LeBron James too clutch

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The definition of clutch is going to come into question as the end of the NBA season draws near.
Bulls guard Demar DeRozan is the current odds-on favorite to win the newest NBA award — Clutch Player of the Year — coming in at -150 on FanDuel Sportsbook.
On his heels is star guard Stephen Curry (+120), followed by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (16/1), with everyone else considered a massive long shot.
But this award, which had its inaugural year in 2023, has been a crapshoot for much of the year and last year.
Curry was long expected to be the winner here, being favored on and off for most of the season before DeRozan made a ridiculous leap from 100/1 to favorite status in just three weeks.
None of the award voters have really tipped their cap on who is the deserving winner, but there is one player that is as clutch as any who should be in contention to win the award: LeBron James, who is currently at 250/1.
DeMar DeRozan Getty Images
James is leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring for the Lakers, averaging eight points per game in the quarter, well ahead of Curry, who is fifth, and DeRozan, sixth.
Voters are still undoubtedly deciding how they quantify this award, but how could a guard for the Bulls (36-40) be that clutch?
Last year’s winner, De’Aaron Fox, was sixth in fourth-quarter scoring, but at least the Kings were playing meaningful games around this time and made the playoffs.
The Bulls, however, are set for the play-in tournament and aren’t guaranteed to make the playoffs.
NBA Clutch Player of the Year stats
Player 4th quarter points Points in the clutch Record (in the clutch) Demar DeRozan 7.2 4.7 (23-15) Stephen Curry 7.2 4.6 (21-18) Damian Lillard 6.0 3.8 (23-13) LeBron James 8.0 3.5 (17-9)
To be fair, DeRozan makes sense as the favorite, and his points in the clutch stats are surely driving this movement.
But James’ eight points per game in the fourth quarter is the most in the NBA by a fair margin, and he is a legitimate candidate for this award.
Betting on the NBA?
He probably won’t win, but 250/1 is a wild number for a player with a legitimate case.
Fair value is 50/1, so grab this one while it’s hot.
It may be time to rename the award NBA “Klutch” Player of the Year if James wins it, after his agency.

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