Paul is the face of a team that's become infamous for its postseason collapses, but let's not put all the blame on him. He banked in a game-winning floater during the Clippers' first-round series against the Grizzlies back in 2013. He hit an almost identical walk-off to win Game 7 against the Spurs last year. He has a desire to control every aspect of a game, and that's led to some big turnovers. But part of being a clutch shooter is simply being able to create good looks in one-on-one scenarios. Few players do that better than Paul.
James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
Regardless of who's guarding him and what the scoreboard reads, The Beard can't be stopped. Well-known for his ability to command a whistle on every other foray to the rim, Harden doubled down last season as an unguardable one-on-one force in the clutch. In the final five minutes of games within five points, Harden shot 48.1 percent overall from the floor and a ridiculous 52 percent from behind the 3-point line. Everyone in the gym knows the Rockets are going to give Harden the ball, and he still makes defenses pay.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY SportsKelley L Cox
LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Remember the days of questioning James' clutch gene and dissecting every time he passed the ball in the waning moments of a close game? Neither does anyone else. The two-time NBA champion put those worries to rest with his game winner against the Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals. As injuries crushed Cleveland's title hopes last season, the odds of James being in position to come up clutch in the playoffs decreased drastically. Yet he just kept coming, almost single-handedly helping the Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference title and two wins in The Finals against the Warriors. With some health this season, Cleveland will have plenty of opportunities for James to beat the buzzer in the biggest moments.
NBAE/Getty ImagesJesse D. Garrabrant
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
When it comes to shooting, there's virtually no circumstance or situation where Stephen Curry comes up short. If you're down late, Curry can make a contested pull-up three in a flash, and he's a much better creator off the dribble than he seems to get credit for. The most underrated aspect of Curry's clutch play, however, is his free-throw shooting. When it comes time to put the game away, there's no one in the league you'd rather have at the line. He's both a comeback engineer and a closer when the Warriors lead, which is a combination that's more unique than you might think.
NBAE/Getty ImagesNoah Graham
Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Being a great shooter is nice. But perhaps the most important aspect of being a great clutch shooter is the ability to get off your shot at any time. And that's why Kevin Durant is at the top of this list. Durant doesn't need screens, space or even a play called for him. He just needs the ball, and his length and creativity will allow him to get a shot up over the top of even the best defenders. It can sometimes be a challenge for Durant to wrestle the ball out of Russell Westbrook's hands with the game on the line, sure. But once he gets it, Durant renders the defense irrelevant. No one is better equipped to create a quality game-winning look.