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The 2024 NBA season looms with anticipation as fans and bettors eagerly await the Clutch Player of the Year award unveiling. This league's newest accolade goes beyond raw skill, honoring players who excel in high-pressure moments. A captivating group of contenders sets the stage for an exciting showdown. The criteria for the recipient adds to the excitement as fans speculate on the unforgettable moments and heroics that will shape the season's narrative, showcasing the most exciting moments of basketball in those breathtaking instances when the game is on the line.
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, 31 July 2023
Last season's Clutch Player of the Year Award recipient, De'Aaron Fox, opens the 2023-24 season as the favorite to win the prize again. A key player in the Sacramento Kings' revival as a top team in the Western Conference, Fox projects to be an integral force for Sacramento as they aim to improve on their impressive run last year.
In the 2022-23 season, Fox was the league's most impressive clutch performer. He scored 194 clutch points in 159.9 clutch minutes last year. He shot 52.9% from the field in clutch moments while leading his team to a 22-17 record.
De'Aaron Fox is the highest usage player on the Sacramento Kings, so expect his role as a primary offensive option to remain the same. One of the fastest players in the NBA, Fox will be a consistent clutch contributor for the Kings.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a developing roster, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the leader. As the Thunder's most capable individual option of offense, expect the Canadian to maintain his place among the top clutch performers.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped lead a revelatory season for the Thunder in 2023, and he was leaned on heavily in clutch moments. The Canadian international scored 128 clutch points through the 2022-23 NBA season in 152.3 minutes. He shot 38.7% from the field in clutch situations and led his team to a 14-24 record.
The Oklahoma City Thunder doesn't project to be competitive for the top of the Western Conference, but they're talented enough to give every team trouble. Expect several tight games where Gilgeous-Alexander will lead the way for one of the NBA's highest-potential players.
Luka Doncic enters the 2023-24 NBA season with eyes on returning to the NBA Playoffs. With a reloaded Mavericks roster featuring himself, Kyrie Irving, and Grant Williams, Luka Doncic projects to have his best season yet!
The Dallas Mavericks season may not have gone as planned, but Doncic did his best to keep his team competitive. He posted 131 clutch points last season in 181.5 clutch minutes. He shot 44.0% from the field in clutch situations and led his team to a 20-21 record.
Bringing in Kyrie Irving removes the ball-handling burden from Luka Doncic while limiting his options in clutch situations. While he remains capable, Kyrie Irving's presence in clutch moments is simply an additional option that Dallas can take advantage of. Doncic will have plenty of opportunities in the clutch, so expect greater efficiency even if he's less productive.
The Phoenix Suns disappointed many with their playoff performance last season, but the potential of their roster is immense. With the acquisition of Bradley Beal pushing their potential even higher, expect Booker to play with greater efficiency due to the wealth of options.
Devin Booker rarely faces clutch situations with his successful Phoenix Suns, but he was their preferred option last season. He scored 64 clutch points in 89.2 minutes. Booker shot 37.3% from the field in those minutes while leading his team to a 12-11 record.
The Phoenix Suns now enter games with Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Kevin Durant as options in the clutch. While Booker is capable, there will be plenty of situations where he won't be relied upon in the clutch due to their wealth of talent. Barring some historical performances, Booker doesn't project to have enough volume in clutch moments to compete with other stars of the NBA.
Rumors continue to swirl around Damian Lillard and his future with the Portland Trail Blazers, but regardless of his team, he remains one of the NBA's most impressive clutch players. Whether it's off the ball or with it, Lillard has proven more than once that he's a threat from anywhere on the court.
Damian Lillard's Trail Blazers didn't find the success they wanted last season, but he remains one of the NBA's top options in the clutch. In 2022-23, Lillard scored 86 clutch points in 101.2 minutes. Lillard shot 38.3% from the field in clutch minutes and led his team to an 11-15 record.
While Lillard's clutch numbers don't compare to the top of the pack, adding Scoot Henderson will allow him to play without the ball and conserve energy for crucial moments. Regardless of how the Trail Blazers lineup, Lillard will be the first option in any offensive situation.
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The 2023 NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award winner was De'Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings. Fox was also the inaugural winner of the 2023 NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award, with 2023 being its first iteration.Fox was excellent through the 2022-23 NBA season, leading the Kings to the playoffs while averaging 25.0 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.2 rebounds on 51.2% from the field and 32.4% from three-point range. He also led the league in clutch points, scoring 194 in 159.9 minutes on 52.9% shooting from the field.Fox won the award, collecting 91 of a possible 100 first-place votes and 460 total points. The runner-up was Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, who accumulated one first-place vote and 104 total points. And third was the Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan, who collected 80 points through voting.
A voting panel of select media members across the United States and Canada determines the NBA Clutch Player of the Year. Votes are divided between first, second, and third with weighted point values, and the player with the most points at the end of the voting process is determined as the winner.There are no statistical requirements to earn Clutch Player of the Year. But if there's a statistical standard for the winner, it's the Clutch Points leader.
For a player to be eligible for the Clutch Player of the Year Award, they must appear in at least 65 games. That is the standard for all NBA Awards, and there is no other requirement to be nominated for Clutch Player of the Year.
Clutch points are points that are scored by an NBA player in what is deemed clutch situations. Clutch situations are defined as the last four minutes of the fourth quarter or the overtime period. A successful clutch player is not only a capable scorer in clutch moments but efficient as well.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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