Sometimes it’s age. Often it’s losing. But this year, it was a combination of a lot of things, like injury, boredom and Derrick Rose‘s MVP takeover. Chris Paul was the model for NBA point guards, considered probably the best pure lead guard in the game for the last three or four years. But as an NBA player, he should be used to challenges. Now, he has a new one from someone younger and far more athletic.
So Derrick Rose or Chris Paul? We argue. You decide.
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Prior to Chris Paul’s injury, he was without a doubt the best point guard in the league. Steve Nash was getting old and the NBA’s other young promising point guards were (and still are) developing. However, what gave Chris Paul the advantage is that he was already developed. Now, after finishing up his sixth NBA season, some want to say he’s fallen off. Hypebeasts argue that his short-lived reign as the NBA’s best PG has come to an end, and after one phenomenal season by some guy out of Chicago, he’s no longer the best point guard the NBA has to offer. Pure blasphemy.
Nothing turns a fan off more than an injury. Someone can be the best and most idolized player in the league, but the second he gets hurt, he’s forgotten about instantly. When a player gets hurt, there’s no telling if, or how, they’re going to come back. So when Chris Paul got injured, it was almost like he had automatically revoked his best PG title. Nobody gave him the chance to come back off that injury and prove he hadn’t lost a step. They wrote him off immediately. Just because the best PG gets hurt for a season or so doesn’t mean you have to start looking for a new one right away.
The term “hypebeast” is used to describe those type of bandwagoners, which frankly, a lot of Derrick Rose fans are. He’s a great point guard and has an extremely bright future, but here is my knock against him. He’s a score-first point guard, which isn’t exactly conventional. His shoot-first mentality allows room for the argument that he isn’t exactly a point guard but rather a shooting guard playing a distributors position. The scoring point guard is almost like the scrambling quarterback. It looks great, but doesn’t necessarily get the job done. Also, if you compare their games, you can easily tell that while Rose is the superior athlete, Paul is the superior ballplayer. If you take away his speed and athleticism, what does Rose really have? Paul has a better handle, as well as a better understanding of creating shots for teammates. His natural basketball abilities and true point guard capabilities are superior to Derrick Rose’s, even if Rose is a better athlete.
I don’t want be the one to take anything away from Rose’s spectacular season. It was a great MVP campaign by a great player. In the offseason he dedicated himself to becoming a better player and he did just that. When Kevin Durant was getting all the preseason MVP talk this summer, D-Rose came out and asked, “Why can’t I be the MVP?” Then he backed it up by becoming the near-unanimous favorite to win it. He’s deserving of the achievement. However, his timing couldn’t be any more perfect.
With Boston taking a page out of San Antonio’s book, and putting it in cruise control until playoff time, and Miami getting their feet wet with each other this year, and Orlando pretty much falling off, the Eastern Conference was up for grabs. Rose took advantage of what was really his only year to win that MVP. Now that the Heat and the Knicks have gotten some experience together, it very well could be his only MVP. Rose had to strike while the iron was hot. It’d be pretty ridiculous to say that LeBron could never win another MVP because he plays with another superstar. Frankly, in my opinion, the only thing that kept him from three-peating as MVP is that his team’s record fell inferior to Rose’s. KD is overdue for his chance at the award, and I wouldn’t rule out OKC putting together a leage-best record during one of these upcoming years. Factor in all that and you can easily see that this season was Rose’s season before it even started. As a result, he is now a proud owner of the biggest bandwagon fanbase in the NBA.
It’s safe to say that with his first-round series against L.A, CP3 opened up a lot of eyes again, and reminded people that he is the best, and most complete point guard the league has seen in years. If that series wasn’t enough of a reminder, hopefully in the future he’s competing for championships. If that happens, no matter what team he’s playing on, I’m sure there won’t be any question as to who the best point guard in the NBA is any longer.