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Let’s comedy a quick game.
Here are some per 36 stats forth with some cutting percentages. Does it abduction the complete account for both players? Not remotely. But comedy forth anyways…
Based on this advice and this advice only, who would you rather have?
Is this a awry method? Of course.
Do these numbers abduction aggregate all-important to absolutely accomplish a pick? Not alike close.
And yet they should accommodate abundant to at atomic brighten some faults with one acceptance looming ample branch into the 2019-20 season. You acceptable wouldn’t attending at either as addition who is done and done… far from it!
Both of these players are the aforementioned body at the aforementioned position with a agnate appearance of play. Amateur A is the added able shooter, bigger on D and added accurate with the ball. Amateur B is a added adequate all-embracing ballista and gets to the band a beard more.
Player A is Chris Paul from the 2007-08 division aback he accomplished additional in MVP voting and staked his affirmation as the best point bouncer in the league, demography the crimson from Steve Nash and ushering in a amplitude of about eight seasons area he was the absolute Point God.
Player B is additionally Chris Paul.
Only that’s not the 22-year-old two-way alarm about to booty on the alliance and adhesive his cachet as a Hall of Fame attic general.
Chris Paul accomplished 2nd in MVP voting aback in 2007-08.https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/b1/35/chris-paul-finished-2nd-in-mvp-voting-back-in-2007-08_1ljsh52lr6urg1uayw6y5ci4jr.jpeg?t=1346176108&w=500&quality=80
Those numbers for Amateur B appear from a 727 minute sample admeasurement aftermost division during which a 33-year-old Paul played afterwards James Harden.
Is it antic to analyze a 727 minute blooming best sample to an absolute division during which he played 80 amateur and over 3,000 account over a decade ago? Absolutely. Well… array of. It’s alone antic if it’s done to accomplish the altercation that some blooming best abstracts credibility agency he’s in any way, appearance or anatomy absolutely better.
THAT would be ludicrous.
But what if it’s done instead to pump the brakes on a preposterous, yet accepted access that Paul is somehow accomplished as a top-flight point guard?
Before accepting absent in Glass Half Full Land in which best case scenarios booty antecedence over reality, I don’t appetite to artlessly abandon the affidavit why it’s accessible to advance that ‘Chris Paul, Point God’ is finished.
The affidavit for activity bearish activate with well-founded apropos about his adeptness to break healthy. He’s absent over 20 amateur in anniversary of the aftermost three division while actualization in aloof over 70% of his team’s absolute games. That doesn’t augur able-bodied for a small-statured, now 34-year-old point bouncer who alike in his prime had problems blockage on the cloister as credible by the actuality that he’s accomplished the 80-game beginning aloof three times in his career.
To apprehend Paul to break analytic advantageous and accomplishment about in the adjacency of 70 bold feels risky. If you’re activity to abbreviate Paul’s banal on the base of health, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. At this point, it would about capricious to appoint in any altercation of Paul’s adeptness for a renaissance division afterwards acclamation the albatross in the room.
Then there’s the history of crumbling baby point guards which doesn’t augur well. Care to assumption how abounding players 6’0″ or beneath averaged 15 credibility and 7 assists per bold afterwards axis 34?
Zero, zilch, nada.
Others accept gotten there at that age, yet none dealt with actuality absolutely as slight as the diminuitive Paul.
The abutting allegory and alarm for optimism is Lenny Wilkens, who remained a abundant accidental amateur until he was 35 aback he fabricated the aftermost of his nine All-Star teams.
The 6’1″ John Stockton pick-and-rolled his way to an All-Star aggregation at the age of 37 and remained a take-it-to-the-bank table setter until calling it quits afterwards axis 40. He additionally had the account of a decades-old arrangement congenital about him and Karl Malone, a account that Paul will not accept either in Oklahoma City or elsewhere.
So yeah… I get it.
“If he can alone break healthy.”
Those six words are abundantly alarming and conceivably appropriate of abnegation moreso than annihilation else. I admit that.
But aloof as it’s absurd to appraise Chris Paul in 2019 afterwards demography into application his abrasion and tear, it’s additionally absurd to do so afterwards the added albatross in the room: arena abutting to James Harden.
When the Rockets acquired Paul above-mentioned to the alpha of the 2017-18 season, it was done with the adeptness that there would charge to be some sacrifices fabricated on the allotment of both of their ball-dominant point guards.
For Paul, that cede embodied itself in beneath touches and added time spent off the ball. Admitting his all-embracing numbers looked conspicuously agnate to his final year with the Clippers, he averaged 15 beneath touches and had the brawl in his easily about one minute beneath per game. Afterwards baronial sixth in the alliance in touches per bold in 2016-17, he fell all the way to 29th in his aboriginal division in Houston admitting absolutely averaging added minutes. That trend connected aftermost division as he ranked 32nd in the alliance in touches.
For Harden, that “sacrifice” embodied itself in Year 1 with a career-high in acceptance allotment en avenue to acceptable the MVP award. Abundant in allotment because of Paul’s continued absence, he took that to the acute aftermost seasn as he accomplished with the second-highest acceptance amount in NBA history while uncorking one of the best ascendant abhorrent seasons we’ve anytime seen.
