We are witnessing the era of the point guard. It’s one of the deepest positions in the League, with so many talented players, and so many different takes on the position itself. The hyperactive, attacking guards (Rose, Westbrook, Wall, Lawson), the shoot first, scoring guards (Steph, Irving, Lillard) , the big guards (Deron, Carter-Williams, Holiday). There are celebrity guards (Linsanity), aging offensive geniuses (Nash), do-everything offensively challenged geniuses (Rondo, Rubio). & Lebron – who, lets face it, is essentially a point guard first & reluctant but dominant scorer second – Magic & Michael’s secret love child engineered to near perfection in Stern Laboratories.
But in this conversation, in this era where there are multiple definitions for possibly the most crucial position in basketball (unless you’re running the Triangle), there is only one prototype – the true point guard – Chris Paul.
What makes him the essence is not the highlights – crossovers, fancy fallaways, crazy handles or perfect passes. But he does have his fair share of those and they’re all pretty ridiculous. He even shows some rare explosiveness (#2 – His classic dunk on Dwight)
He is not the fastest, or the most athletic. He’s not an Elite shooter. He is usually the smallest player on court. But one could argue that he is among the smartest. He is destined for coaching once this part of his career is over. I don’t think anyone has a better understanding of the ‘flow’ of a game. That instinctive understanding of when to defer to his team, when to attack, how never to hurry or try too hard. Always in control. Some form of childhood trauma has to be responsible for this level of genius. Its THAT good.
And this early season, he has put his entire repertoire on display already, orchestrating sublime masterpieces against some of the best teams in the West. Teams they’re sure to face on their way to title they hope to finally contend for.
First there was the 42 & 15 against Steph & the Dubs. That stat line alone reads like a typo, essentially implying that he was singlehandedly responsible for around 80–90 of his team’s points (give or take a few of the makes being threes, and some passes leading to free throws that dont count as ‘assists’)
& then today’s game against the Rockets where he had 9 assists en route to leading his team to 40 points IN THE FIRST QUARTER.
With the way the game is changing, I’m not sure if we will see another player play this position quite like him, but while he’s here, its imperative that we sit back and be amazed.
& speaking of some of his gems, who can forget what he did with an undermanned Hornets team to the then defending champ Lakers.
He was even kind enough to pay for all the therapy Bynum needed after.