Before this season, if someone asked you who the NBA’s best point guard was, chances are, you would have said Rajon Rondo or Derrick Rose. But now, the Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul has made it clear that he is the NBA’s best point guard.
Paul has led the Clippers on a 17-game win streak with his sharp play as the head man in the Clippers offense, averaging 16.3 points and 9.4 assists per game. He doesn’t score a ton of points, but he still manages to come up with big buckets in crunch time while distributing the ball effectively.
He also leads the league with 2.71 steals per game and is an 89.8 percent free-throw shooter with a 4.5 assists-to-turnover ratio. Paul averages 2.1 turnovers per game, which is incredible for a pass-first point guard.
Pass-first point guards don’t usually score much, but Paul can. Russell Westbrook is averaging 21.4 PPG, but only because he averages almost 19 shots per game. Paul is a 47.2 percent shooter, averaging less than 12 shots and 5.6 made shots per game. Westbrook isn’t even averaging eight made shots per game, so he’s definitely not as efficient when he shoots.
Paul has done a ton for his team and all of this has come in less than 33 minutes per game. More than 16 points and 9.4 assists per game have come in less than 33 minutes, making him even more effective. In some games, the Clippers have taken huge leads and sat Paul and Blake Griffin in the fourth quarter because the two have done so well that they aren’t even needed to close out the win.
Rajon Rondo may be seen as a better passer, because he averages over 11 assists per game. But he has about five more minutes per game to work with than Paul, because his team is 14-16 and is coming off of a 118-96 loss to the Kings (Rondo had more assists than turnovers in that game).
Rondo has a slightly better shooting percentage, but that doesn’t mean he is a better shooter. Most of his shots are layups, and if Paul and Rondo had a jump shot contest, Paul would easily win. Also, Rondo averages 1.6 more turnovers than Paul, and his assists-to-turnovers ratio is 3.1. For me, that seals the deal for Paul.
Westbrook has a decent 2.56 assists-to-turnovers ratio, but that’s nowhere near Paul’s exceptional 4.5. I know Westbrook is a shoot-first guard, but his poor decision-making and 40.3 field goal percentage suggest that he isn’t much of a shooter. The Thunder guard is great, and one of the best, but nowhere near Paul.
Nobody stacks up with Paul overall. Sure, they may score more than him (or less, in Rondo’s case), and they may have more assists (most don’t, though). But Paul is very good with the ball, and his exceptional assists-to-turnovers ratio reflects that. His team’s record also reflects that, as his ability to get the ball around to other playmakers like Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford has been crucial to the Clippers’ 17-game winning streak. His ability to start fastbreaks has done the same, as he has more steals per game than turnovers per game.
The Clippers will go as far as Paul goes, because they are his team. He is the one distributing the ball around the horn while also proving to be a shooting threat, keeping opponents off-balance and making him one of the hardest players to guard. He is athletic, quick, able to make all kinds of shots and passes, and able to lead his team past any team.
Because overall, there is no doubt that CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA.
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