Chris Paul is in his 16th season and the 2020-21 NBA campaign has been the most successful in his whole career. Furthering the claim, Chris Paul is having one of the best seasons in NBA history and here’s why.
No Super Team:
In a league where all stars are teaming up with each other, and stacking up their rosters CP3 has stayed true to his course of not falling victim to being part of the super team theme.
You can argue that Devin Booker is an all-star, but most forget he was brought in due to injury and wasn’t even thought of initially. Deandre Ayton is in his third year and we just recently saw him take a leap, but heading into this season the Suns haven’t been looked at as a ‘super team’ in any sense of the word.
This roster is filled with guys who are buying into the system and have accepted their roles. That starts with Chris Paul. The argument that Paul out of the lineup would hinder the team’s success will always be there but look further.
Chris Paul’s Leadership
Being one of the last true traditional point guards in the league, Paul’s attention to detail and ability to break every facet of the game down is something that propelled Oklahoma City to extreme heights and is now out Phoenix in a position to contend for their first NBA title ever.
At 36 most guys would accept a role of coming off the bench and helping the locker room with their veteran leadership and experience. Paul has done the exact opposite, playing 31.4 minutes on 56% shooting. Averaging 16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 8.9 assists a game; Paul has shown no signs of slowing down
He’s mentioned numerous times between 2006-present that his main goal is to win an NBA championship and he won’t stop until he gets one. We are seeing just how hungry and passionate he is even at his age.
Some may not fully comprehend where all this leadership comes from, but it is the thing we overlook all the time. Always getting on his teammates regardless if they make a bad play or a good one. The mindset that the play might’ve been good, but it could’ve been great. The communication on defense, durability, and being available for your team goes a long way with a primarily young group.
Chris Paul’s playoff numbers are nothing short of impressive (18.1 points, 8.7 assists, on 51% shooting). His impact digs deeper than his own stats because his influence rubs off on the entire team:
2020-21 NBA Playoff Stats
Devin Booker: 27 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.8 apg
Deandre Ayton: 16.2 ppg 11.8 rpg
Jae Crowder: 10.4 ppg 5.2 rpg
Cameron Payne: 10.1 ppg 3.8 apg 2.5 rpg
Mikai Bridges: 10.8 ppg 4.3 rpg 1.0 spg
Cameron Johnson: 8.1 ppg 3.1 rpg
Getting consistent production out of six guys on the roster is key to being a championship team. Those guys don’t have those numbers without Chris Paul’s influence and it’s just that simple. Regardless of injuries during this postseason or not the Suns have been playing exceptional basketball.
With the NBA Finals set to tip-off on Tuesday a franchise be given an NBA title for the first time ever. Will CP3 become an NBA champ? I know Torrey Craig is already a champ regardless of the outcome.