Chris Paul is one of the best point guards to ever play the game. That goes without saying. At just 6’1, CP3 is an elite floor general and passer, while also displaying tremendous ball handling ability while maintaining scoring capability.
He recently passed Steve Nash for third place on the all-time assists leaderboard as well.
In an era where point guards often lead their teams in scoring, a player of Paul’s skillet and mindset is rare. In a 123-111 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night, Paul scored just 9 points on only 10 shots. However, he added 13 assists, 5 steals, 5 rebounds, and even 2 blocks and played a huge role in the win.
And that is just who he is, a guy who will do whatever it takes for his team to earn the victory.
Paul is versatile. There are some nights where he might notice the defense laying off of him and he will oblige by dropping 25 points. That’s why I believe calling Paul a “pass first” guard is deceiving.
Rather, he is simply an intelligent basketball player. If there is a better three-point shooter open on the wing, he will make the extra pass. If he finds himself open for an elbow jumper, he will take the shot. Paul is able to read defenses and react accordingly.
It is almost similar to quarterbacks in football who are asked to run the read option. That is part of the reason why he is incredibly lethal off of the pick-and-roll.
Point guards who played in a similar fashion included Hall of Famers such as Magic Johnson and John Stockton. Both of those guys were more than capable of scoring 20 points per game, but they never forced shots and took what the defense gave them. It was always about winning and not about statistics with them.
Point guards such as Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Kyrie Irving are new school players. They will look to score first and there is nothing wrong with that. Each of them are extremely talented scoring options.
But Chris Paul is one of the last of a dying breed. While there are other quality floor generals in the league, finding one as accomplished as CP3 is a daunting task.
Even as Paul has grown older, he still plays in a very similar manner to when he was younger. Sure, CP3 had more athleticism during his prime, but even then he was not one to force shots and always sought to find the open teammate when necessary.
He is always in control of the game. If he feels the pace needs to be quicker, he will set it. If he finds that slowing down the offense is the best course of action, Paul will make that happen. The man is a leader in every sense of the word.
Chris Paul is on the fast-track to the Hall of Fame, and will look to add an NBA championship to his resume with the Phoenix Suns in 2021-2022.