The third round of PtR Summer Showdown continues by pitting the clutch factors of a rising star in Portland and a consistent veteran in Brooklyn.
It is a half court game in which the scoring increments are 1 point for everything inside the arc, and 2 points for everything outside the arc. So long-distance bombers will do well in our tourney. The higher seed starts with the ball and the first player to 11 points wins. The possession switches every time the ball is scored, and your votes determine the winner.
Damian Lillard (3rd Seed)
Damian Lillard is coming off a surprisingly big win against Stephen Curry. The Blazers' floor general showed he can hold his own against players similar to his stature, but now he faces a 6'7" 240-pound veteran in Johnson.
With his athleticism, Lillard should be able to outhustle Johnson throughout and drive into the paint. The problem for Lillard is converting in that area, where he shot below the league average, but going against a defender who doesn't have a big man's size will make it easier for him.
Though he and Johnson shot the three-pointer at a near-equal mark, he may struggle to get his shot off against the taller defender as well. Can his quickness get him space for a better look?
This deep into the tournament, it's important to remember Lillard put up great stats against the Spurs in the second round after sending the Rockets home at the buzzer, so the late-round pressure may actually help him.
Joe Johnson (4th Seed)
The Nets guard must feel on top of the 1-on-1 world right now after defeating Kevin Durant in the previous round. In this matchup, he has the advantage of going against a smaller player and will be able to back Lillard into the paint when he feels like it.
The height advantage will help Johnson outside the paint as well, as he'll find it easier to shoot over his 6'3" defender. One of Lillard's main weaknesses is his overall defense, which makes Johnson capable of owning this matchup when he has the ball.
However, Johnson's own defense could be his undoing. Lillard is quick and athletic while Johnson is on the declining side of his career, which means he can counter Joe's post-up moves by speeding his way to the basket for a layup.
If the game is neck-and-neck going into the final possessions, the clutch factor would be going through the roof between these two and may make for the best finish yet.
Now It's Your Turn
This is where you decide the outcome. Vote on the poll below and make sure to let your opinion be known in the comments of this article.