The Point God: a Look at the NBA Career of Chris Paul
Without doubt, Chris Paul, point guard of the Phoenix Suns, has become one of the game's greats. The thirty-five-year-old, nicknamed the "Point God," has brought experience to the team and bolstered the club's game, and suddenly, they're playing consistently impressive basketball.
Paul has served the Hornets, the Clippers, the Rockets, and the Thunder. Today, he serves the Suns. This post is a look at his career, but first we look at his latest major achievement: reaching 10,000 assists.
The magical 10,000 assists
Paul cemented his name even further into NBA history against the Lakers recently, by reaching the 10,000 assists mark and becoming only the 6th player in NBA history to accomplish this. Paul chalked up most of these assists with his first team, the New Orleans Hornets, and if he keeps going at the rate he is, he'll surpass the mighty Magic Johnson, who clocked up 10,141 assists during his career. Paul is still some way off the record holder, John Stockton, however, who managed to add 15,806 to his career stats.
The Hornets (2005-06 to 2006-07)
The Hornets might not have been the strongest team on the block, but Paul raised their game. This played into Paul's favor, driving him to prove to the whole world that this was a team that could really play basketball, and why not? The Hornets young players oozed potential, and Paul would receive the support of the superb but extremely under-rated David West, who shows good all-round skills just like Paul.
The trade of Paul to the Clippers came as just as much as a shock to him as to everyone else. The signing happened overnight. That was then his days with the Hornets over.
The Clippers (2011-12 to 2016-17)
Within just a few games following Paul's arrival, his influence was already beginning to materialize. The Clippers began to turn over the ball less, which helped them to score more points; pass better; become more efficient in attack; and generally make life difficult for their opponents, rather than make it easier.
The Rockets (2017-18 to 2018-19)
Paul arrived at the Houston Rockets in 2017, and it wasn't long before he was working his magic and boosting the fortunes of the team. They were on the hunt for NBA finals glory, but then Paul's untimely injury dashed those hopes. The team finished first in the Western Conference, with a record of 64-17.Oklahoma City Thunder (2019-20)Just like the Hornets, the Thunder are major underdogs, so everyone wondered what was going on when they reached the NBA playoffs. It came down to one man: Chris Paul. Paul's game smarts mean he brings a formidable weapon to every team he joins. His pinpoint passing and his anticipation of defenders' next moves are just two examples of the skills that would help him lead the Thunder to an unexpected place in the playoffs.
In the playoffs game against his old club, the Rockets, the Thunder secured victory in game 6, keeping the team's hopes alive, and pushed the series to a seventh game.
Phoenix Suns (2020 to present)
As well as reaching 10,000 assists, Paul is enjoying an overall successful exciting season with the Suns. The team have transformed under his leadership, and the young players are eager to learn from him — and NBA fans can see they've been clearly taking what he says onboard. While The Suns aren't favorites for the championship in the NBA odds market, they're still exceeding expectations this season. Where does he rank amongst the greats?
Chris Paul is the best point guard in the whole of the NBA, there's no question about it. Given Paul's track record of improving teams, anyone into NBA betting would certainly have confidence in laying their money down on a team with him in it now.
Some fans believe he's the best point guard of all time, with advanced stats that outclass even Magic Johnson. Other fans and analysts feel Stephen Curry, Jerry West and, of course, Magic himself have still got more claim to the GOAT throne when it comes to point guards. The big blot on Paul's career, however, has been the absence of any titles. At 35 years now he can still reverse that, but time isn't exactly on his side. He may be “Point God,” but some out there still don't believe they've found the greatest there will ever be yet.
But this is Chris Paul we're talking about here, and he's still playing as well as he ever did. Part of the reason for his success is his general approach to the game. He trains every day, although he's not so much into weight training because of the bulk it can "inflict" upon players; he's into on-court analytics and dietary analysis, and he adjust his diet to give him an edge on court; and he loves competition. Fans and teams see the fruits of this on the court.
Marking his 10,000th assist in his career helped Chris Paul to solidify his name even further in NBA history. Despite getting older, he still looks like he could achieve plenty more yet and shows no signs of slowing down. Some of his doubters may yet eat some humble pie