Chris Paul Looking to Continue Impressive Early Play, Success of Los Angeles Clippers
As the Los Angeles Clippers put forth yet another impressive offensive showing on Wednesday night en route to a 102-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team moved to an impressive 8-4 on the season and earned another victory over one of the upper-tier teams in the NBA this season.
While the Clippers overall have been impressive, it’s their offense that is leading the way while their defense has been sub-par. The Clips are allowing 105.3 points per 100 possessions this season, the fourth-worst rate in the league, but that hasn’t been too problematic considering they are scoring 109 points per 100 possessions, the second-best rate in the league.
As you might expect, Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been the driving force behind their high-powered offense. On Wednesday night against Minnesota, he passed Magic Johnson for the most consecutive points-assists double-doubles to start an NBA season. On Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’ll look to take that streak to 13 games.
Considering that the Clippers have been great against high levels of competition this season, I would expect Paul to at least come close. He’s been absolutely unreal this season. Sure, he’s a huge part of this Clippers team and leads the league in touches per game (via NBA.com player tracking data), but that doesn’t take away from how productive he’s been this season with those touches.
Though he’s shooting just 43.1 percent from the floor and 25.6 percent from three, he’s getting to the line 6.4 times per game which helps him get to his solid 19.5 points per game that he’s averaging. More than that, though, he’s leading the NBA in assists by a huge margin at 12.5 per game. That assist stat is strengthened when you consider that he’s also second in the NBA in terms of secondary assists, meaning passes that lead to another player’s assist (once again via player tracking data).
The Thunder are certainly a formidable opponent for the Clippers, but I don’t see anyone stopping Paul anytime soon when he’s playing at this level. He’s still got that ability to hit another gear late in games, but he’s also been playing at what seems to be a higher level throughout the game as well. Paul’s streak of double-doubles could end tonight, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
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