The word clutch is the most overused word in professional sports. Peering into the statistics will prove this. So many of the guys who are historically talked about as being clutch actually shoot quite horribly when the game is on the line. The ones who shoot well at the end of tight games usually shoot with more or less the same accuracy that they do throughout the rest of the game. Clutch exists, but fans often are way too fast to annoint a player as “clutch” without merit.

Jamal Murray is clutch. Not just because at 20 years old he’s already stepped into the role of closer for the Denver Nuggets but because of how confidently, calmly, and aggressively he demands the ball and is willing to take shots when everything is on the line. Murray doesn’t force bad shots hoping for a piece of glory. So often that is what fans believe clutch players ought to do – take over the shot-taking load regardless of whether those shots are high percentage looks or not. Murray’s approach late in games is aggressive but in control. Not shying away from the moment but not forcing the moment either. He embraces the challenge in front of him.

Tonight, Murray seemed to get energy from the biggest moments of the game. When the Oklahoma City Thunder made their run in the 4th quarter, Murray started to attack more. When the Nuggets desperately needed to keep scoring just to stay a step ahead of the surging Thunder, Murray was right there, attacking as aggressively as ever.

I’ve never seen a 20-year old with this kind of mental toughness and poise. Murray exudes a calm confidence that is rare in 10-year veterans and unheard of in 2nd year guards. Check out the highlights below. The crossover on Steven Adams grabbed the headlines but that 4th quarter outburst was the filet of the reel. In front of a national tv audience Jamal Murray grabbed the moment by the throat and carried the Nuggets to a much-needed and truly impressive home win.

Did I mention that he is just 20 years old?