Basketball as a sport gets inundated on a quite regular basis with some awe-inspiring moments by players who have carved a niche for themselves with some scenarios of the games synonymous with their names.
From needing a basket around the rim to sealing the game with a defensive stop, the game features many aspects.
Now that the 2021-22 season is behind us, let us take a closer look at some of the names and memories that come to mind at the thought of certain shots, assists and buzzer beaters.
King of the Fourth: DeMarvelous DeRozan.
One of the most clutch players for the last three years has been DeMar DeRozan. During the 2019-20 season, DeRozan scored the fourth-most clutch points with 131. He did that while also shooting 50.0% from the field. The following season, DeRozan finished third with 140 points in clutch situations. Both years, he was not talked about a lot because he was playing for a not too competitive San Antonio Spurs.
Last season, however, DeRozan nearly led the league in clutch points. 76ers’ Joel Embiid led league with 158 points, where he shot 47.0% from the field in clutch situations. Meanwhile, DeRozan finished with 157 points and shot 53.5% from the field. His shooting percentage was the best among players that scored over 100 clutch points. Last season, DeRozan scored two buzzer-beaters in back-to-back games for the Chicago Bulls against Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards.
DeMar DeRozan is the first player in NBA history with a game-winning buzzer-beater on consecutive days, according to Basketball Reference.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 2, 2022
And they happened in two different years 🤯 pic.twitter.com/CMTpWoa7OX
Steph Curry Makes 3pt Conversion Effortless.
Who wouldn’t remember the man leading the NBA all-time in three-point field goals? It is not just the quantity of threes that Steph Curry owns in his career, he is also a highly efficient three-point shooter that owns a career average of 42.8%. If we looked back, Curry has led the league in three-point field goals seven times, and it includes topping 300 three times and once making an NBA-record 402 three-point field goals in a season.
That average of 3.8 three-point field goals is a weapon. When Curry was playing at an MVP level, he made an average of 5.1 three-point field goals per game. Throw in all the pressure situations he has had on his way to winning four titles, needing a three-pointer is likely going to come if Curry is shooting the ball.
Fun fact: Steph Curry can miss his next 500 threes and he will still shoot above 40% for his career. pic.twitter.com/LkYjdIDgnp— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 8, 2022
CP3: The Older the Wine
Despite the advancement in age, Chris Paul has still got it. He fell second to Trae Young in total assists last season with 702, while Young led the league with 737. That said, Paul’s 10.8 assists per game won the assists crown, finishing third in assist percentage with 44.5%. Only Young and Luka Doncic finished with a higher assist percentage.
While the numbers are flashy, this is also just a pure eye test. We have seen Paul go from “Lob City” to orchestrating successful offensives in Los Angeles, Houston, Oklahoma City, and now Phoenix. Paul is the all-time leader in assists in both New Orleans and with the Clippers. From past to the future, Paul is the best ball handler in the league.
Chris Paul leads the NBA in total assists (358) and total steals (70).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 3, 2022
The last player to lead in both categories was Chris Paul in 2008-09. He also did it in 2007-08.
The last player not named Chris Paul to lead in both was John Stockton in 1991-92. pic.twitter.com/MY2n4BPI2x
Herro is the Hero
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is very deserving of his award. Herro could be a starter in this league and he is asking for max contract money because he knows what talent he brings to the table. He averaged 20.8 points per game off of the bench last season. That led all players to come off of the bench.
His total was so grand that it was about four points more than Bogdan Bogdanovic and five points more than Jordan Clarkson, the 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year. That said, Clarkson beat out Herro in total points with 1,244 points compared to Herro’s 1,162 points.
The 22 year old typically closed out games and put in over 30 minutes of action each night. Herro shot 46.2% from the field, 42.1% from three-point range, and 87.0% from the free-throw line.