Many NBA fans were shocked when it was reported that the Houston Rockets had traded for Los Angeles Clippers star point guard Chris Paul this past offseason, as CP3’s playing future wasn’t really a main focal point of the offseason that had everything.
The Rockets didn’t pull off a heist per se, as they had to give up considerable assets to nab the nine-time All-Star, including Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, a protected first-round pick next year and cash considerations in return for Paul’s services. A deal involving that many players seems very lopsided in the Clippers favor, but the Rockets have proven they struck a gold mine by acquiring Paul.
At the beginning of the season, things weren’t looking good for the Rockets, as Paul went down early on in the season with a knee injury, leaving James Harden to fend for himself in the West for a few weeks. Meanwhile, for the Clippers, they jumped out of the blocks, as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan proved they didn’t need Paul to win games. That is, until they did.
Even though the Clips led the West for a short while, they have since fallen off, and now sit at 9-15, good for 11th in the West.
While CP3 was out for Houston, Harden was up to his usual tricks just like last season, and the loss of Paul didn’t even register as a blip on the Rockets’ radar, as Harden proceeded to average 32.1 points and 10 assists a game in his absence, jumping to the front of the MVP race, and leading the Rockets to an 11-4 record.
Now, if you take how good Harden has been playing these past few weeks, and then throw Chris Paul back into the mix, you have a deadly concoction.
In every game Paul has played for in a Houston Rockets jersey, they’ve won, and not only won but by an average of 16.8 points a game. This even extends into the preseason.
Chris Paul is undefeated in his Houston career thus far. HOW.
Paul’s stats don’t jump out by any means, but his production for Houston has been unrivaled. He’s averaging 14.3 points on 45.5% shooting, 9.8 assists a game, and only 1.9 turnovers a contest. For a player that has the ball in his hands that often, less than 2 turnovers a game is insane.
Many predicted that Paul would florish under Mike D’Antoni, but I don’t think anyone thought he’d be this good. And the best thing is that it’s translating to wins.