The CP3 effect is on full display in the opening round of the 2018 Western Conference playoffs against 8th-seeded Minnesota. The Timberwolves were never expected to be anything more than a warm up for Chris Paul, James Harden and the gang, but after Wednesday nights 102-82 win, the Rockets are up 2-0 and Paul is finally on the grandest stage of his NBA life.
That’s not fair, @CP3… https://t.co/EkWBGCCzID
Paul was shaking and baking like a raisin in the sun and dishing and executing unfathomable shots over taller defenders.
It hit the rafters and dropped!” Chris Paul has a game-high 20 PTS and 6 AST. #Rockets https://t.co/W45nn47X1E
CP3’s talent, experience, leadership and the intangibles that make him a 9-time NBA All-Star was no more evident than in Game 2 when Harden went into his usual playoff funk and shot 2-for-18 from the field.
Chris Paul propels the @HoustonRockets in Game 2 at home with 27 PTS, 8 AST! #Rockets #NBAPlayoffs https://t.co/uq0GTfMYKB
Paul never had a hardwood monster like James Harden to ball with in his 13-year NBA career. Paul almost punched his ticket and teamed up with Kobe back in 2011 but commissioner David Stern vetoed that deal. Its all pretty comical and raises even more eyebrows now, in this age of the Super Team, and it led many to believe that Paul would never be in a position to win an NBA championship. Like Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley before him, hed be the best player of this generation to never win a ring.
Then Houston came calling. A team that was on the cusp of being serious contenders. A team boasting a Top 3 offensive player in the league and a high-powered offense orchestrated by Mike D’Antonio, another guy that basketball heads said would never win a title.
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It was a no-brainer that Paul would be a perfect fit for the Rockets and his impact was felt immediately this season as the Rockets went from a damn good team to a dominant force leading the NBA with 65 wins and thwarting Golden States string of Western Conference regular season crowns.
This is CP3s best chance of finally getting what his best friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have; some championship hardware.
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In 78 playoff games dating back to his rookie season with the New Orleans Hornets in 2007-8, Paul is averaging 21.4 ppg and 9.4 assists for his playoff career. If he does the same numbers in these playoffs with the various weapons he has at his disposal in Houston, then no matter what probable 2018 NBA MVP James Harden does, winning a championship would make this Chris Pauls Hall of Fame defining moment. Thats really all hes missing in his stellar career.