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NBA Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul’s Value to Clippers Increases as His Play Declines

 Chris Paul is one of the best players in the NBA.  He is arguably the best point guard in the NBA.  But in this 2nd round series with the  San Antonio Spurs Paul has been exposed.  His flaws have been unmasked and he is naked out there in front of the entire nation without even the comfort of an excuse.  The league has finally figured him out and now has a recipe for containing the once unguardable Paul.

Recipe for Stopping CP3

All you have to do is pull his groin, jam his finger and beat on his hip until he cries “Uncle”.  Without the opportunity to rest his various ailments, Paul has been  ineffective, harassed and shut down.  He is unable to create space for his fade-away and he is compromised in pick-and-roll and transition situations as he can’t explode. 

With the recipe out, Paul and his Clippers have been like burnt toast.  They are almost unwatchable and inconsumable.  Simply put when Chris Paul isn’t Chris Paul the Los Angeles Clippers are only a shell of themselves.

The Paul Factor:

Chris Paul murdered old school Clipperdom.  The Clippers have been losers, door-mats and the ugly step-sister of the Lakers since their move from Buffalo to San Diego in 1978 (1984 they moved from San Diego to LA).  The Clippers have been best known for the busted knees of Danning Manning and Shawn Livingston, the infamous Larry Brown era (that he backed out of), the tragedy of Bill Wilton and the Darius Miles experiment.  They were a cheaply run franchise that perfected failing in the NBA draft lottery (Michael Olowokandi anyone?).  They have also been sued in-some-fashion by their last two general managers.

But the “Chris Paul” deal has changed everything.  The Clippers are not rebuilding, they are playoff contenders.  They are no longer OK with competing in games; they are now winning games (40 wins, 15 comeback victories from down 10 or more points).  The goal is now to compete for a title and not just for a playoff berth.  Forty years of history has changed thanks to one player: that’s amazing!

Paul vs. the Spurs:

Simply put it has been a struggle thus far for a man who garnered MVP consideration thanks to his 19 ppg , 9 apg, 2.5 spg and 48% shooting from the field.  To say Paul has struggled mightily versus the Spurs is an understatement:

Game

Points

FG%

Assists

Turnovers

+/-

1

6

23

10

5

-18

2

10

44

5

8

-22

Game 1/2 Totals

16

32%

15

13

-40

Bold Type indicates team worst

Without Paul’s per game averages the Clippers haven’t been able to hang with the Spurs in this series, losing 6 of 8 quarters (they have only won 1, tied the other).  Paul’s value has never been more obvious as the Spurs and injuries have taken Paul out of the equation.  Blake Griffin, Randy Foye, Nick Young, Caron Butler, etc., cannot carry this team and it is now painfully obvious that Paul is the only reason the Clippers made the playoffs.  Without him, these Clippers probably win 20-25 games and are once again in the lottery.

If Paul feels better this weekend the Clippers, behind a raucous home crowd at Staples Center, will have the opportunity to even the series.  But if his health remains status quo, barring a minor miracle, the brooms will be out in LA.

Paul is the difference maker in the series.  Name a Spur that is as valuable as him?

Follow me @clippersnation1 and @coachhaz.