Beckley Mason has a nice opening paragraph at HoopSpeak explaining the ethereal and often mysterious NBA mastery of point guard Chris Paul:
Chris Paul is a wizard, a magician, they say. And those who describe him that way are correct, not in that Paul possesses the ability to effect supernatural phenomenon upon this mundane plane of existence, but that he can make us think his tricks and sleight of hand exceed the bounds of logic. But when we peek behind the curtain, we can see that what makes Chris Paul so powerful isn’t a familiarity with the occult, but a practical mastery of the minutia of the pick-and-roll. That, and an shaman’s handle.
Aside from the confusion of ‘an’ before the “sh” syllable in “shaman” (I don’t know why I’m getting ornary over copy obfuscation, but I am this afternoon), this is an excellent bit of prose explaining why Chris Paul is so incredible, and an (vowel yo!) important addition to the Clippers.
After Derrick Rose destroyed my Knicks in the 4th quarter last night (and provided a blueprint for superior guard play in the woeful Knicks backcourt), it’s pretty clear the top two point guards this year (in a league that’s bursting at the seams with incredible guard play—peace hand checking) are reigning MVP, Derrick Rose and new Clipper, Paul.
The differences between them are vast, but they’re equally important to their respective teams. That’s why Sekou Smith debated the two at NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog. So who would you take Derrick Rose or Chris Paul?
“My initial response, ‘it depends on who else is on the team.’
But upon further reflection, that was an extremely disingenuous answer to a legitimate question. The fact is, any team with either one of those men on them starts with whichever one of those point guards — arguably the two finest in the game right now — you want to build that hypothetical team around.
And right now, it seems like an impossible choice to make. They’re both in ideal situations for their skills sets.”
Smith goes on to add:
“(For the record Paul has the career edge in assists, rebounds, steals and every shooting category while Rose has a higher career scoring average and again is a bigger and stronger physical specimen.)
Again, they are the perfect point guards for the teams they lead right now. I can’t imagine anyone in Los Angeles (Clippers fans, at least) that would trade their point guard for Rose and I’m certain no one in Chicago would give up the hometown kid for Paul.”
Then he posed the question to his readers in a poll (I’m not telling which one I voted for). It’s a great question and the differences between them: Rose=attacking offensive machine; Paul=point guard maestro like Mason explains above, make it even trickier to answer. Just when I made my choice, I recapitulated a minute later, and now I’m sitting in this
hipster coffee shop debating the merits to the wall.
The results favor Rose, but it’s close:
[NBA.com Hangtime Blog; HoopSpeak; Pic via ChicagoNow]