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.
We’re a few days away from the NBA playoffs. The Clippers had a weird year: starting off with the best record in the NBA at 12-2, and then injuries started happening, between Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The team sputtered and lost their identity during for most of the season, and it took much longer than I thought it would for them to get it back—so much so that I started assuming that they’d lost their identity for good. Until recently.
The last five games have been very impressive, as the Clips are getting hot at the right time. Going into this weekend, I couldn’t ask for anything more than what I’m seeing: Chris Paul is being very aggressive, looking to score, and looks as fast as he’s looked in years. And Blake Griffin is looking to score near the rim more, instead of settling for a long-distance shot.
The Clippers play the Jazz in round one, and even though they won’t be a push-over, I expect to advance past them, while getting in rhythm and gaining momentum for the rest of the playoffs.
Doc staggers Blake and Paul’s minutes, so one of them are always in the game.
Austin Rivers has a speedy recovery and returns in the first round against the Jazz, so he’s back to himself sooner rather than later.
Blake Griffin focuses on the paint. Get to the rim, use his speed to gain the advantage against slower bigs. Be aggressive, in the post and driving.
Chris Paul looks to score first. When Paul is looking for his shot, we’re a different team. He becomes an even bigger threat than the version of him that’s mostly a passer.
Jamal Crawford doesn’t disappear in this year’s playoffs. As dominate as he’s been during regular seasons, I’ve yet to seem him dominate many playoff games. He’s capable of taking over any game on any night, and we’ll need him to do just that.
DeAndre Jordan continues to be a defensive threat, disrupting every shot and every drive that comes his way.
DeAndre sets high picks for CP3, near the half court line. When the screen is that high, Paul can attack the floor with much more space, and the pace is increased as soon as that screen is set.
The Thunder win, so we can play the Spurs in the second round. Not scared of the Warriors, but we match up much better with the Spurs.
We stay healthy during the playoffs. I’m tired of fluke injuries ruining our playoffs chances.
The bench is shortened to Crawford, Felton, Speights, and Rivers (when he returns), with Blake and Moute also playing with the second unit at times.
These are just a few thoughts. I look forward to seeing it all play out.
Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
Laugh at your own jokes.
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.