Chris Paul’s Most Dangerous Weapon? His Eyes

Rob Mahoney, writing for Sports Illustrated:

The NBA is afraid of what Chris Paul sees. Opponents show it in the way they react to his stare, selling out into passing lanes simply because Paul’s eyes suggest it. When Paul slows down to survey the floor, it can paralyze his defender with possibility. His attention is a weapon. The fear of it can lead a defense to do senseless things—the kind that leaves smart players baffled in the moment and shaking their heads in a film session. There are anxieties in guarding any great player, but with Paul, the greatest concern is the imbalance of information. Russell Westbrook kills with speed and Stephen Curry with space. Paul wins by seeing things that no one else could and exploiting a defense that knows it.

This is the first article I’ve read that breaks down Paul’s game as detailed as this. Reading this reminded me of Spike Lee recording Kobe Bryant’s game, and then Bryant narrated it afterwards. This felt like a text-version of that.

Here’s another great quote from this piece:

The genius of players like Paul comes out in obstruction. Start to box him in and you’ll see fireworks; the fewer the options that Paul seems to have, the more fantastic the results. Whatever limits a defense looks to impose, Paul will find ways to break them. Spring a trap and Paul—a control guard by type—will give up the ball to get it back later on the move. Switch pick-and-rolls against the Clippers and Paul becomes an even more vicious dual threat. Any big in front of him is as good as cooked.


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