Is Chris Paul Seriously the Best PG in the NBA?
Okay. Okay. You think I'm absolutely insane, right?
You think that I'm either taking too many meds or not enough? I'm still debating that one myself, but let me explain my rationale. It may even give you a different perspective -- drug-free, of course -- on the greatness or overexaggerated greatness that is Chris Paul.
Sure, Paul has a skillset that not many can mimic. Sure, his ability to score and dominate the game by facilitation is immaculate. Sure, his 28-year-old body is spry, resilient, and well-managed. Sure, he has won two Olympic gold medals with two all-star packed squads.
But what has he accomplished in the playoffs?
There is no denying how wonderful Chris Paul is. His commercials are humorous, his endorsements are lucrative, and his personality is well mannered, confident, and goal-oriented. (OK, he can be a bit polarizing.) But what defines his greatness?
Greatness is the ability to win and improve the abilities, attitudes, and devotion of those who surround you. The Clippers had their best regular season ever. But what did they do in the playoffs? Zilch. Blake Griffin has unworldly talent, yet his play regressed both offensively and defensively this year. But did Chris Paul improve his play?
Nope. Aside from winning the Pacific Conference, the Clippers didn't do anything significant this year. They are 'way too inconsistent, and you can definitely blame that on Paul's inability to improve his teammates' play. Some may argue that Eric Bledsoe, the seldom used but often productive backup point guard to Paul, is just as skilled.
Yes, Paul's 28 and I may be putting too much pressure on him, but wasn't the same pressure applied to Lebron at this age? Even before he turned 28? At least Lebron took his team to three NBA finals by the time he was that age. What has Chris Paul done? He's been on underachieving Clipper teams with zero capacity to improve. He's also been a part of three New Orleans playoff teams who were bounced early and often from the playoffs. Yes, theoretically, Paul may have helped to improve David West's game, but someone had to score on that team besides Paul.
Don't get me wrong, Paul is skilled out the wazoo, but is he really the best PG in the game? Deron Williams, when focused, can be just as lethal. Rajon Rondo has won a championship with a loaded Celtic squad but has still been effective enough to improve the overall play of his teammates. Damian Lillard, an up and comer, is going to be a star for years to come. Jrue Holiday is proving himself as a force to be reckoned with.
Yes, Chris Paul, you're good, but there are plenty of other people who are just as good if not better.
This argument wouldn't be as strong if he'd win something besides a gold medal. Until then, though, there it is.