Today, we’re here to talk about the so-called Chris Paul effect! Paul is in the midst of a huge playoff run for his career and his legacy. Paul has obviously never won a championship, but this could be the team that he is able to get the job done with.
Paul has had some amazing teammates. He played alongside James Harden during his MVP season, he paired with Blake Griffin for 6 seasons and averaged nearly 10 assists per game on the iconic “Lob City” team.
Apparently, Chris Paul did not see eye to eye with the superstars he played with which is hard to understand because Paul was never a score-first guard or selfish player which is usually the case when we see players butt heads. Two guys who average 20+ points a game and want to control the game.
It seems Paul has finally found a team of guys who are all willing to do whatever it takes to win.
The Chris Paul Effect | Scoring
Paul is not known as a score-first guard, but standing at just 6 feet tall Paul is one of the niftiest scorers in NBA history. Paul’s mid-range game is lethal. He has established an automatic fadeaway which we have seen him knock down over taller defenders countless times.
Paul has not been the best three-point shooter throughout his career but shoots at a respectable 37% for his career. This is good enough to make defenders guard him at the three-point line which gives him the opportunity to blow by defenders and get into the lane for easy layups and buckets.
Paul is remarkably a 50.9% shooter from inside the arc in his career. For a smaller guard, this shows how amazing Paul’s playmaking skills are. He is able to get to his spot and find shots that he is comfortable making.
Paul is an efficient scorer and you rarely see him hurting his team by forcing up bad shots.
Passing & Playmaking
The Chris Paul effect is real! He currently sits at 5th on the all-time assists leaderboard. Paul has a career average of 9.4 assists per game.
Paul has made a career out of distributing the ball to his teammates. Paul is quick and able to get around defenders and when he finds his way inside the lane he is able to draw extra defenders and has a knack for locating the open man. He creates wide-open shots that his teammates would not have without his ability to draw the defense.
I consider Paul a pure playmaker. Teams are unable to stop Paul from doing what he does best. He is constantly able to get himself by defenders and score or kick to open teammates. Paul has tremendous foot speed and ball-handling skills which makes him extremely tough to guard.
Another place Paul is unguardable is the pick and roll game. We have seen more and more NBA teams utilizing the pick and roll, but Paul and Blake Griffin really brought it to the forefront in Los Angeles.
Paul forces the defender to choose to take either him or the big man because as soon as the pick is set he explodes to the paint. It usually results in a lob, open shot for Paul, or a perimeter defender having to step in and a Paul kick out for an open look to a perimeter shooter.
One part of Chris Paul’s game that I view as underrated is his defense. Paul is an undersized guard so when he gets caught in the post he is susceptible to giving up some easy buckets. However, it is rare for Paul to get caught in the post.
Chris Paul also sits at 5th on the all-time steals list averaging 2.1 per game. When he gets a steal it often leads to an easy transition bucket.
Paul is able to keep his man from driving with his hounding defense sliding his feet and constantly finding himself in a perfect defensive position in front of his man.
Chris Paul With The Suns
With teammates like Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Jae Crowder Paul has so many reliable scoring options. We have seen Chris Paul show out in many ways for this Suns team.
In the first game of the Conference Semifinals against the Nuggets, Paul took over the 4th quarter with his scoring.
Paul had a sore shoulder against the defending champion Lakers in Round 1. Paul shot less and distributed the ball more and got Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton the open looks they needed to lead the Suns past Lebron and the Lakers.
This is a team that could very well win the NBA Finals. I am excited to watch Paul down the stretch as his shoulder continues to get better. Paul has continued to improve teams and the players around him throughout his career and his hard work may finally payoff as the Suns push for a title.