The list goes as follows: Chris Paul and then everyone else. That’s the end all be all of this conversation. If Chris Paul isn’t your number one you’re going to have a rough time explaining why. He’s the most effective and dangerous point guard out of any in the league. He possesses the complete package of talent, production and tenacity that puts him not only as the best point in the league, but as one of the best players in the league as well.
What he does well
Well, basically everything. Chris Paul is a jack of all trades. He defends well, he gets his teammates involved, he’s a master of creation, and he’s got the competitive edge to go with all of that.
Just looking at the raw numbers this season, Paul is averaging 16.1 points, 9.3 assists, 2.7 steals, and 3.4 rebounds this season. He’s shooting 90% from the free throw line this season along with a 47% clip from the field and 33% from beyond the arch, per basketball reference. He’s playing 33 minutes per game this season, which is a career low for him.
His numbers ooze efficiency and they have the Clippers sitting pretty with the best record in the league at 25-7. He’s got a 125.5 offensive rating which ranks 2nd in the league after Tyson Chandler, who has been an efficiency mill for quite some time now.
Along with that comes a 25.8 PER on a usage percentage of only 21.9%. Paul assists on 44% of his teams field goals and they’re the fourth best offense in the league. That isn’t a bad deal at all.
Paul is an artist when it comes to the pick and roll. Paul spends most of his time on offense as the ball handler in pick and roll situations. Per mysynergysports.com, 35.4% of Paul’s offense comes from there. He gets .99 points per possession which ranks 7th in the league as a whole. He sees the floor with elite vision and makes the right decision nine times out of 10. It may not always be the flashiest, but all that matters at the end of the game is the scoreboard.
Paul’s dribble efficiency is the best in the league. He never uses too many dribbles to get to where he wants to go and always uses his dribble to keep the defense at bay. That becomes especially useful in pick and roll situations. Through the use of video, I’ll show you what I mean. Take a look at this photo below. Paul has the ball in the middle of the paint. He used three dribbles from about 25 feet out to get to the free throw/elbow area of the floor.
In the video below, you’ll see this in action.
There’s never a purposeless dribble with Chris Paul. He’s always using it for something. If he doesn’t need it, he’s not going to do it. That’s the proper way to move the basketball in the NBA. His turnovers are always low because of this dribble efficiency and effectiveness.
That’s one of the most important skills a point guard can have. For all of you young guards reading, make sure that you can do this.
His hesitation is key in doing this. With that powerful dribble, he can move the defense in any direction that he wants to. They have to respect his passing skill so they don’t double–as demonstrated in the video above. That left him with the wide open jumper.
He’s also the best at using screens to take his man out of the picture. He gets as close to the screener as possible keeping the ball’s dribble powerful and compact for best control, and that essentially creates a four on four game with Paul already in the paint and a mismatch with the screener and the man that was guarding Paul on the back end of the play.
With a team as talented as the Clippers, Paul makes them that much better. Even when he wasn’t surrounded with talent, Paul made the Hornets a playoff team. That’s the power of having an elite point guard on both ends at your side.
Paul is a guard that always has the offense at his fingertips. Every decision he makes is just to a tee, and that’s why he’s the best point guard in the game.