots and making pivotal plays in pressure situations is what tilts the scale in his favor for Shaq’s hypothetical scenario.

Shaq explained that Curry often excels when in motion, relying on dribbling and quick maneuvers, while Lillard has demonstrated an ability to make significant shots from a standstill position. The big man envisioned Lillard seamlessly catching a pass, stepping into the shot, and delivering a game-winner, especially in a scenario where Shaq attracts a double-team.

The NBA legend, known for his candid insights, acknowledged the difficulty in answering such questions and clarified that his preference for Lillard in this context doesn’t diminish Curry’s status as the superior overall shooter. Shaq praised Curry for his incredible skill of hitting seemingly impossible shots and acknowledged that choosing between the two comes down to personal style and situational dynamics.

This was strange that Shaq chose Lillard over Curry, as he is his favorite player. He has stated that multiple times, as he has even chosen Curry over himself on the All-Time list. Shaq even placed Curry on his Mount Rushmore of the greatest players of all-time.

Shaq’s choice underscores the distinct playing styles of the two guards and the nuances involved in selecting a teammate for a specific game situation. Despite Curry’s statistical edge in shooting percentages, Shaq leans toward Lillard’s ability to deliver under pressure in a standstill setting, showcasing the unique preferences and perspectives that players bring to such hypothetical scenarios.

Damian Lillard And Stephen Curry Are Among League Leaders In Clutch Situations

As the NBA season reaches its midpoint, the league leaders in clutch performances have emerged, showcasing their ability to shine in pressure situations. Among the standout clutch players, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard have notably demonstrated their prowess in crucial moments.

Stephen Curry, the leader in total clutch points with 113, has been a key spark for the Golden State Warriors in clutch situations, particularly excelling from beyond the arc. Curry’s remarkable 51.6% shooting on clutch shots, along with a 50% success rate on clutch 3-pointers (19-for-38), highlights his ability to deliver when the game is on the line. Additionally, Curry’s impeccable 97% free throw shooting in clutch moments sets him apart from his peers.

On the other side, Damian Lillard, with 92 total clutch points, has showcased his capability in tighter situations, where the score is within three points in the final three minutes. Lillard’s ability to navigate such consequential shots has positioned him as a key contributor in the clutch for the Milwaukee Bucks. His signature moment came with a buzzer-beating pull-up from 32 feet, securing a victory against the Sacramento Kings.

While Curry and Lillard both average 4.3 points in clutch situations, their efficiency distinguishes them. Curry boasts a shooting percentage of 51.6%, including an impressive 50.0% from deep, emphasizing his scoring efficiency. Meanwhile, Lillard, with a 46.0% overall shooting percentage and 34.6% from beyond the arc, has proven himself as a reliable option in critical moments.

These statistics not only highlight the individual excellence of Curry and Lillard but also underscore their value to their respective teams in high-pressure scenarios. As the season progresses, their performances in clutch situations will likely continue to play a crucial role in determining the success of the Warriors and Bucks.

 

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