[Happy birthday to one of our favorite players, Chris Paul. For his big day, check out this list we put together a little while back celebrating CP3’s Top 10 Crossovers.]
Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA. There’s no debating that. Anything you need from a point guard Paul can do. Need assists? Paul dished 9.7 assists a night this season. Need defense? Paul led the league in steals with 2.4 a game. Need points? Paul was third in scoring on the Los Angeles Clippers with 16.4 a night (that number jumped to 22.8 in the playoffs). Need ballhandling? Paul dribbles like the basketball is just an extension of his fingers.
Paul has the best handle in the league — anyone who guards him is liable to get embarrassed at any moment. Big man or guard, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter to CP3. He’ll break anyone’s ankles if it means winning the game.
CP3 is the ultimate competitor and when he’s on the court who you are has no effect on him. He’s previously been quoted saying he “[doesn’t] care if [his] mother was on the court. [He’d] hit her too.” Any player with that type of mentality is guaranteed to have racked up numerous amounts of YouTube-worthy clips.
With that in mind, this article compiles the best of the best from Paul’s career into one place. Viewer Discretion is advised: the following videos contain violent ankle breaking and severe handles.
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10. VS. J.J. BAREA
The first victim on this list is notorious-flopper J.J. Barea. Barea thought that being physical with Paul and not allowing him any space would result in defensive success. He was wrong. Where there is no space, CP3 found a way to create some, enough that allowed him to stare Barea down before letting a jumper rip through the net.
9. VS. JAMES JONES
While Barea at least only had to deal with CP3 in a half-court setting, James Jones had to face Paul coming full speed at him on a fast break. Nothing good can come of this for any defender. Jones had no chance the moment Paul got under the three-point line. A simple, but effective, left-to-right crossover was all he needed to leave James flat-footed in the paint as he went for a layup (and this was a terrible call – that’s an obvious defensive foul).
8. VS. PAU GASOL
Having to guard Chris Paul at the top of the key is not something that any defender in the NBA looks forward too. In this instance, that poor soul was Pau Gasol. Gasol and Paul have had their bumps in the road during their careers, especially since Paul came to the Clippers. However, this video comes from Paul’s days on the New Orleans Hornets, and though Paul doesn’t “blow-by” Gasol, he leaves him helplessly frozen and pours in a 17-foot jumper.
7. VS. AARON BROOKS
Aaron Brooks got served one of Chris Paul’s signature moves here. Paul is one of the best at putting together a combination of dribbling moves. In this case, Paul puts together an in-and-out move with a between-the-legs crossover topped off with a spin move. While the Emeka Okafor pick was helpful in keeping Brooks held up, it was the combo move by Paul that set up Brooks to slide smack into Okafor’s screen.
6. VS. MARC GASOL
Pau isn’t the only Gasol that has been victimized by the handle of CP3. His younger brother Marc Gasol also had his ankles broken by Paul. Paul in isolation is one of the toughest things to guard against and though Gasol is one of the more nimble big men in the league, he doesn’t have the quickness or foot speed to keep up with Paul. An exaggerated in-and-out dribble, tagged along with a God Shammgod-like crossover let CP3 walk right past Gasol, who even applauded Paul’s move afterwards.
5. VS. EDDIE HOUSE
Eddie House is not known for his defense, and he never will be. If there were a “designated offense” role similar to the designated hitter in baseball, it would be the perfect position for House. Chris Paul knows this perfectly and uses it to leave House in the dust while he converts an and-one. House tries to jump the David West screen but Paul is already shooting a floater before House has a chance to even think about recovering.
4. VS. DARIUS MORRIS
Darius Morris had absolutely no chance. Zero. None. CP3 was playing like a man possessed in this game against the Los Angeles Lakers — it might have been because he felt slighted by Mike D’Antoni‘s choice of defender. Paul drove hard at Morris, stopped on a dime and switched directions with a crossover. As Morris began to shift his body the way Paul was going, Paul crossed over again, leaving Morris stuck in place.
3. VS. MIKE CONLEY
This clip puts Paul’s dribbling ability on full display. It features four different times when Paul leaves Mike Conley in the dust. Conley, to his credit, kept coming back. However, Paul was determined to get a bucket on this play. After almost losing the ball in the paint, he recovers and then puts a nasty spin move on Conley that leaves him open at the rim to finish with a sweet finger role.
2. VS. TONY PARKER
Recently, Tony Parker became a hot name in the race for Most Valuable Player. Parker is definitely deserving of this consideration and is playing some of the best basketball of his career, but it wasn’t long ago when CP3 dropped him. Paul literally shook Parker loose and while Parker tried to pick himself up and remember what day it was, Paul simply took his time and sunk a wide-open jumper.
1. VS. ANTHONY CARTER
This is just downright unfair. There really aren’t any other words that adequately describe what Paul does to Anthony Carter. Carter has never been a stellar player in the NBA, but he had a long-lasting career and gave it his all in every game. But Paul had him fully exposed in this sequence. In a matter of two seconds and a space no bigger than three feet, CP3 is able to break Carter’s ankles three different times, more proof that Paul is definitely the NBA’s point God.
What’s CP3’s best move of his career?
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