That’s not in any way meant as a criticism of Harden. He’s unquivocally one of the two best guards in the NBA and about speaking, it’s a acceptable affair to accept the brawl in your best player’s hands. Especially aback commutual with a additional brilliant that struggled to consistently break on the floor, it’s boxy to beating Harden for accomplishing what was all-important to accumulate his aggregation in contention. Admitting Giannis Antetokounmpo appropriately won the MVP award, I was in the affected that believed it should accept been Harden. If you’re attractive for Harden detractors, I’m not your guy.
Regardless, it’s accessible that Paul was artlessly not himself aback arena alongside his superstar backcourt mate. All of the things that fabricated Paul a nine-time All-Star, approaching Hall of Famer and one of the best to anytime applique ’em up, he could not do aback administration the attic with Harden.
And yet aback accustomed the opportunity, it’s credible he can still bear the goods, admitting in abate doses.
Chris Paul produced at All-Star levels aback not administration the attic with James Harden.https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/2e/93/chris-paul-produced-at-all-star-levels-when-not-sharing-the-floor-with-james-harden_rezgx3c4x62m1shk28etnmiyj.png?t=1345684044&w=500&quality=80
That aforementioned exact trend showed up the division above-mentioned as able-bodied to an anytime greater extreme.
Putting too abundant into any one cardinal carries with it some austere abeyant pitfalls. For starters, accomplishing it over a amount of 700 account is a far altered barbarian than over 2,500 account as the top-billed name on the covering over an absolute approved season. Speaking of starters, there’s additionally the key aspect that Paul did abundant of his accident in staggered non-Harden account adjoin additional units. Cooking adjoin backups is additionally a far altered barbarian than accomplishing it night in and night out adjoin added aboriginal units.
In attractive above on-court/off-court splits which accept a acceptability for actuality awfully blatant and are blowzy with “yeah, buts”, Paul still operates as one of the best able pull-up scorers in the league. Admitting administration a backcourt with addition that averaged the best credibility by anyone aback adolescent Michael Jordan, he still ranked seventh in the alliance in credibility per bold off of pull-up jumpers, one atom abaft Kevin Durant and two spots advanced of Stephen Curry. He may be slight and he may accept absent a step, but there’s no abstinent that Paul still knows how to get to his spots.
If he stays in Oklahoma City, Paul will accept every befalling to already afresh booty the attic as the primary conductor.
While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will eventually become the focal point in Oklahoma City as the Thunder re-tool in the post-Russell Westbrook era, he’s not accessible aloof yet. The 21-year-old may comedy able-bodied above his years, but he’s absolutely not yet at a abode area he’s a reliable go-to attic accepted and brawl abettor for 35 account a night.
Even if Danilo Gallinari apprehension up arch the aggregation in scoring, he’s not absolutely the blazon who needs the brawl at all times either. Afterwards the Clippers traded abroad Tobias Harris to the Philadephia 76ers aftermost season, Gallinari led the aggregation in scoring at over 21 credibility per bold yet amid all 20-point scorers, ranked abreast the basal in both touches and time of possession. He had the brawl in his acreage beneath than the brand of Pascal Siakam and Julius Randle.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari should advance arena off of Chris Paul in Oklahoma City.https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/89/2f/shai-gilgeous-alexander-and-danilo-gallinari-should-thrive-playing-off-of-chris-paul-in-oklahoma-city_14wv5orfu77ii1lwwi6wj42qq6.jpg?t=1386103980&w=500&quality=80
As for the massive Steven Adams, you about can’t acquisition a bigger awning setter to chargeless up Paul for his patented snake aback above the elbows afterwards a aerial pick-and-roll. He adeptness not be a rim agent with the hops of Clint Capela, but he’s a acceptable abundant finisher and the blazon of certiable common annihilation man that’s accessible to see developing abundant allure alongside Paul as he destroys biting defenders aggravating to asphyxiate his point guard.
There’s additionally article to be said for arena with a dent on a accept and out with article to prove on a aggregation with about no pressure. You’d be hard-pressed to acquisition a accepted amateur with added pride than Paul and it’s not adamantine to anticipate him all-embracing the 2019-20 division in a way that absolutely sends a bulletin to the blow of the alliance that he still belongs in that high band of top-tier talent.
Should he abide in OKC, defining success could be absolutely catchy for a amateur generally agape for his disability to accomplish continued postseason runs throughout his career. While abundant of that anecdotal rings accurate accustomed the loftry expectations of accomplished teams, this OKC band enters the division with an over/under win absolute of 31, which ranks advanced of alone the Suns and Grizzlies in a loaded Western Conference. While it adeptness be too abundant to ask (though absolutely not above the branch of possible) for Paul to advance this aggregation to a top-eight finish, a renaissance alone division consistent in a frisky, over-achieving Thunder aggregation arena the role of addle-brain could actual abundant be in the cards.
Even if the access over the aboriginal allotment of the division is to advertise Paul’s talents and access his amount advanced of abutting February’s barter deadline, a move that would be on-brand for Thunder GM Sam Presti who is on a cycle with his accepted adeptness to cast cher stars for a acutely amaranthine accumulation of approaching assets, Paul is now in a positon area he has every adventitious to ascendancy the anecdotal about how he’s perceived in today’s hierarchy.
Conventional acumen suggests he’s aloof a point guard.
Unconventional acumen suggests that he still aloof adeptness be a Point God.
The angle on this folio do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its clubs.