Whether it was a new head coach, a wide array of new teammates or a forced, altered approach to his game, 2010-11 was a season filled with adjustments for Chris Paul. While lacking some of the explosiveness hed shown in previous seasons, it was more difficult for the four-time All-Star to consistently take over games. One of the biggest arguments among fans all season was whether Paul was being aggressive enough on the offensive end. For the first time in his six-year career, he had several low-single-digit scoring games, including a 0-point outing at Memphis on April 10.
During the second half of the regular season, when Monty Williams was asked if the Hornets needed Paul to score or distribute more, he answered both, a response that helped illustrate how much the team required of their best player. Chris knows how to manage a game, Williams said. The problem is, if you at some (teammates) numbers on the team, their production has dropped off (from early in the season). When there are drops, its tough for Chris to manage, OK, should I be aggressive now, or do I need to get those guys more involved?
Chris can score 20 or 25 points every night if he wanted, Williams continued. But being the point guard that he is, he tries to get everyone involved. There are times when I tell him in the middle of a game to be more aggressive. And he knows before I tell him, what Im going to say. He knows when to pick and choose when to be aggressive, but the bottom line is our team has to be productive.
The following are additional noteworthy quotes related to Pauls 2010-11 season, which concluded with him authoring two historic individual performances against the Lakers:
On the city of New Orleans:
It's not about what I've done for this team. I think it's the town; look at what this team has done for me. This city has definitely embraced me and lifted me up, and I'm truly grateful for it. I'm one of those people that's always been a family person. Since I stepped foot in New Orleans I felt like this was my extended family.
On his in-between game:
My teardrop floater in the lane is something Ive been doing pretty much my whole life. Unfortunately Ive always been pretty short, so when I get into the lane, I shoot it to where the guy has to jump to the top of the square (to block it). I think its kind of deflating for a big man. When they get that running start, they just know they can block that shot. They jump as high as they can and that ball just goes right over their fingertips. Thats when you know you really shot a nice one.
On Pauls shooting and decision-making on offense:
The one thing he doesnt get credit for is his three-point shooting. Last year, before he hurt his ankle, he was shooting 67 percent, I think. When a guy can shoot a three, and get in the paint and shoot that teardrop, it just aggravates the defense. I can see it on the opposing centers faces, when they go to block that shot. They can jump as high as they can, but sometimes they have no shot at (blocking) it. Or they foul him. His touch is off the chart, because he knows how to put English on it or just put it through the net. Its a tough shot to defend. I know Id foul him before he got into that shot. If youre thinking, instead of what you do naturally, youre not playing good defense. Players like Chris make you think on the floor. If youre thinking against him, youre going to get burned.
On interacting with Paul this summer:
Im not going to talk to him as much as I did last summer. I think I need to give him a break. I think hes probably tired of hearing from me. Im always on Chris about certain things and it can wear you out. It can wear the relationship out. Im going to back off of him for a while. Well talk later this summer about improvements we need to make in our offense and our defense and things that I think he can do to become more efficient. Itll be the same conversation we have all the time. One thing I dont want to do is be a coach 24/7. There comes a time when I have to back off of that and Im looking forward to getting to know some of our guys off the court. Whether its taking those guys fishing or out to eat or something along those lines I think its important.