Chris Paul is averaging 19 points, 9.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game this season in 32.7 minutes per game, while appearing in 47 of the Clippers' 52 games. He is shooting 45.1% from the field, 37.9% from deep, and 88.9% from the free-throw line. Paul was selected as an NBA All-Star reserve by Western Conference coaches. Let's see how our writers grade the first half of Paul's season.
Niels Pineda: If there is anything that the quarter system has taught me, it's that your start absolutely impacts your overall grade. With that being the case, Chris Paul only gets a B+ because of his relatively slow start. The injuries obviously played a major role, but even when you are sick and can't study, you are still obligated to take that test. Even with that slow start, however, Chris Paul has been on a tear lately. He still has his off shooting nights (which is why I put him in the B range), but his presence and overall Point-Godly-ness has been a major key to the Clippers recent success. With his ongoing improvement, he can easily raise his grade continue to his streak of regular season As.
Davey Bales: A-: Did he have an uncharacteristically slow start to the year? Sure, but he was hampered by a broken finger, groin issues, and inflamed rib cartilage that without a doubt slowed him down. Now that he seems to be healthy, Chris is back to doing what he does best: running one of the league's most high-powered, efficient offenses and willing this team to victories. He's kicked it up a notch (if not several) in Blake's absence and I attribute the team's continued success to CP's grit and determination as much as anything else. That slow start keeps me from giving him an A, but I still think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better floor general.
Lucas Hann: A. I'm sorry, but I gotta go away from what Niels said--I'm grading basketball on a different standard than I would a class, and Chris Paul has been exemplary. His numbers are incredible, his efficiency is rising, and he's been his normal Point God self ever since Blake Griffin went out--controlling games and leading this team through adversity. He's been selected as an All-Star and he's having an All-Star season--I don't know how you can say that and then turn around and give him less than an A.