1. LeBron James
Remember this? Although it’s no longer 2013, this still wasn’t too long ago when LeBron took Paul George to the rim for a game winner.
LeBron James has been the Miami Heat’s go to player in crunch time consistently for the Heat now for the past two seasons in their runs to consecutive titles. While there’s most certainly been moments when he has failed to make plays late, he has always bounced back to improve his game and play better the next time around.
For instance, in Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, LeBron shrunk in the closing minutes as the Thunder surged ahead for an eleven point victory in the crucial first game. However, from that point on, LeBron dominated the rest of the series as the Heat won four straight games to take home their second championship in franchise history.
While LeBron isn’t exactly a Joe Johnson or Kobe Bryant type player who goes in isolation for a fade away jumper at the buzzer, he still has proven that he is a clutch player with the ability to simply take over long periods of the game (the game 6 rally in the third and fourth quarters of the 2013 Finals).
But still, if it’s falling away, high-arcing buzzer beaters to win ballgames that you’re looking for, LeBron has done that too.
There was a valid argument pre-Miami Heat days that LeBron became half the player he was in the clutch and perhaps even in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. However, in putting the team on his back many times on the way to multiple NBA Championships, LeBron has more than proven that he is an incredible player come crunch time.