The point guard position is arguably the most important position to a basketball team’s success. Unless you have a Lebron, Wade or Kobe on your roster it is essential that your point guard give you more than adequate production and can run your offense to the finest detail in all situations of the game. Some point guards are better suited for up tempo play (T.J. Ford, Devin Harris and Monta Ellis) and other are the slow it down half court set types (Andre Miller, Derick Fisher and Mike Bibby). Two of the last 4 Finals MVP's (Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker) have been point guards. A two time league MVP in Phoenix was said to be the best at the position up until this past NBA season where we saw a changing of the guard.
Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets is not only considered the BEST point guard in the NBA but if you go by last seasons ridiculous numbers (21 ppg, 11 apg and 2 spg) he may be the BEST to ever play the position by the time he hangs it up. In only his 3rd year, Paul led the Hornets to within 1 game of the BEST record in the uber tough Western Conference and within 1 game of playing in that same Conferences playoff Finals. He controls the game as if he were the only 1 playing it. If he wants to run, he'll zip down the court and find a streaking Tyson Chandler for a monster dunk. If he wants to run his offense he will wait for sharp shooter Peja Stojakovic to free himself up for a long range drop or if he wants to slow it down he will lull you to sleep with the deadly pick and roll he runs with his partner in crime David West. You jump out on Paul he will almost always find West for his extremely accurate short jumper and if you sag off him he will either bury his own mid range free be or slash right by you for an easy lay up or set up ... basically pick your poison with this guy because one way or another he is going to kill you.
Paul (5'10 160) is not Jason Kidd big, Tony Parker fast or Baron Davis strong. But he is somewhat of a combination of all 3. He plays much much bigger than he is and sees the court every bit as well as the eyes-behind-the-head Kidd. He does not possess the blinding quickness of Parker but he can certainly get to the paint just as easy as T.P. He may not be able to bully his way to the paint like B. Diddy but uses every bit of his strength to his advantage against bigger opponents. Simply put, Paul has all of the tools required to be an All Time great point guard.
This past summer Chris Paul was a key member of the Gold winning USA Men’s Basketball Team. He averaged 8.0 points per game, led the team in assists per game (3.6), shot a team best .917 % from the free throw line and adjusted to the rugged International setting like most great players should. Paul’s heart is definitely Kool-Aid free. He is not going to get bullied by anyone when he’s out there. Already a leader at the age of 23, Paul is the ultimate prototypical point determined to make each and every player that suites up with him better.
In only his 3rd NBA season Chris Paul put up numbers that already put him in the conversation of some All Time Greats. Add to that the fact that he guided his team to a rather successful playoff run; CP3 could have turned the corner down the road of Legends before him.
Magic Johnson 3rd year ppg: 18.6 (1986-87)
Chris Paul in 2008: 21.7
John Stockton 3rd year apg: 8.2 (1986-87)
Chris Paul in 2008: 11.4
Isiah Thomas 3rd year spg: 2.49 (1983-84)
Chris Paul in 2008: 2.7
Oscar Robertson 3rd year FG%: .518% (1962-63)
Chris Paul in 2008: .488%
Mark Price 3rd year ft%: .901% (1988-89)
Chris Paul in 2008: .851%
Just a thought …
... We are in an era in basketball where ANYONE can lead their teams to a championship if they are in the right situation ... I just looked of the last 6 Finals MVP's 3 were the teams BEST players and 3 were NOT ...
1. Shaq (3 Finals MVP's) - Teams Best Player.
2. Duncan (3 Finals MVP's) - Teams Best Player.
3. Billups 1 Finals MVP – B. Wallace and RIP better.
4. Wade 1 Finals MVP - Teams Best Player.
5. Parker 1 Finals MVP - Duncan and Manu better.
6. Pierce 1 Finals MVP - K.G. Better.
The funny thing is players like Kobe, Lebron and Dirk have ALL played in the FINALS as their teams BEST players and have come up short. Parker stole the show as Lebron was being manhandled by Bruce Bowen, Dirk had good #'s in his Finals appearance (22.8 and 10.8) but he ran into an OTHER WORLDLY TALENT in D. Jordan ... Kobe was outplayed by Ray Allen and Ray Allen was his teams 3rd best player ... Here are some possible Finals MVP's to look for over the next couple of seasons.
1. Yao Ming - T. Mac is OBVIOUSLY teams best player ... BUT Yao could be facing, Perkins, Big Z, Dalembert or Maxiell ...YIKES!!!!
2. Lebron James - The Don is the Don ... He gets back there NO ONE is denying him.
3. Chris Paul - CP3 is the 2K Isiah Thomas.
4. Andre Iguodala - E. Brand is the teams’ BEST player but players like Iggy could go BANANAS in a Finals.