TopicPaul will make it much harder for opponents
That’s quite the difference from Paul, who generated almost half of his offense last season from spots on the floor the Rockets are encouraged to avoid. (Paul actually made nearly as many midrange shots NBA 2K MT by himself as the entire Rockets team).Paul is coming off of the best season of his career in terms of volume and accuracy from the perimeter, but he’s not going to abandon his midrange game entirely to focus on shooting more 3-pointers at this stage of his career.DEVENEY: Can Chris Paul coexist with James Harden?
Where the addition of Paul begins to get interesting is those two negatives have the potential to turn into huge positives. First and foremost, the Rockets don’t necessarily need another playmaker in the regular season — the combination of Harden, three outside shooters and an athletic pick-and-roll finisher turned them into the second best offensive team in the NBA — but Paul will make it much harder for opponents to load up on Harden in the postseason.Not only does Paul give them a guard who can score and facilitate at a high level with and without Harden on the floor, but he also will likely thrive in D’Antoni’s system as someone who scored 44.7 percent of his points in the pick-and-roll last season and ranked in the 83.3 percentile with 0.96 points per possession.
Paul was almost as good as Harden, who generated 40.5 percent of his scoring in the pick-and-roll and ranked in the 92.7 percentile with 1.01 points per possession. It gives D’Antoni the luxury of having two elite pick-and-roll players on the court at all times and the option of staggering them whenever one needs a breather. The former means Paul and Harden will have less of a burden to carry offensively on a nightly basis, whereas the latter means teams won’t ever be able to take a break against them on defense. For a team capable of rattling off large runs in a hurry, that's a scary thought.
That doesn’t even take Paul’s ability to facilitate out of the pick-and-roll into account, either. According to Synergy Sports, Paul created 12.3 points per game last season with his passing out of the pick-and-roll, which ranked him third in the league behind Harden and Russell Westbrook. On average, Paul’s pick-and-roll passing MMOGO Inc. created an impressive 1.05 points per possession.While Paul lacks the size of Harden to see over the top of defenders, he’s long been amongst the best pure creators in the NBA. He’s averaging 9.9 assists per game for his career on only 2.4 turnovers per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.8 last season was better than everyone in the league but Andre Iguodala.