An Attacking Paul is Vital
Sean Nami | 2/1/12

It’s the duty of every NBA front office to acquire the most talent possible in order to put a winning team out on the floor. From there, it lies on the coaching staff to analyze how they can get the most out of that group of players. The Clippers have successfully accomplished the phase of bringing in a wealth of talent. Now, they are discovering their identity as a team and finding the most effective way to rack up wins. Thus far, the Clippers are now realizing one thing for sure. The team plays its best brand of basketball when Chris Paul shifts his offensive game into another gear and enters an attack mode.

“It’s definitely good for us when Chris is in that mode, and we want him staying aggressive.” said his backcourt mate Chauncey Billups. “When he’s doing that, he’s putting so much more pressure on the defense and it’s going to free guys like Caron and myself, since he’s getting in there and causing so many problems. It opens up everything and that’s been big for us.”

Paul is one of the best facilitators of his time, however, in the18 game sample size that we have in place, it’s been evident that when he’s creating shots and opportunities for himself, the Clippers are that much more difficult to contain. The numbers clearly speak for itself.

In Clipper losses, Paul’s offensive production drops dramatically, as he averages just 10 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field. Paul also manages only10.2 field goal attempts and gets up just 1.9 free throw attempts. That places him as the fifth leading scorer on the team in losing efforts. And when the Clippers lose, Paul’s assists total actually increases, as he averages 9.5 assists in losing games and 8.1 assists in games won.

However, when the Clippers end up with the victory, Paul averages 21.1 points on 51 percent shooting, while getting up 16.1 field goals attempts and 4.4 free throw attempts. That’s the biggest differential margin in points, field goal percentage, field goals attempted and assists from any player on the team in winning to losing games. In addition to that, when Paul has scored at least 17 points in a contest, the Clippers find themselves at an undefeated 7-0 for the season, beating their opponent by an average of 11 points.

Like Billups, Clippers Head Coach, Vinny Del Negro, also knows the importance of an aggressive CP3. Yet, Del Negro keeps in perspective that Paul is still a new player that’s getting adjusted to a new offense but is also just returning from a five game absence because of a hamstring injury.

“One of Chris’ greatest skills is scoring the ball, and we’re going to need him to do that for us.” said Del Negro. “The ball is going to be in his hands a lot, and he’s a great decision maker, so I think he’s just going to get his rhythm and his feeling back since he missed a lot of time. But he’ll be the guy that makes big plays for us.”

It’s unanimous from his teammates, coaches and the fans. An offensively aggressive Paul is not only wanted, but it‘s needed. The defensive adjustments for coaches around the league become that much more of a challenge when Paul is attacking the paint. His quick footed crossovers and drives down the lane simply draw in defenders and wreak havoc for any type of defense. The All-Star point guard will have that option of finishing the play himself, kicking it out to the open man, or throwing up the lob. It is the ultimate “two birds with one stone” scenario, because when Chris Paul is creating shots for himself, he’s essentially just creating for others.

More: Behind the Numbers