The NBA is well known for games that turn around in the last few seconds. A team can never be counted out, even with less than ten seconds left since there are so many chances presented to score the game-winning basket.That being said, the pressure on the shooter is at such a level that the general public sometimes might not be able to comprehend what a player is going through at that point.
It not only requires the supreme skill to be able to get the shot away, with the opposition all over the shooter and the concept of an open shot is almost lost, but also extreme mental fortitude and presence of mind to take external factors into consideration such as the clock and in some cases the three-point line as well.
Here is a look at the top ten clutch plays in the history of the NBA along with a few honorable mentions, which deserve to be put in the top ten but for the fact that either the team didn’t go on to win the game, or it was during the regular season.
Honorable Mentions: Tracy Mcgrady Vs Spurs (2004), Jerry West Vs Knicks (1970), Gar Heard Vs Celtics (1976), Kenny Smith Vs Magic (1995), Steve Kerr Vs Jazz (1997), Robert Horry Vs Pistons (2005), Michael Jordan Vs Cavaliers (1989)
#10 Vinnie Johnson Vs The Portland Trailblazers - NBA Finals, Game 5 (1990)
Vinnie Johnson was a crucial piece to the Detroit Pistons winning their back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990.
Detroit held a 3-1 lead and looked well on their way to winning their second title in as many years. But, things weren't going as to plan for them in much of game five at home. After halftime, Portland came into their own and led by eight points (76-68) going into the final ten minutes of the game.
Detroit eventually found themselves down 90-83 with a little over two minutes of the game left. A pivotal point in the match was when Clyde Drexler fouled out in the penultimate minute and Portland ended up being unable to score for the rest of the game. They found themselves tied at ninety and with Detroit having possession, they had the chance to clinch the game and the series with twenty seconds remaining.
Dennis Rodman inbounded the ball to Isiah Thomas who kicked it out to Johnson on the right baseline. With an elite defender in Jerome Kersey draped all over him, he was able to sink an incredible shot with 0.7 seconds remaining to give Detroit their second consecutive title.